Republicans in Congress voted against a bill that would disincentive companies' shipping jobs overseas and lying about it.
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to require public companies to disclose how many people they employ in the United States and abroad, a transparency measure aimed at showing who outsources jobs to foreign countries. The vote was 226-184, but 183 of the 185 Republican members of Congress present voted against the measure.
The Outsourcing Accountability Act, proposed by Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), simply changes existing disclosure laws for publicly traded companies to require them to publish annually the number of employees they have in each state and country. Axne noted that many of her constituents have been told they are being "laid off due to 'technological advances,' only to then be asked to train their replacement overseas."
"By holding companies accountable for outsourcing, this bill will help disincentivize the practice and give employees, consumers, and investors the information they need to make informed decisions about supporting companies that support American jobs," she explained.
But most Republicans opposed the bill, objecting to it as a mandate on companies aimed at making them look bad.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the ranking minority party member of the House Financial Services Committee, led the opposition on the floor, suggesting that its disclosure requirements might discourage companies from moving jobs from one state to another.
"A list of names is not accountability," McHenry argued, "unless this is about the trial bar suing or naming and shaming for changing headcounts in different states or government intervening to say you can't move employees between states."
All 224 Democrats present and Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) voted for the bill, which now moves to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to block all progressive legislation from even coming up for a vote, calling himself the "Grim Reaper."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.