September 28th, 2010
04:01 PM ET
10 years ago

GOP blocks Democrats' jobs outsourcing bill

Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans successfully blocked a bill from coming to the Senate floor Tuesday that Democrats claim would help keep American jobs from going overseas.

Republicans call it nothing more than a pre-election political ploy.

The Democratic bill would have ended certain tax breaks for companies expanding overseas while giving new tax incentives to businesses bringing jobs home.


Democratic sources tell CNN they knew all along this measure would not make it very far. That was beside the point.

The point, Democratic strategists candidly admit, was to use the last few days of the congressional session before the election to try to highlight one of the few jobs-related issues Democrats feel they may be able to use against Republicans: outsourcing.

"No question people are angry at Democrats because the economy is bad and we are in charge," Democratic pollster Mark Mellman said.

"People are even more angry about jobs going overseas than they are about the absence of jobs as they look around their communities. So we're trying to focus that anger."

Mellman has done polling on outsourcing, and advised congressional Democrats to push it as political issue, calling it one of the most "potent" issues Democrats have to work with.

"It's a bright line. It's not enough to change the whole political climate. (But) is it enough win some seats somewhere? I think the answer is yes," he said.

Democrats across the country have already been hammering Republicans for sending jobs overseas - both on the campaign trail and in television ads.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D- California, is airing an ad against her opponent, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Carly Fiorina, saying she "shipped jobs to China while Californians lost their jobs."

In Ohio, Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher ran ad against former congressman and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, saying, "Congressman Portman knows how to grow the economy - in China. He voted for millions in tax breaks that exported jobs."

Rep. Paul Kanjorksi, D-Pennsylvania, claims in one of his ads to be "on the side of working families" while his opponent "favors tax breaks that ship jobs overseas."

Those are just a few examples of many similar advertisements and arguments Democratic candidates are using against GOP opponents.

Democratic congressional aides say they hope by trying to force this vote in the Senate, and a series of similar measures in the House, it will give them even more ammunition for that message.

Republicans say they disagree that these measures will keep jobs in America and are lashing out at Democrats for holding last minute political votes.

"Now, in the last three days of the session they decided they can pretend to be concerned. This is nothing short of patronizing," argued Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

"This is about as pure a political exercise as you can get. And in my view it is an insult to the millions of Americans who want us to focus on jobs."

Are Democrats concerned that pushing such transparently politically votes just before the election could backfire?

Mellman, the Democratic pollster, says they shouldn't be.

"I don't think anyone is shocked about politics going on in the Congress of the United States," he said.

"Democrats are trying to bring [this issue] to a head. Republicans can vote for this and the issue would be gone."


Filed under: issues • Senate • Taxes
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Beverly - NYC

    Abe, perhaps you should re-read the article without your Republian rose colored glasses. How is the tax is job killer when American companies like Nike are having their $200 sneakers made in Vietnam. Surely there are workers in the US than can sew a swoosh. The companies are not being prevented from outsourcing, but there should be a cost to doing do. Their profit margin will not be affected when the product is made for $5 and sold for $200 plus here because the right celebrity wears their product.

    September 28, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. papanez

    When will the GOP stop putting politics and their return to power ahead of all else? These guys are the biggest phonies going. They put this country in peril then stand in front of Americans screaming "No no no no" to everything and anything that might help us. And with the backing of their 24 hour TV network, FOX News, they continue to spread lies, half-truths, fear, intolerance, and hatred. The citizens of this country had better wise up and start paying attention to frauds like Fox and the GOP or we will sink to third world status in no time.

    September 28, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. stufit

    Sorry to be late to comment on this. I was rolling on the floor laughing at the liberal responses to Obamas latest dmeaning and degrading those of us who watch Fox and showing their absolute ignorance of the subject and their slavish, non questioning devotion to the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president the country has ever had. And they then have the unmitigated gall to accuse Fox watchers of being racist, bigoted and anti-feminist. The unions just haven't taught them any better.

    September 28, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. SayWhat

    So which way do you want it GOP? Do you want to encourage corporations to keep jobs in the US or do you want to let them go overseas and call the Democrats "job-killers"? I think that we know who the "job-killers" are.

    September 28, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Dave

    Republicans don't care to address unemployment. They've proven that time and time again.

    September 28, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    "Republicans call it nothing more than a pre-election political ploy..."

    And what do you call that "Pledge to NOwhere" the RepubliCAN'Ts are pushing and changing every time they breathe and /or someone else criticize it????

    And we have another NO coming from the "peanut' factory because that is all they are worth. This is almost a 'perfect' bill that BOTH sides would have benefitted from. The RepubliCAN'Ts could have said "you see, we're NOT all about NO" and the Democrats could not say any 'anything' negative and just add it to YET ANOHTER ACCOMPLISHMENT President Obama has fulfilled!!!

    DEMOCRATS – force the Politicians in your area to STATE the CASE and mean it – UNITE the BASE and be proud of it – so we can WIN these LOCAL RACES in November 2010. We are the constituents that put them in office – and we will remember them in the next election to get them OUT!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia – the Original – and I approve this message!!!

    September 28, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    When companies end up going out of business because they can't compete with their international competitors, how many jobs will then be lost? We care about international markets because we live in a global economy and those international companies can ship their cheaper goods into our country. Take an economics class, America. Businesses fail when their costs are too high to make a profit. Then more people become unemployed.

    September 28, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. im a college student and i understand this

    When companies end up going out of business because they can't compete with their international competitors, how many jobs will then be lost? We care about international markets because we live in a global economy and those international companies can ship their cheaper goods into our country. Take an economics class, America. Businesses fail when their costs are too high to make a profit. Then more people become unemployed.

    September 28, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. OHVillager

    I'm a consevative and I don't understand why we pay, through tax breaks, to send our jobs overseas. That is insane and why would any elected official be against stopping this?

    September 28, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Not True

    Last time I checked BOTH the house and the Senate had Democratic majorities; super majorities in the recent past and yet the Republicans blocked a bill???? How is this possible when Dems control both chambers of congress and the Presidency??? IT'S NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT DEMS VOTING AGAINST IT.

    This is total BS... the Dems have had 2 years of total control to pass whatever legislation they wanted to pass – and yet all we have is a failed spending bill and an even worst miss on health care.

    Time to clean house and start over – just throw out all incumbents - it can't get any worst; let someone else try.

    September 28, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    When is the republicans going to put their childish behavior aside and start doing for the American people? I am so tired of hearing them say no no no no no!

    September 28, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. MDM

    Some people here obviously have not read the bill, it is pure protectionism. If you are a multinational company that makes a profit if Europe, this bill would tax in the U.S. as well as paying foriegn taxes.

    Most businesses would not accept being taxed twice and move ALL operations offshore.

    Idiots

    September 28, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This is NOT a complicated issue. If you send our jobs oveseas to increase your profits, you should be taxed up the ying-yang. If you keep, create or bring jobs here we'll give you tax-breaks. The premise folks is to keep the jobs here at home, or bring them back home. The problem for the Rethuglikkklan is that that would hurt the deep pockets of their Big Business buddies.

    Remember the Retthuglikkklan jerk that actually stood up for BP when they were made to accept full responsibility for their little fiasco in the Gulf? That's the only times that RethugliKKKlans bleed is when you hold their corporate friends accountable for raping and practically destroying our country.

    If you, the average American like being screwed AND unemployed, then by all means, vote RETHUGLIKKKLAN.

    September 28, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. smarty

    And yet middle class idiots will still support the Republican party. Why vote in their best interests if it supports the other party? Any working class person who supports the Republican Party especially after this has mush for brains and should be label too incompetent to vote!

    September 28, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Scott

    Things that I truly enjoy hearing conservatives say:

    1. "We need to shrink the size of government and decrease taxes so we can pay the national debt!" – Yes, because shrinking the government and taking in even less revenue will enable us to... oh, right. Still can't pay the debt without more revenue. Shrinking the government only goes so far. It won't help pay the debt. Also, the rich will always be able to find tax loop holes and get out of paying as much taxes as they should be.

    2. "The riches 2% create the most jobs so they deserve tax breaks!" – That's partially true but skewed. The rich folks do create *some* jobs. But... a lot of those jobs go overseas to India and China. Sure, it increases their profit margins but it takes jobs away from Americans who need them. Less jobs for Americans = less money in the economy.

    The rich save their money. They save and invest it. They buy things, yes, but not at the save percentage as the middle- and lower-class do. The mid's & low's, by far, put a higher percentage of their incomes into the economy just trying to keep their heads above water. The economic impact of the middle class having more money to spend far outweighs the economic impact of the rich saving their money and investing it overseas.

    Anyway, nice job, conservatives. You're ruining the United States, one bill at a time.

    September 28, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Drunken Monkey

    This is what I HATE about congress and the childish behavior going on. I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent pretending to be either one, This is a bill that would have kept, or brought back, some jobs to the US.

    This really makes me sick.

    September 28, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. jim

    "Now, in the last three days of the session they decided they can pretend to be concerned. This is nothing short of patronizing," argued Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

    At least the Dems pretend to be concerned – the GOP has no concerns at all when it comes to the US worker. The GOP could care less about American jobs – HELLO??!!!???

    Just make the rich, richer – that is their "Contract with America". Must be a Mafia thing.

    September 28, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. slipthalo

    How many times will the Republicans in Congress vote against the middle class and the American workers AND why do all votes in the Senate have to have 60 votes to pass?

    September 28, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. smg71

    So I keep reading how if we cut taxes to big business the jobs will come back from overseas from various posters here. Do you get that they are already receiving tax breaks? That your tax dollars are going to them and they are STILL shipping work overseas? These are businesses, such as Apple, with 90 percent of their workforce overseas, receiving goods as American Based companies that are fully produced overseas and not paying the taxes and tariffs that an importer would even though with their workforce setup that is exactly what they are!

    Yet we continue to give these companies with 90 percent of their workforce overseas and 70+percent of their business being inside of the US government contracts that are then sent to workers overseas. How the heck is this helping the American people?

    I'm sorry of business doesn't like being told they are importers when they consider themselves American Companies, but that is exactly what htey are, and they should pay the taxes appropriate for that type of business.

    As to GOP supporters, please explain how the 15 million people out of work because of this outsourcing are supposed to follow your precepts: a: Get a job (when you are allowing them to be shipped overseas) b: Live off of air (because you don't want to support your policies that put them in this position by paying unemployment) c: Give the rich tax breaks (because we no longer have 15 million people paying taxes and the difference has to be covered by someone) d: Bail out our banks (because it's protecting the money of the people who still have jobs) e: Support your "Illegal aliens are taking my jobs" Really? The white collar out of work people I ran into when I was out of work didn't say "a mexican took my job" they said "My job was outsourced to India, Germany, Brazil, Poland, Russia and China and now the cheaper market of Africa"

    You people make no sense. I'm a Republican and I ran the numbers. You cannot run an economy with no money and your policies are bleeding Billions from it every year.

    September 28, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Jess C

    The Dems need to hammer this one home! They need to get tough and ugly if need be. People need to wake up out of their stupor and see the GOP for what it is....a party that wants to get back in control so they can repeat the same failed policies they used to get us in this mess. This is only proof they don't have real solutions. Fools who vote Republican deserve what they get, a party that represents big business and the wealthy only; they don't give a damn about us middle class. Funny thing is that many middle to lower class are suckered by their lip service. Go figure....

    September 28, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. MARFORPAC

    Middle class Americans voting for a Republican/TeaParty candidate in November is equivalent to putting a bullet through your head, treason, and absolute lack of any common sense whatsoever. They are using your vote to tear this country apart, they are playing you like a puppet on a string, wake up and stop being so ignorant! This was a good measure to keep jobs in the US and they voted against it. It's wrong no matter how to try to spin it.

    “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

    September 28, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Tina in PA

    what more proof does anyone need. The republicans do not care about regular people. They shout about job creation louder than anyone. Is this their idea of how to go about that. I'm not shocked I knew it all along. But, for those of you who couldn't see it, as the song goes "woops there it is" . Now let hear or read the right spin out of this one. Bring it on.

    September 28, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    Just more proof that the GOP hates America and Americans.

    September 28, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Tammy

    I just lost my IT job to overseas outsourcing. No Republican is getting my vote this November.

    September 28, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. jim germann

    almost all the business groups in the u.s.says this will kill jobs. Dana Bash forgot to tell you that. also, i dont see any cnn story,where seiu union head is being investigated by the FBI. Can you say acorn redux. lets vote on all tax cuts being extended.That will instantly remove alot of the doubt for businesses around the country. Just a simple vote, yeah or nay. then you can also vote to raise taxes on any american or business who makes over $250k. Raising taxes on any individual or business, in an awful economy is dumber than dumb. Even the democrats know it, thats why there is no vote.

    September 28, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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