WASHINGTON – A bill that would end tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas could be the latest casualty in the increasing tension between Senate Democrats and Republicans before the midterm elections.
The Bring Jobs Home Act would end tax breaks for companies outsourcing jobs overseas and give companies incentives to move those jobs back to the United States. If the legislation fails, Democrats could have one more tool to paint Republicans as supporters of big business who are out of touch with middle-class job-seekers.
On Monday, Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign released a statement slamming opponent Rep. Cory Gardner’s, R-Yuma, 2012 vote against consideration of the original legislation to end tax breaks to companies outsourcing jobs.
“Congressman Gardner refuses to step back from his aggressive efforts to put corporate profits ahead of Colorado families,” said Udall for Colorado spokeswoman Kristin Lynch. “It’s clear that Gardner is trying to hide from his extreme agenda that threatens good-paying American jobs.”
The bill came up in 2012 but was blocked by Republican senators after Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused to include Republican amendments. Republicans have continued to criticize Reid for keeping amendments off of the table.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, Reid said Republicans should come up with a short list of amendments instead of tacking on what Reid and other Democrats have contested are a string of Republican amendments aimed at killing the bills.
“Everyone should know my answer. A list of amendments are the path to getting the bill done,” Reid said.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., highlighted the political déjà vu and said the jobs bill was yet another example of Democrats using the Senate floor “as the campaign studio.”
“Everyone knows the Democrats are simply not serious here. ... They want the bill to fail,” McConnell said on the floor. “Let’s skip the campaigning.”
Reid and other Democrats maintain it’s a no-brainer to keep jobs in the United States. Reid said over the last 10 years, the United States had “hemorrhaged” 2.5 million manufacturing jobs to overseas markets.
“When millions of Americans are looking for work in a recovering economy, few things could be more important,” Reid said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Every time an American closes a factory and moves to another country, taxpayers pick up part of that moving bill. ... We want to change that.”
In order for the legislation to move forward, Democrats need at least five Republicans to vote in favor of the legislation during what is expected to be a procedural vote today.
email@example.com. Mary Bowerman is a graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.