GOP Senators block anti-outsourcing bill

Photograph of a call center job advertisement posted on a building in Bangalore, India.

The kind of employment infusion GOP supporters would be happy to see. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Paul Keller/Flickr)

Unemployment continues to run rampant in America and reports of a hiring thaw have been somewhat exaggerated. This news has failed to derail the partisan train, however. The Washington Post reports that Senate Republicans have managed to block a Democratic bill that would penalize U.S. companies for outsourcing jobs. Motion to debate the anti-outsourcing bill on the Senate floor failed, 53 to 45.

Anti-outsourcing bill could have brought jobs back to U.S. soil

According to the Post, the Democratic outsourcing bill would have raised taxes on corporations that move jobs overseas and rewarded companies that return jobs to the U.S. in the form of payroll tax hiatus incentives that would last two years. Outsourcing was viewed as a big issue by Senate Democrats, particularly after they’d decided to jettison middle class tax cuts before midterm elections. Showing concern for the manufacturing jobs lost by the American Midwest and East Coast could have scored Democrats major political points, writes the Post.

Wait until after the elections to decide

Such gamesmanship is common when seats are on the line. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and White House senior adviser David Axelrod may be determined to act before middle-class tax cuts expire in January (raising taxes on income, dividends, capital gains and inheritance), but first things first, politically speaking. Republicans want the cuts to be extended – perhaps because their version of the cuts would extend to wealthy campaign supporters – and while Democrats fear the political impact of raising taxes, they may also be uneasy about the economic impact of keeping taxes down. Whatever the case, America is waiting for a decision from Congress. Unfortunately, that decision appears to be on the back burner.

No tax news, no jobs returning home, no business but the usual

The Democrats estimate that the proposed “anti-outsourcing” measure would have cost $720 million over 10 years. While those numbers may seem as staggering as any other measure proposed by Congress, the potential influx of jobs back onto American soil could be a boon. That is, if businesses even maintain such jobs when they’re essentially forced to pay more for the same labor. If a business cannot compete from the U.S. against foreign markets, one might wonder what’s to stop them from seeing if the grass is greener on the other side? “Cash now” business as usual no longer fits the global economic climate.

Sources:

Washington Post

Cenk Uygur on GOP view of outsourcing

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