(NEW YORK) — Lawmakers were outraged Thursday after an ABC World News report revealed that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony outfits are made in China. Some suggested making a bonfire with the outfits, which include berets and blazers.
“I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.
Team USA will be marching into the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony wearing Ralph Lauren blazers and berets, much as they did four years ago when Lauren dressed them. ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi reported Wednesday evening that every clothing item that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.
Reid said today that the U.S. Olympic committee should be “ashamed of themselves,” and “embarrassed,” that the items were made in China, especially when people in the textile industry in America are looking for jobs.
The Congressional reaction on Capitol Hill today extended to both houses and both parties.
“You’d think they know better,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH., said in response to a question from ABC News.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that since the Olympic athletes represent the very best in America they should be wearing uniforms made in America.
“They work so hard. They represent the very best, and they’re so excellent. It’s all so beautiful. And they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”
Already there is a movement on Capitol Hill to make changes so this does not happen again at future Olympic Games. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter Thursday morning to the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Lawrence Probst, calling this revelation “shocking and deeply disappointing” and asking all U.S. team’s uniforms be made in America in the future.
ABC News reached out to Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Olympic Committee Wednesday and asked why American-made clothing had not been selected for the athletes. The committee responded with a statement: “The U.S. Olympic team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors. We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Doug Criss, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Allie Malloy and Kevin Liptak, CNN