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Tim Scott touts ‘Made in America’ strategy after repeatedly voting against it in Congress

The South Carolina Republican and 2024 presidential candidate has opposed efforts to boost domestic manufacturing.

By Josh Israel - August 24, 2023
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Tim Scott
Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott gives an interview after the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. Aug. 23, 2023. (Francis Chung/POLITICO via AP Images)

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said at Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate that he has a Made in America plan to create 10 million jobs in the United States instead of exporting them to China. But over his 12 years in Congress, he has repeatedly voted against efforts to promote domestic manufacturing.

The presidential hopeful said that, as a child raised in poverty, he wondered about whether the American dream was real for everyone:

I came to the conclusion that America can do for anyone what she has done for me, if we focus on restoring hope, creating opportunities, and protecting America. If we want the environment to be better, and we all do, the best thing to do is to bring our jobs home from China. If we create 10 million new jobs in my Made in America plan, we will have a better economy and a better environment.

On his campaign website, Scott proposes a “Made in America agenda that ramps up research and development, reclaims supply chains, and re-energizes our manufacturing base with Opportunity Zones 2.0.” The site offers no details, and a campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to an American Independent Foundation inquiry for this story.

But over his two years in the House and 10 years in the Senate, Scott has voted against the same types of investments he claims to support, including bills that would require that infrastructure projects use American-made goods, according to research by the progressive super PAC American Bridge 21st Century. (Disclosure: The American Independent Foundation is a partner organization of American Bridge.)

In May 2012, as a member of the House, Scott voted against a proposal that would require that federally funded transportation projects use more American-made supplies. The requirements were ultimately included in the final law.

Months after his 2013 appointment to a vacant Senate seat, Scott voted against an amendment “to require the use of American iron, steel, and manufactured goods for innovative financing pilot projects” in a water resources development package.

In 2015, he voted against another amendment “to require the use of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States in the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and facilities.”

Scott also opposed a 2017 proposal to provide tax incentives for “patriot employers that invest in American jobs and provide fair pay and benefits to workers.”

In July 2022, he was one of 33 senators to vote against the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a law designed to boost domestic manufacturing, invest in science and technology, and strengthen supply chains.

In December 2022, he voted against a bipartisan spending agreement, calling it bloated and “chock full of government waste,” even while his office touted provisions in it that included “Portions of Senator Scott’s MADE in America Act that strengthen the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain.”

Scott also voted against President Joe Biden’s 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

In total, the United States economy has added more than 13 million jobs since Biden took office in January 2021. No other president has seen more job growth in a single term.

Monica Venzke, a spokesperson for American Bridge, told the American Independent Foundation:

Tim Scott is a raging hypocrite, but that’s nothing new in the Republican Party. He has repeatedly voted against the best interests of his constituents and has the gall to stand on the debate stage and pretend he didn’t. He can spout platitudes about supporting American jobs all he wants, but his record is proof he’ll fight to take them away.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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