The Bring Jobs Home Act will get a Senate vote Thursday. The AFL-CIO and other backers are urging the public to contact their senators immediately to tell them to vote "yes" on the bill.
The legislation, S 2884 and a parallel S 3364, would stop allowing corporations a tax deduction for moving expenses when they send operations and jobs to other countries. It would also give a tax credit to businesses that bring jobs back to the U.S. The measure is sponsored by Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Union members have been rallying in support of the bill across the country - for example, in hard-hit Detroit, where the official unemployment rate is at 17.7 percent. Detroit and Michigan as a whole are still heavily dependent on what remains of the auto industry there, after the Big Three auto companies massively exported auto jobs to other countries over the past few decades.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney infuriated Michiganders when he attacked the 2010 auto industry bailout loans, which wound up saving local jobs, at no taxpayer cost.
Now, Romney is on the defensive over his record at Bain Capital, a "vulture capital" firm that has slashed and outsourced jobs around the country.
Meanwhile, a new report this week by the Center for American Progress shows that Romney's tax plan "would encourage and further accelerate the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries" - draining as many as 800,000 U.S. jobs.
At a rally outside the shuttered M&K Candle factory in Syracuse, N.Y., which closed last year, Richard Knowles, subdistrict director for the United Steelworkers, said, "A lot of people do not realize about the tax incentives that existed in U.S. policies that actual benefit corporations that take these jobs offshore."
The Republican-controlled House defeated the Bring Jobs Home Act last week.
Passage by the Senate would put House Republicans on the spot.
Senators can be reached at 888-659-9401.
The AFL-CIO is also calling for taxing U.S. corporations' overseas income the same way domestic income is taxed, so they do not shift income and jobs overseas just to lower their tax bill, and barring companies that send call center jobs overseas from receiving federal grants and tax breaks.
Photo: Jobs with Justice // CC 2.0