Reid blocks GOP amendments to outsourcing bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked Republicans from offering amendments to a bill that would end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.

Last week, the Senate voted 93-7 to begin consideration of S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act, but now that Reid has filed cloture and filled the amendment tree Republicans will likely pull their support for the bill.

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Reid said he wanted Republicans to come up with a finite list of amendments so that the Senate could move on to other legislative matters, but Republicans wanted an open amendment process.

“We need a list of amendments and a path to getting the bill done,” Reid said last week. “If there is going to be no list, then I have no choice.”

Sens. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced the bill, which would give companies incentives to bringing jobs back to the United States, including a tax write off for the relocating costs and an additional 20 percent credit.

Currently, U.S. companies can deduct from their corporate taxes some expenses of moving facilities overseas. Democrats said 2.4 million jobs have been outsourced in the past 10 years.

Republicans argue that if Democrats truly wanted to keep companies in the United States, they would work with Republicans to overhaul the tax code and reduce corporate tax rates.

“It’s a bill that’s designed for campaign rhetoric and failure — not to create jobs here in the U.S.,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “Everyone knows that the Democrats aren’t being serious here.”

The legislation was part of Democrats’ “Fair Shot” campaign ahead of the midterm elections. If Republicans vote against cloture, Democrats will likely use the vote against them in November, saying Republicans support big business more than creating middle-class jobs.

Walsh is one of the most vulnerable incumbents this election cycle. His opponent, Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), ran Procter & Gamble factories in China. Walsh’s campaign has argued that Daines helped ship jobs overseas.

“It is outrageous that Americans are forced to subsidize corporate decisions to ship jobs overseas,” Walsh said. “This is a fundamentally wrong policy.”