The Senate will consider a bill this week aimed at discouraging U.S. businesses from outsourcing jobs overseas, a plan that Democrats describe as an effort to fight unemployment but which Republicans deride as a pre-election political maneuver.
Democrats admit they don't have enough votes to defeat a possible attempt by Republicans to block the bill. But they hope that bringing the issue to the Senate floor will underscore their concern about unemployment, now at 9.6%.
"This is another in a series of bills designed to try and provide jobs here at home for the American people," a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday. "Just because the Republicans say 'No,' doesn't mean we shouldn't try."
The bill would provide tax breaks to companies that bring jobs home from abroad, and end certain tax credits, deductions and deferrals for U.S. companies expanding or moving overseas.[...]
"They want a headline the next day saying the Republicans blocked something," said a spokesman for Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Outsourcing has emerged as a tit-for-tat issue in the California Senate race. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat and cosponsor of the Senate bill, is running a TV ad that criticizes her opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina, for presiding over layoffs and moving jobs overseas while CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co.