Thompson Building Materials Rebar How a $6 billion steel mill used to build a surplus building material will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars

How a $6 billion steel mill used to build a surplus building material will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars

By Tom J. BrownOctober 06, 2018 12:22PM ESTIn January of 2019, the US$6 billion surplus building supply plant in Wichita Falls, Texas, shut down due to the Great Recession.

It was a tragic blow to the American manufacturing sector, which had been the nation’s biggest employer and largest consumer of building materials.

It left the building materials industry reeling.

In the years since, Wichita Falls has become the second largest steel mill in the country.

It employs nearly 500 people, mostly construction and electrical workers, who work with other steelmakers in the area.

But since the shutdown, the facility has been a source of national embarrassment, and has been plagued by leaks and safety issues.

Now, a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that in 2019, a total of $6.8 billion in surplus building supplies were used in the Wichita Falls plant, costing the US government $1.6 billion. 

“The Wichita Falls Steelworks is one of the most vulnerable US manufacturing facilities in the United States, and its failure has a significant economic impact on the surrounding communities,” said GAO Director Robert K. Litt. 

This was one of those times when the American people need a leader to protect our nation’s infrastructure and jobs.

That’s why I asked for the appointment of Representative Mike Pompeo to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

In order to protect American workers and taxpayers, I will lead the GAO in investigating, reviewing, and reporting on waste, fraud, and abuse at our nation-building and supply-chain programs. 

With the assistance of the Inspector General, I am committed to taking appropriate actions to protect Americans from waste, abuse, and inefficiency at our Nation-Building and Supply-Chain Programs. 

The Inspector General will also oversee the use of Federal funds for audits and investigations of the Federal Government’s Supply Chain Programs.

Under Secretary for Homeland Security James Zogby will oversee the Department’s Office for Inspector General.

“We cannot have a government that relies on one of our country’s largest steel mills to keep the lights on, or that is dependent on taxpayer dollars to keep American factories humming and Americans employed,” said Congressman Pompeo.

“I will use my office to protect the American workers who make our country safe and prosperous, and to hold our government accountable for its waste, corruption, and mismanagement of our nation building and supply chain programs.

I will also ensure the Inspector Generals office is fully staffed and fully supported with the necessary resources to continue our mission.” 

While the GAOs findings come as a surprise, it is a reminder of just how vulnerable our nationbuilding and supplies-chain program has become.

In addition to being a source and hub for American manufacturing, Wichita Flats also serves as a hub for a host of other critical industries.

One such is the United Steelworkers union, which has come under scrutiny in recent years as a result of its role in the massive $13 billion steel plant collapse that occurred in Pittsburgh in 2009. 

After the collapse of the plant, U.S. Steel filed a $13.2 billion lawsuit against the union.

The union filed a counter-suit in May 2018, alleging the plant was “under federal, state, and local government supervision” and “underwritten by government agencies.” 

“When the company that builds the steel used in your factories and your steel plants goes bankrupt, you can bet your bottom dollar the federal government is going to get involved, and the federal courts are going to have to step in to help you,” said U.s.

Steel Secretary-Treasurer Mark Hurd in a speech in February of 2019. 

According to the inspector general report, this year’s federal government funds were used to buy up the building material used at the Wichita Flags facility.

This is in addition to $2.3 million in federal funds that the U.W.S., which has a direct financial interest in the facility, received in the past year.

The report noted that the federal agency that provided the building supplies was not named, but it was known to have a relationship with the facility and was known for its “over-all performance.”

“The building materials used at Wichita Falls have been used in other industries that have suffered devastating, if not catastrophic, failures,” said Inspector General Litt in a statement.

“This was a major source of our national embarrassment and caused many Americans to be fearful about their jobs.” 

 While this report only details the cost of a single year at the plant in 2019—a total of about $6 million—it is a sobering reflection of how the country is still rebuilding from the Great Depression.

It’s a stark reminder that despite the recent successes of the Great American Infrastructure, it’s time for us to move on