Burns named co-leader of House Steel Caucus

Looks forward to working with GOP counterpart

EBENSBURG, June 21 – Saying the move meshes perfectly with a key component of his legislative agenda, state Rep. Frank Burns has been elevated to Democratic chairman of the House Steel Caucus, which focuses on policy and issues important to Pennsylvania’s steel and metals industry.

In his new capacity, Burns, D-Cambria, intends to work closely with his Republican counterpart, state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington, to protect and advance steel industry growth and jobs.

“A big goal of my ‘American Made Jobs Plan’ is to restore manufacturing jobs by requiring use of U.S.-made steel in construction or repair of all underground pipelines, and in any private project that receives taxpayer funding,” Burns said. “I’ve now acquired a larger platform from which to make that argument, and I look forward to working with Representative Mihalek to advance my proposal, as well as others that help the steel industry and its workers.”

Mihalek, who, like Burns is new to the role and thus bringing a fresh perspective, said, “Pennsylvania, specifically my hometown of Pittsburgh, is a leader in the steel industry, and while the past year has put a strain on our economy, I am confident we can remain a leader. I am eager to work with members of the caucus to make a real change for the industry and its employees. We will need both sides of the aisle to support our efforts and I can’t think of a better co-chair to tackle this issue with than Representative Burns.”

Burns and Mihalek said the steel industry is a vital component of Pennsylvania’s economy, employing more than 34,000 workers who earn $3.14 billion in annual wages and generate $22.45 billion worth of output, according to a 2018 study by the American Iron and Steel Institute.

“We are committed to forming a Steel Caucus that works together in a bipartisan manner to be a strong voice, both inside and outside of the Capitol, on important public policy issues,” Burns and Mihalek said. “We intend to be an active caucus that hosts policy discussions with the industry, visits steel and metals manufacturing sites across the state, and is at the forefront of state-level steel industry policy issues.”

In addition to his new role as Steel Caucus Democratic chairman, Burns is longtime Democratic chairman of the House Blue Lives Matter Caucus, and he was recently named Democratic chairman of the House Second Amendment Caucus.