Incentives to keep jobs in US blocked

The U.S. Senate failed to advance legislation that would create tax breaks for companies that move foreign-based jobs to the U.S. and penalize those that send jobs offshore.

The 53-45 vote was short of the 60 needed to move the measure forward; four Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted with 40 Republicans against allowing formal consideration of the bill. Debate on the measure was tinged by partisan claims ahead of the Nov. 2 elections in which polls show Republicans are poised to gain seats in
Congress.

Democrats said Republicans were obstructing efforts to combat “outsourcing” of U.S. jobs. Republicans said the bill would hurt the U.S. economy and accused Democrats of trying to change the subject from the majority party’s decision to wait until after the election to vote on preventing income-tax increases set to take effect Jan. 1.

“We want to export products, not jobs,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat and one of the bill’s sponsors, said during floor debate today. “For me, this is a fight about whether or not we’re going to make things in America.”

The offshore-jobs legislation would waive for two years the 6.2 percent payroll tax for employees hired by U.S.-based companies to replace workers who performed the same job overseas. That would save companies about $1 billion in taxes over the next three fiscal years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.


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