H.R. 3116: Berry Amendment Extension Act

H.R. 3116

Berry Amendment Extension Act

Date
September 14, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 3116 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) on July 7, 2010. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 3116 would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from procuring an item if it is not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the U.S.  The bill would provide an exception to the extent that DHS determines that satisfactory quality and sufficient quantity of an item cannot be procured domestically as and when needed.

Covered items would include clothing, tents, tarpaulins, cotton and other natural fiber products; woven silk or silk blends, spun silk yarn for cartridge cloth, synthetic fabric or coated synthetic fabric, canvas products, or wool; and any item of individual equipment manufactured from or containing such fibers, yarns, fabrics, or materials.  The measure would provide exceptions for certain procurements outside the U.S., including procurements by ships in foreign waters, as well as for emergency procurements and procurements that fall below a certain acquisition threshold.

The bill would stipulate that the procuring provision would not apply if DHS determined that it would be inconsistent with U.S. obligations under an international agreement.  The bill would require DHS to report each year to Congress with a list containing each provision of the bill that was waived. 

The measure would take effect for contracts awarded after the 180-day period beginning on the date of enactment.

Background

The Berry amendment, enacted in 1941, requires the Department of Defense to give preference to procuring goods that are produced, grown or manufactured in the U.S., including textiles.  Currently, provisions of the Berry amendment generally apply only to the Department of Defense.

Congress has taken steps to apply the Berry amendment to DHS, including a requirement that Transportation Security Administration uniforms be purchased from U.S. textile manufacturers. There is currently no law that would apply the Buy American requirements and Berry amendment guidelines throughout DHS.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office has not produced a score for this bill as of press time.