Steny Hoyer Archives - Shopfloor

Testimony and Then Questions About Manufacturing in America

By | General | No Comments

Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) of the Senate Commerce Committee, who is chairing a hearing this morning, “The Future of American Manufacturing: Maintaining America’s Competitive Edge,” said manufacturing will be major theme in his committee this year.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has already spoken, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke just completed his statement as we write. We thank both for mentioning the National Association of Manufacturers.

Here are the prepared statements:

Secretary Locke will be answering questions from the public about his remarks and U.S. manufacturing. From Commerce:

Secretary Locke will be answering questions from Senators during the hearing, but afterwards he wants to hear from you. We invite you to watch the hearing and submit questions about manufacturing via comments on this post, Twitter (use hashtag #LockeChat) and on our Facebook page. As the Secretary’s schedule permits, he’ll answer some of the questions throughout the day.

As a primer, watch the video below. In it U.S. companies from a wide range of industries from health care to plastics talk about why they manufacture their goods in America. The United States offers a highly educated workforce, strong intellectual property protections, and a business climate that supports and encourages innovation. For ET Water, Labcon, Supracor and others, manufacturing in America just makes smart business sense.

With Tax Compromise, Manufacturers Find Reason to Hire, Invest

By | General, Small Business, Taxation | One Comment

Enactment of H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, falls short of creating the tax certainty that could improve U.S. global competitiveness, but it is still a reasonable, very positive compromise that helps prevents economy-stomping tax increases that would have otherwise hit on January 1, 2011.

President Obama will sign the bill this afternoon, moving with alacrity (and probably to boost weekend retail spending).

The National Association of Manufacturers had sent both Senators and House members “Key Vote” letters expressing strong support for the legislation on the basis of extending the 2001/2003 tax rates, the “business extenders” including the R&D tax credit, and the compromise that stopped the estate tax from returning from a confiscatory 55 percent rate.

The measure of certainty and investment incentives — including President Obama’s proposal for 100 percent expensing of capital investments — will encourage manufacturers to expand and hire.

Margins of victory last night in the House — by a vote of 277-148 — and previously in the Senate — by a vote of 81-19 — were much larger than most observers had originally expected. But the consequences of inaction would have been so economically destructive that  members of both parties found the legislation the only realistic course of action before them. We don’t begrudge others their ideological commitment or reasoned arguments, but this was THE realistic compromise.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD): ” Ladies and gentlemen, there probably is nobody on this floor who likes this bill; and therefore, the judgment is: Is it better than doing nothing? Some of the business groups believe that it will help. I hope they are right. Not only do I hope they are right, I hope if we pass this bill that they respond and create the jobs that we know they have the resources to do.  This is a jobs bill, in my view, which is why I will vote for it. It could be a better jobs bill if we invested the money that we are giving to the wealthiest in America in job growth. It is a bill that will help those who have been unemployed week after week after week and whose angst has grown and grown and grown.”

House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH): ““With nearly one in 10 Americans out of work, acting to ensure no American’s taxes go up on January 1st was critically important.  Failing to stop all the tax hikes would have destroyed more jobs and deepened the uncertainty in our economy.  Stopping all the tax hikes is a good first step in our efforts to reduce the uncertainty family-owned small businesses are facing, but much more needs to be done, including cutting spending, permanently eliminating the threat of job-killing tax hikes, and repealing the job-killing health care law.  These are critical priorities the new majority has pledged to act on in the next Congress, and I hope President Obama will listen to the American people and work with us to stop Washington’s job-killing policies.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Manufacturing

By | Economy | No Comments

Meant to post this earlier in the week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) spoke at a manufacturing-oriented program held at the National Press Club on Tuesday, highlighting the House Democrats’ “Make it in America” agenda.

The Hill has posted his remarks online, “Manufacturing is at heart of American economy and character.”

The leader also had an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this week, “A Plan to Make It in America.”

The National Association of Manufacturers’ in June released the NAM’s “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and Competitive America.” It’s available at: www.nam.org/manufacturingstrategy

Accusing Companies of ‘Exploiting Loopholes’

By | Economy, Education and Training, Taxation | One Comment

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer issued a statement following Senate 61-39 passage Thursday of H.R. 1586, the bill that includes federal funding for teachers, police officers and other state and local public employees. Excerpt:

It has been especially cynical for Republicans to label as “special interests” the teachers who educate our children, the police officers who patrol our streets, and the firefighters who risk their lives for our safety. This is particularly hypocritical in light of Republicans’ continued support for tax breaks for corporations that send American jobs overseas. In the Republican worldview, corporations exploiting tax loopholes are not special interests—but teachers are. Because Democrats reject that view, we will return to session next week to send this legislation to the president’s desk.

We’ll leave it to The Washington Post’s editorial today, “Education jobs bill is motivated by politics,” to discuss the merits of the legislation. Suffice it to say that pretty much everything Congress does from here until election day will be motivated by partisan positioning, and the generals lines of attack are already clear: “profligate spenders borrow and spend America into bankruptcy while they wreck the economy” versus “greedy, selfish exploiters don’t care about people while they wreck the economy.”

Even recognizing the comments as campaign rhetoric, these incessant condemnations of business and accusations that corporations are “exploiting loopholes” to “send American jobs overseas” are objectionable, wrong, and surely do harm to the U.S. business climate.

These supposed loopholes that Hoyer attacks are the result of policy decisions made by Congress that created the U.S. system of taxation, which does not overseas tax earnings until they are returned to the United States.

The PACE Coalition, to which the National Association of Manufacturers belongs, wrote a letter to the Senate objecting to the $9.6 billion in tax increases included in the bill that Hoyer praises. Excerpt:

U.S. tax law already disadvantages worldwide American companies and their employees. U.S. companies face the second highest corporate tax rate among developed countries and an international tax system that impedes the ability of U.S. companies to expand into new markets and reinvest foreign earnings at home. The $9.6 billion in proposed international tax increases in this bill would further disadvantage U.S. companies—harming their competitiveness and reducing the earnings U.S. companies bring back from their foreign operations, thereby reducing reinvestment in U.S. plant and equipment, funding U.S. research, and expanding U.S. payrolls.

At a time when other countries are taking steps to attract business, this legislation sends exactly the opposite message, with the effect of discouraging business investment and job creation in the United States.

Politicians are talking a lot about promoting U.S. manufacturing these days, but the message is getting seriously muddled with anti-corporate invective: “Manufacturing is critically important to the U.S. economy. We believe in manufacturing. We stand ready to support you, you greedy exploiters of the American people.”

Earlier posts on corporate taxation, “loopholes” and anti-business rhetoric.

A Week in July

By | Economy, Taxation, Trade | No Comments

As the House of Representatives prepares to spend next week talking about the manufacturing economy, we would urge a close examination of the National Association of Manufacturers’ “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and American Competitiveness,” a policy guide and call to action.

If Congress wants to strengthen industry and create manufacturing jobs in the United States, the NAM’s strategy offers the policy priorities for getting that done — priorities identified by manufacturers. The strategy is available at www.nam.org/manufacturingstrategy


Reuters, “House Democrats plan manufacturing jobs push“:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning action on a number of bills to boost U.S. manufacturing jobs, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday.

“We want to focus on … ‘Made in America,'” Hoyer told reporters. “We want to focus on encouraging — and yes, tax benefits would be part of this — expanding manufacturing.”

Bloomberg, “Hoyer Says House Will Debate China Currency Manipulation Bill“:

The U.S. House will debate legislation to authorize trade sanctions against China for currency manipulation as part of a package of measures to promote U.S. manufacturing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. …

Hoyer told reporters the legislation, still in committee, would be debated as part of a package of 18 to 20 measures designed to promote manufacturing. Other measures include tax credits to “expand manufacturing, job producing capacity here in America, for working men and women,” said Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat.

CQ Politics, “Democrats throw a Hail Mary“:

House Democratic leaders are launching an eleventh-hour bid to get on offense on jobs and the economy before they face voters in the November midterms.

A retooled jobs initiative, which Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) on Tuesday dubbed the “Make It in America” agenda, will be front and center for Democrats hoping to have something positive to take home during the August break.

Hail Mary? Well, that’s a headline writer’s characterization. But using the analogy, we’d say manufacturing competitiveness requires more of a ground game, a pound-it-out in the trenches strategy. That’s what the NAM’s “Manufacturing Strategy” proposes.

In the meantime, we look forward to learning what’s in the House package.

Including the Negative Reaction to President’s Energy Plan

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

Heritage Foundation, The Foundry blog, “Don’t Fall For Obama’s Energy Shell Game“:

In fact, if anything, the policies announced by President Obama yesterday will actually decrease and delay future U.S. oil production. The President actually canceled four lease sales off the Alaska coast that were planned to begin producing oil within the next two years, delayed a planned lease off Virginia until at least 2012, and placed some areas off limits for at least seven years. Go back and look at President Obama’s actual announcement again: he only promised new exploration off the Atlantic coast. There is absolutely no guarantee that any new drilling will ever occur. Secretary Ken Salazar’s Interior Department still has full discretion to never allow a single drop of oil to be harvested from these waters. And that doesn’t even begin to address the court challenges the enviro-left will employ to attack and delay the entire process.

Will Yeatman, Competitive Enterprise Institute, “OCS Sleight of Hand“:

[While] all the talking heads are chattering about Obama’s supposed pragmatism, the EPA will release today its final rule to allow California to regulate greenhouse gases from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. That’s the real story, because once a “pollutant” (remember, we are talking about carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale) is regulated under the Clean Air Act, it becomes subject to further and further regulation. The President will have the power (the obligation, according to well funded environmental lawyers) to regulate anything larger than a mansion — your small business, your office complex, your apartment building.

Thomas J. Pyle, Institute for Energy Research, “Obama Energy Announcement: More Imported Oil, Less Domestic Production, Fewer Jobs“:

America’s offshore energy resources belong to the American people. Not a company, not a special interest, and not a single administration. And a clear majority of the American people supports the commonsense strategy of producing more oil and gas here in America. Unfortunately, today, and to our economic detriment, the President once again ignored the will of the American people. Read More

Including the Positive Reaction to President’s Energy Proposal

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers’ statement from Executive Vice President Jay Timmons, “Manufacturers Urge Continued Expansion of Offshore Development.”

American Petroleum Institute, a statement from President Jack Gerard:

The announcement by President Obama and Secretary Salazar is a positive development. We look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal, and we stand ready to work with them to make this a reality. We appreciate the administration’s recognition of the importance of developing our nation’s oil and natural gas resources to create jobs, generate revenues and fuel our nation’s economy.

Exploring for and developing our nation’s offshore resources could help generate more than a trillion dollars in revenues and create thousands of jobs to add to the already 9.2 million jobs supported by today’s oil and natural gas industry.

As we move forward, we hope that consideration can be given to other resource-rich regions, such as the Destin Dome area of the Eastern Gulf and areas off the Pacific Coast and Alaska. We also need to ensure that the permitting processes are handled in an expeditious way. The oil and natural gas industry has a proven track record of safe oil and natural gas development and the majority of the American people recognize this by supporting greater offshore development for the benefit of their communities, their states and their nation.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, “White House Decision Ensures Virginia will be First State on Eastern Seaboard to Produce Natural Gas and Oil Offshore“:

I thank the President and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for ensuring Virginia will be the first state on the East Coast to explore for and produce energy offshore. The President’s decision to allow energy exploration off Virginia’s coast will mean thousands of new jobs, hundreds of millions in new state revenue and tens of billions of dollars in economic impact for the Commonwealth. It will also help our nation take a further step towards energy independence. Environmentally-safe offshore energy exploration and production is good for Virginia workers, the Virginia economy and national security. Just this session the General Assembly passed, with bipartisan support, legislation I requested to authorize offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling and to allocate 80% of revenues to transportation and 20% to green energy research and development. Read More

Steny Hoyer on Taxes, Deficit

By | Economy, Health Care, Taxation | No Comments

In his remarks this morning to the National Association of Manufacturers, the NAM’s Public Affairs Steering Committee, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was at his most forceful when talking about the deficit. Here’s the passage:

Part of the fear and anger that we see at these town meetings is a fear that their country is in a fiscal situation which they’re going to pay for and is unsustainable. They are right. (Pounds lectern). I am one of those Democrats who believes very strongly we’ve got to get a handle on this deficit, and it will not be for free. There is no easy magic way to get there. You need to pay for what you buy. That’s what the president is saying on health care, we need to pay for what we buy. We’ll have to figure that out. But I agree with the president, I’m not going to be for a bill that adds to the deficit. We’re going to have to pay for that. So I’m going to ask you to focus on that.

The majority leader spoke in support of tax reform, said it had to be bipartisan (a la 1986), but did not hold out much hope for action soon along those lines. It was interesting that he implicitly acknowledged the merit of the arguments of companies that are protesting the Administration’s proposed elimination of deferral and other tax increases on overseas income.

But I do understand that if we and when we adopt tax reform, we need to do so in a way that helps you grow your businesses, helps you grow jobs, both here…and profit. Not only here, because we’re in an international community…

I was with the president of Oracle out in California the other day, talking about how much of their business is overseas, but much of their growth obviously is here in terms of the necessary business but their employees are here. So we’re advantaged by where ever they pay the money. We need to facilitate that, not impede it.

Notwithstanding that, offshore income continues to be a challenge for us, and we need to come up with a good solution to that issue.

Here’s the .mp3 of the relevant passages, and the transcribed remarks.

Steny Hoyer Promotes Trade Pacts in Talk with Manufacturers

By | Trade | No Comments

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spoke this a.m. to the National Association of Manufacturers, the NAM’s Public Affairs Steering Committee meeting today at the J.W. Marriott.

His remarks, about 28 minutes worth, were well received: He gave a quick economic overview emphasizing the public’s unease, lauded the President’s speech last night on health care and urged the NAM to work toward health care reform.

The two passages we found notable were his strong endorsement of action on the pending free-trade agreements with Colombia and Panama (Korea’s problematic, he said), and his stressing the need to bring the deficits under control. On trade:

I am very hopeful and I have urged publically some of my friends in my party, in the caucus and around who are somewhat concerned, we ought to pass Colombia and Panama.

Korea is more problematic, mainly because of automobiles and beef. And with beef, you saw the premier tried to solve, the prime minister, tried to solve the beef problem had a very big reaction in his country.

And ….

I’ve told my friends who are not in that place, I said, look, if a manufacturer can make more profit for stockholders, which is their obligation to do, maximize their profits who invested their capital in growing a business, then they’re going to do so.

Just as the shoe manufacturers moved to Massachusetts down to Alabama or South Carolina, or the textile manufacturers moved, people move to where they can best advantage their businesses. You can’t lock people in.

What we can do, however, is to provide for mechanism whereby this international community, this “flat world” that Tom Friedman talks about, we have as level of playing field as we can get. And that means opening up trade. And so I’m a big proponent of Panama and Colombia.

And …

I believe that once we get health care one way or another, I think we’ll going to pass a health care bill, I think we will in fact move on to address trade.

Here’s an .mp3 file of his trade remarks.