Chamber Drops Cash For Pro-Outsourcing Sens. Portman And Toomey

Chamber Drops Cash For Pro-Outsourcing Sens. Portman And Toomey

Washington, D.C. — We know why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is starting early. The 2016 senate elections are more than a year away, and the Chamber knows it’s going to be an uphill battle to keep the senate red — erm, pro-business.

The Chamber isn’t shy about shipping American jobs to China, and they are dropping cash for Republican senators with the same agenda. Pro-outsourcing Senators Rob Portman and Pat Toomey are going to need all the help they can get. Both are considered to be among the most vulnerable Republican senators up for election in 2016 and both have shamelessly voted against giving tax deductions to businesses wanting to bring jobs back to America and supported keeping taxes low for businesses outsourcing Ohio and Pennsylvania jobs overseas.

The Chamber may have cash-lined pockets, but it’s going to take more than a few measly ads to get Sen. Portman and Sen. Toomey out of this one. They are going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Jessica Mackler, president of American Bridge 21st Century said, “The Chamber is desperate to keep the Senate in the hands of the Republicans and to keep pro-outsourcing senators, like Toomey and Portman, in office. The Chamber isn’t accountable to those who have lost their jobs in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Toomey and Portman are. They may have helped the Chamber fight to keep exporting American jobs, but their jobs are going to be harder to fight for as the voters take a closer look at their records.”

Background:

Chamber Of Commerce And Outsourcing 

U.S. Chamber President Tom Donahue: Outsourcing Should Not Be A Concern Because Only “Two, Maybe Three Million Jobs, Maybe Four” Would Be Lost. According to The Huffington Post, “In 2004, Chamber head Tom Donohue made the case that outsourcing shouldn’t be a concern because only ‘two, maybe three million jobs, maybe four’ would be lost. ‘American companies employ 140 million Americans,’ Donohue said in a CNN interview that Chamber opponents are happy to remind him of. ‘They provide health care for 160 million Americans. They provide training in terms of 40 billion a year. The outsourcing deal over three or four or five years and the two or three sets of numbers are only going to be, you know, maybe two, maybe three million jobs, maybe four.’” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11] 

U.S. Chamber President: “There Are Legitimate Values in Outsourcing.” According to the transcript of an interview with U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, “DONOHUE: [T]here are legitimate values in outsourcing ‐‐ not only jobs, but work ‐‐ to gain technical experience and benefit we don’t have here, to lower the price of products, which means more and more of them are brought into the United States, used, for example, I.T., much broader use than it was 10 years ago, create more and more jobs. But the bottom line is that we outsource very few jobs in relation to the size of our economy. We employ ‐‐ American companies employ 140 million Americans. They provide health care for 160 million Americans. They provide training in terms of 40 billion a year. The outsourcing deal over three or four or five years and the two or three sets of numbers are only going to be, you know, maybe two, maybe three million jobs, maybe four.” [CNN – Lou Dobbs Tonight, 2/10/04] 

Huffington Post Headline: “GOP, U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Beat Back Bill To Combat Outsourcing.” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11]

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Has “Aggressively Battled The Effort To Reduce Outsourcing.” According to The Huffington Post, “The Chamber, which represents businesses in the United States, has aggressively battled the effort to reduce outsourcing.” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11]

During The Stimulus Debate, The U.S. Chamber “Fought Efforts To Include A Provision That Would Encourage Taxpayer Money To Be Spent On Products Made By Domestic Companies.” According to The Huffington Post, “During the debate over the stimulus, the U.S. Chamber fought efforts to include a provision that would encourage taxpayer money to be spent on products made by domestic companies.” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11] 

  • U.S. Chamber Letter To U.S. Senate: The Provision Would “Impede U.S. Economic Growth, And Ultimately Result In The Loss Of Jobs.” According to The Huffington Post, “The bill included a payroll tax holiday for companies that bring jobs back from overseas, ended tax breaks for plants that shut down to go elsewhere, and blocked companies from deferring their tax bill year to year by keeping money out of the U.S. The U.S. Chamber, in a letter to the Senate, outlined its opposition to the measure and said that it may use the vote to rate how friendly to business a senator is in the lobby’s annual scorecard. The bill, argued the Chamber, would ‘significantly curtail [tax] deferral [of earnings], reversing longstanding tax policy and subjecting American worldwide companies to immediate double taxation on the earnings of their foreign subsidiaries. Limiting deferral would hinder the global competitiveness of these American companies, impede U.S. economic growth, and ultimately result in the loss of jobs – both at the companies directly impacted and companies in their supply chains.’” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11] 

U.S. Chamber Proposed Using The Vote On The 2010 Outsourcing Bill “To Rate How Friendly To Business A Senator Is In The Lobby’s Annual Scorecard.” According to The Huffington Post, “The bill included a payroll tax holiday for companies that bring jobs back from overseas, ended tax breaks for plants that shut down to go elsewhere, and blocked companies from deferring their tax bill year to year by keeping money out of the U.S. The U.S. Chamber, in a letter to the Senate, outlined its opposition to the measure and said that it may use the vote to rate how friendly to business a senator is in the lobby’s annual scorecard.” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11] 

U.S. Chamber Letter To U.S. Senate Defending Outsourcing: “Replacing A Job That Is Based In Another Country With A Domestic Job Does Not Stimulate Economic Growth Or Enhance The Competitiveness Of American Worldwide Companies.” According to The Huffington Post, “During the debate over the stimulus, the U.S. Chamber fought efforts to include a provision that would encourage taxpayer money to be spent on products made by domestic companies. It opposed the outsourcing bill, arguing in a letter to the Senate that ‘the concept of economic growth is not a zero-sum game. Replacing a job that is based in another country with a domestic job does not stimulate economic growth or enhance the competitiveness of American worldwide companies.’” [Huffington Post, 5/25/11] 

In 2009, U.S. Chamber Advertised The China International Service Outsourcing Cooperation Conference On Its Website. According to the U.S. Chamber’s website, “The 2nd China International Service Outsourcing Cooperation Conference (CISOCC) will be held June 23-24 at the Nanjing International Exposition Center, Nanjing, China.” [USChamber.com, accessed 7/8/15] 

  • CISOCC Offered “A Unique Opportunity To Learn From International Strategic Outsourcing Experts And Senior Executives From Multi-National Companies.” According to the U.S. Chamber’s website, “The 2nd CISOCC will focus on seizing opportunities during the global economic slowdown through sourcing cooperation. The CISOCC offers a unique opportunity to learn from international strategic outsourcing experts and senior executives from multi-national companies. The CISOCC will include introductions to potential partners with match-making meetings.” [USChamber.com, accessed 7/8/15]  

Pat Toomey And Outsourcing

2012

Toomey Voted Against A Bill That Provided Tax Incentives For Companies To Bring Jobs Back From Outside the U.S. And Eliminated Tax Incentives To Companies That Move Jobs Offshore. In July 2012, Toomey voted against a bill that, according to CNN, “would give tax breaks for companies that ‘insource’ jobs to the U.S. from overseas while eliminating tax deductions for companies that move jobs abroad.” The bill was defeated in a cloture vote 56-42. [Senate Vote 181, 7/19/2012; CNN, 7/19/2012]

  • Bill Would Give Companies Moving Jobs To The US A Credit Equal To 20% Of The Cost Of Bringing Jobs To The U.S. According to a Press Release from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, “Companies bringing jobs home would still be able to claim the current moving expense deduction when bringing jobs home, and would also receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the cost associated with bringing jobs and business activity back to the United States.” [Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, 6/19/2012]
  • Bill Would Have Prevented Businesses From Deducting The Cost Of Moving Personnel, Business Operations Overseas From Their Taxes. According to a press release from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, “Right now, the cost of moving personnel and company operations to a new location is defined as a business expense that qualifies for a tax deduction. Senator Stabenow’s legislation would no longer allow this deduction for companies that move jobs and business activity outside of the U.S.” [Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, 6/19/2012]
  • U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Opposed Bill, Said It “Would Hamper American Worldwide Companies’ Competitiveness.” According to CNN, “In a letter to senators this week, the Chamber of Commerce called the bill ‘misguided’ and said it ‘would hamper American worldwide companies’ competitiveness, increase complexity in the Internal Revenue Code, and threaten economic growth.’ The Chamber said it would count how senators voted on this motion in their annual ‘How they [sic] Voted’ scorecard.” [CNN, 7/19/2012]

2014 

2014: Toomey Effectively Voted Against Legislation Barring Companies From Deducting The Costs Of Moving Jobs Out Of The U.S. From Their Taxes, And Providing A Tax Credit For Moving Jobs Into The U.S. In July 2014, Toomey effectively voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would give businesses a tax credit for up to 20 percent of the expenses incurred to bring work done in foreign countries back into the United States, if the business also increases its number of full-time employees. It also would prohibit tax deductions for expenses incurred when moving jobs outside the U.S.” The vote was on a motion to end debate on the bill, which required 60 votes to succeed. The Senate rejected the motion by a vote of 54 to 42. [Senate Vote 249, 7/30/14; Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/14]

Rob Portman And Outsourcing

2012

Portman Voted Against A Bill That Provided Tax Incentives For Companies To Bring Jobs Back From Outside the U.S. And Eliminated Tax Incentives To Companies That Move Jobs Offshore. In July 2012, Portman voted against a bill that, according to CNN, “would give tax breaks for companies that ‘insource’ jobs to the U.S. from overseas while eliminating tax deductions for companies that move jobs abroad.” The bill was defeated in a cloture vote 56-42. [Senate Vote 181, 7/19/2012; CNN, 7/19/2012]

  • The Bill Would Give Companies Moving Jobs To The US A Credit Equal To 20% Of The Cost Of Bringing Jobs To The U.S. According to a Press Release from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, “Companies bringing jobs home would still be able to claim the current moving expense deduction when bringing jobs home, and would also receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the cost associated with bringing jobs and business activity back to the United States.” [Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, 6/19/2012]

  • Bill Would Have Prevented Businesses From Deducting The Cost Of Moving Personnel, Business Operations Overseas From Their Taxes. According to a press release from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, “Right now, the cost of moving personnel and company operations to a new location is defined as a business expense that qualifies for a tax deduction. Senator Stabenow’s legislation would no longer allow this deduction for companies that move jobs and business activity outside of the U.S.” [Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, 6/19/2012]
  • U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Opposed Bill, Said It “Would Hamper American Worldwide Companies’ Competitiveness.” According to CNN, “In a letter to senators this week, the Chamber of Commerce called the bill ‘misguided’ and said it ‘would hamper American worldwide companies’ competitiveness, increase complexity in the Internal Revenue Code, and threaten economic growth.’ The Chamber said it would count how senators voted on this motion in their annual ‘How they [sic] Voted’ scorecard.” [CNN, 7/19/2012]

2014

2014: Portman Effectively Voted Against Legislation Barring Companies From Deducting The Costs Of Moving Jobs Out Of The U.S. From Their Taxes, And Providing A Tax Credit For Moving Jobs Into The U.S. In July 2014, Portman effectively voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would give businesses a tax credit for up to 20 percent of the expenses incurred to bring work done in foreign countries back into the United States, if the business also increases its number of full-time employees. It also would prohibit tax deductions for expenses incurred when moving jobs outside the U.S.” The vote was on a motion to end debate on the bill, which required 60 votes to succeed. The Senate rejected the motion by a vote of 54 to 42. [Senate Vote 249, 7/30/14; Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/14]