Reid accuses Senate GOP of blocking outsourcing bill to protect Romney

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) on Thursday accused Republicans of blocking a debate on business outsourcing to protect Mitt Romney.

Senate Democrats expect Republicans to thwart an effort to advance legislation that would give a 20 percent tax credit to companies that transfer overseas jobs back to the United States. It would be paid for by ending tax deductions for companies that outsource jobs and business activities.

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“It’s fairly easy to see why Republicans are blocking our bill to stop outsourcing — they’re obviously defending their presidential nominee, who of course made a fortune by shipping jobs overseas,” Reid said.

Reid noted media reports that Romney was listed as CEO of Bain Capital on financial disclosure forms from 1999 to 2002, when Bain companies outsourced jobs.

Romney's allies have said he gave up day-to-day management activities during that span of time.

“We now know Mitt Romney was a CEO much longer than he led us to believe,” said Reid, who quoted from a media report describing Bain as owning companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping call centers and factories overseas.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) castigated Romney adviser Ed Gillespie for not commenting directly on whether he thought outsourcing is a good business practice.

Durbin, appearing at the same press conference as Reid, noted that Gillespie was asked about outsourcing several times during a recent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Four times Mr. Gillespie danced away,” said Durbin. “They can dance all they want until 2:15 p.m. today, when the music stops and the Republican senators get their chance to vote on whether they support outsourcing, specifically whether they support subsidizing outsourcing through the American tax code.”

The Senate will vote at 2:15 p.m. to end dilatory debate on a motion to proceed to the outsourcing bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).