What: All Issues : War & Peace : H.R. 1950. State Department Authorization/Vote to Improve the Economic Vitality of the U.S. Communications Satellite Industry. (2003 house Roll Call 366)
 Who: All Members
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H.R. 1950. State Department Authorization/Vote to Improve the Economic Vitality of the U.S. Communications Satellite Industry.
house Roll Call 366     Jul 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

U.S. trade laws require communication satellite (COMSAT) producers to obtain a license from the State Department before they are able to negotiate with a prospective satellite buyer. As a result of the often-lengthy licensing process, U.S. COMSAT producers often must wait weeks before formal negotiations with a prospective buyer are allowed to proceed. Similar bureaucratic hurdles and delays no not exist in other countries and, with the U.S. COMSAT market in economic decline, Representative Tauscher (D-CA) offered an amendment to the State Department authorization bill which would have expedited the licensing process for buyers in NATO (allied) countries and thereby allowed U.S. COMSAT producers to sell their products in a more timely manner. Progressives voted in favor of Tauscher's amendment as a way to level the playing field between the U.S. satellite industry and its foreign competitors and thereby insure the industry's future success. Fostering a vibrant domestic COMSAT industry, Progressives argued, was necessary to insure continued U.S.-dominance in defense-related technologies. Opponents, however, worried that a looser licensing process would allow U.S.-made COMSATs to fall into enemy hands. On a vote of 207-219, the Tauscher amendment was defeated and the licensing process remained unchanged.

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