Senate GOP split on importance of currency bill

“Whether it’s 2 million, or less than 2 million, it [the devaluing of Chinese currency] has cost jobs of decent hard-working Americans," argued Sessions. "It’s occurred because of the manipulation of the currency.” 

McCain, for his part,  acknowledged that Chinese government’s persistent devaluing of their own currency was contributing to job loss but that its impact was small enough that Senate leadership ought to delay the bill for debate in “happier times.” 

Sessions countered, however, that the currency issue was “a very real matter” that had cost Alabama 44,000 jobs since 2001.

 “That just speaks about how large the impact is,” said Sessions. “I don’t think there is any doubt that it’s substantial and we’ve been feeling it for years.”

Sessions later denounced both the Obama and Bush administrations for their passivity in dealing with currency devaluations regarding trade with China and he proposed legislation, which will likely appear this week as a an amendment, which would force the Commerce Department to take currency manipulation into account when evaluating countervailing duties. 

Sessions noted that, “the Obama administration has not instructed them (the Commerce Department) to do so and neither has his predecessor.”

This story was updated at 5:13 p.m.