What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Outsourcing of American Jobs Overseas : A vote on a Democratic amendment to Senate corporate tax reform legislation (S. 1637), that would prohibit a federal government contract, including state contracts with any federal funding, from being performed outside the United States. (2004 senate Roll Call 32)
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A vote on a Democratic amendment to Senate corporate tax reform legislation (S. 1637), that would prohibit a federal government contract, including state contracts with any federal funding, from being performed outside the United States.
senate Roll Call 32     Mar 04, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

Progressives scored a victory in the course of Senate debate on corporate tax reform legislation (S. 1637), propelling a vote of 76-20 in favor of a Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) amendment that would prohibit a federal government contract, including state contracts with any federal funding, from being performed outside the United States. Dodd's amendment would require that within 90 days of the bill's enactment the Commerce secretary make an initial certification that the provisions in the amendment would not result in the loss of more jobs than they would protect and would not harm the U.S. economy. The certification would need to be renewed on or before Jan. 1 of each year for the amendment provisions to take effect for that coming year. National security agencies, including the Defense and Homeland Security departments, intelligence services and programs and certain Energy Department programs, would be exempt from the provisions barring offshore contracts. Conservatives, cognizant that a vote against the measure might look inappropriate, tried to avoid having the measure come up for a vote, but Democrats insisted. "Why not vote up or down instead of going through the gyration of trying to find some cute way of avoiding having to vote on this issue or coming up with some phony alternative believing that outsourcing is good for the economy?" Dodd asked. "I think shipping jobs away, destroying the manufacturing base and human capital investment that makes it possible in the 21st century for us to be competitive in a global economy is the wrong way to proceed." Still, Dodd's amendment, a compromise, included a number of broad exceptions including contracts for national security purposes and contracts involving countries that have already opened their procurement markets to U.S. bidders through international agreements. But conservatives said those exceptions did not go far enough in protecting business' right to expand, and said outsourcing was another form of trade. Conservatives vowed to revisit the amendment in conference committee with the House. Indeed, after the vote, Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said he believed the Dodd amendment to the corporate tax bill that limits outsourcing of federal contracts to overseas workers would have to be modified in conference to secure the support of President Bush. "I think it will have to be modified further if we are going to get the White House to sign it," he said.

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