If you’re located in one of the battleground states for November’s election, you’ve probably seen at least one advertisement accusing presidential hopeful Mitt Romney of outsourcing American jobs overseas. Recently, the war of words between President Obama and his Republican rival escalated into an attack on offshoring itself.
In July, Senate Democrats tried to advance a bill intended to curb overseas outsourcing and bring jobs back to the United States. The Bring Jobs Home Act would give companies that return jobs to the United States from overseas a tax break to cover 20% of their insourcing expenses. To pay for that tax cut, it would end deductions for outsourcing expenses currently available to companies that move jobs overseas.
The bill, which was sponsored by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), never came to a vote. Democrats were four votes shy of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster. Four Republicans, including medtech-friendly senator Scott Brown (R-MA), broke ranks with their party to join Democrats’ attempt to force a vote on the measure.
Republicans filibustered the measure because senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to consider Republican-proposed amendments to the bill, including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and an extension of tax cuts passed during the term of former president George W. Bush.
The bill is in line with President Obama’s goal of rewarding American jobs instead of outsourcing, which was among the five to-do list items he presented to Congress back in May. After the measure failed to come to a vote, White House press secretary Jay Carney criticized Republicans for blocking it.
“Rather than encouraging companies to bring jobs back to our shores, they chose to play politics and block measures that will create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” Carney said in a statement. “We will continue to push Congress to act on proposals like this one and the other remaining portions of the President’s American Jobs Act that independent economists say would create a million new American Jobs.”
Two similar bills exist in the House, as well as another in the Senate.