U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Arkansas, and Mike Bost, R-Illinois, will co-chair the Congressional Steel Caucus, which represents the interests of steelmakers and steelworkers across the country.
They replace disgraced ex-congressman Tim Murphy, who resigned after a scandal in which he had an affair and encouraged his mistress to terminate the pregnancy despite staunch public anti-abortion views. Murphy, who resigned on Oct. 21, represented suburbs of Pittsburgh, a cradle of steelmaking where U.S. Steel is based and where the steel industry is so woven into the culture that the NFL team there is called the Steelers.
Crawford hails from a district in Arkansas that's home to the Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Nucor Steel Arkansas and the newly opened, $1.1 billion Big River Steel mini-mills.
“Congressman Crawford has been a tenacious supporter of steel producing companies and their workers. With the First District of Arkansas among the top steel producing districts in the U.S., Congressman Crawford has worked tirelessly to ensure a strong steel industry," American Iron and Steel Institute President Thomas Gibson said. "He has also been a vocal supporter of a robust, long-term transportation bill, and of promoting the future of the manufacturing workforce — both of which are key for the steel industry."
Bost represents the southwestern portion of Illinois near St. Louis where U.S. Steel's Granite Works mill is located.
“Congressman Bost has been a leader in the fight to level the playing field for domestic steelmakers," Gibson said. "He lead the effort to enact the first improvements to our trade laws in more than 20 years, and has consistently stood up for American workers whose jobs are put at risk by global competitors who skirt trade laws. His long-standing commitment and dedication to steel has been key in promoting more fair competition for the American steel industry.”
U. S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, remains co-chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, a bipartisan group with dozens of Congressional representatives from all across the country.
“With the impressive steel intensity in his district, SMA was a strong supporter of Crawford early on," Steel Manufacturers Association President Philip K. Bell said. "With his co-chairman, U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) and vice chairman U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky (D-IN), we have caucus leadership that supports and understands the vital role of 21st Century Steelmaking in this country.”