Hatch Calls on Leadership to Consider Job-Creating Amendments to the “Bring Jobs Home Act”
In Speech on Senate Floor, Utah Senator Says, “The Senate Democrats want to portray the Republicans as the party of outsourcing. So, they’ve crafted a bill that will do nothing to actually address the problem of outsourcing, but will provide them with a few days’ worth of talking points on the subject.”
WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called on Senate leadership to consider his pro-job amendments to S.2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act.
“The stated purpose of this bill is create and protect American jobs. Republicans have amendments that would do that and more. I’ve just mentioned a few such amendments that would have a far greater impact on American workers and businesses than the bill before us today. If we’re serious about this idea of creating jobs in the U.S., let’s have a real debate about it. Let’s discuss some alternative approaches. Let’s talk about the real problems that are hampering job growth. And, let’s vote on some of the ideas that we’ve proposed,” said Hatch.
A list of Hatch amendments are available here.
Below is the text of Hatch’s full speech delivered on the Senate floor today:
Mr. President, the Senate is currently debating the so-called Bring Jobs Home Act, a bill supposedly aimed at preserving and creating jobs in the United States.
However, as I noted here on the floor yesterday, the Bring Jobs Home Act is little more than political posturing and election-year messaging.
The Senate Democrats want to portray the Republicans as the party of outsourcing. So, they’ve crafted a bill that will do nothing to actually address the problem of outsourcing, but will provide them with a few days’ worth of talking points on the subject.
We went through precisely this same exercise in 2012.
We voted on the exact same bill during the last election cycle.
It was meaningless then and it’s meaningless now.
Like I said, I went over this yesterday. I talked at some length about the shortcomings of this bill. And, I don’t want to rehash all of that today.
Instead, I’d like to take just a few minutes to talk about some things we could be doing to create and protect American jobs. I’ve filed some amendments to this bill that I think would actually do something along those lines. And, if we get a chance to offer amendments to this bill – which is, of course, doubtful – I think these are the types of amendments we should consider.
One of my amendments is a four-part tax amendment and would help businesses create jobs in the United States. If enacted, it would provide additional cash-flow for businesses that would allow them to hire workers, increase wages, and invest in plant and equipment in the United States, among other things. It would do so by making four separate temporary tax provisions permanent.
The first of these provisions relates to Section 179 small business expensing. My amendment would permanently increase the amount of equipment, certain real property, and software that a business can deduct in a year to $500,000 and index that amount to inflation.
The second provision would make bonus depreciation permanent, allowing businesses to permanently deduct 50 percent of the cost of qualified property in the first year that property is placed in service.
My amendment would also make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent, increasing the alternative simplified credit to 20 percent and eliminating the traditional research and development credit test.
Finally, the amendment would permanently provide for a full exclusion of capital gains income derived from the sale of stock of certain small Subchapter C corporations held on a long term basis.
Together these four provisions would provide much-needed certainty for job creating businesses and allow companies to more effectively plan for the future.
If we’re going to amend the tax code in the name of creating jobs, this is a far better approach as it removes uncertainty and simplifies elements of the code. The Bring Jobs Home Act would actually do the opposite.
I’ve also filed two health-related amendments to this bill.
The first of these amendments would repeal the medical device tax that was included as part of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare’s $24 billion tax on life-saving and life-improving medical devices is reducing U.S. employment.
A recent study by industry group AdvaMed estimated the tax has cost as many as 165,000 jobs. That’s 165,000 American jobs eliminated by this misguided tax.
Ten percent of respondents to that survey have relocated manufacturing outside of the country or expanded manufacturing abroad rather than in the U.S.
The tax is also curbing American innovation.
Thirty percent of AdvaMed survey respondents have reduced their investments in research and development.
If we really want to keep companies from moving American jobs offshore, this is a far better approach. It’s far more substantial, and, as the survey data shows, it will have an immediate, real-world impact on jobs in the U.S.
And, it’s bipartisan.
Republicans and Democrats support repeal of the medical device tax. Last year, 79 Senators – including 34 Democrats – voted to repeal the tax.
It really is a no-brainer, Mr./Mdm. President. I hope we can finally get a vote on it.
My other health care amendment would repeal Obamacare’s job-killing employer mandate.
As we all know, the so-called Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide health coverage to their workers or pay a $2,000 tax per employee.
This deters business growth as it discourages small businesses from hiring more than 50 employees and has led many employers to cut workers’ hours to keep from going over the mandate’s threshold.
Even the administration has acknowledged that the employer mandate is harmful. They’ve already delayed it several times in hopes of delaying its harmful impact during an election year.
If we really want to keep people in their jobs and encourage businesses to hire more American workers, repealing the employer mandate would go a long way.
My last amendment would advance U.S. trade policy by renewing Trade Promotion Authority.
Specifically, the amendment contains the text of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014, a bill I introduced in January along with Chairman Camp of the House Ways and Means Committee and former Senator Baucus.
This bill establishes 21st century Congressional negotiating objectives and rules for the administration to follow when engaged in trade talks, including strict requirements for Congressional consultations and access to information.
If the administration follows these rules, the bill provides special procedures to more quickly move a negotiated deal through Congress.
Renewing TPA, which expired in 2007, is necessary to successfully conclude on-going trade negotiations, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as well as free trade agreement talks with the European Union (EU).
These are two landmark trade deals, with the potential to greatly boost U.S. exports.
The TPP countries – which represent many of the fastest-growing economies in the world – accounted for 40 percent of total U.S. goods exports in 2012.
And the EU purchased close to $460 billion in U.S. goods and services that same year, supporting 2.4 million American jobs.
In addition, the U.S. is negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) with 50 countries, covering about 50 percent of global GDP and over 70 percent of global services trade. This agreement would create many opportunities for U.S. jobs in this critical sector.
It is vital that we get these trade agreements over the finish line. And, the ONLY way we can do it is to renew Trade Promotion Authority.
My amendment provides a reasonable, bipartisan path forward on renewing TPA and would do far more to create jobs and grow our economy than the legislation before us today.
As with my other amendments, I hope we can vote on this TPA amendment.
Of course, I’m not the only Senator who has offered reasonable, job-creating amendments to the Bring Jobs Home Act. Numerous amendments have already been offered and I’m sure that more are on the way.
Sadly, if the recent past is any indication, there won’t be any votes on amendments to this bill.
The Bring Jobs Home Act is not designed to create jobs. It’s not even designed to pass the Senate.
Once again, the entire purpose of this bill is give Democrats some political talking points as the August recess approaches. Having an open and fair debate on amendments would distract from this partisan goal.
That being the case, it’s doubtful that any amendments are going to be considered on this legislation, which is a shame.
The stated purpose of this bill is create and protect American jobs. Republicans have amendments that would do that and more. I’ve just mentioned a few such amendments that would have a far greater impact on American workers and businesses than the bill before us today.
If we’re serious about this idea of creating jobs in the U.S., let’s have a real debate about it.
Let’s discuss some alternative approaches.
Let’s talk about the real problems that are hampering job growth.
And, let’s vote on some of the ideas that we’ve proposed.
I hope that we can do that this time around. But, of course, I’m not under any illusions that the Democratic leadership here in the Senate is about to change course and let this body function the way it’s supposed to.
I hope I’m wrong. But, sadly, I don’t think I am.
I yield the floor.