Week of March 1, 2004

» Please view "The Weekly Whip" for the week of March 1, 2004

The Republican leadership continues to put forward a light Floor Schedule that does not address the fundamental problems facing America– stubborn unemployment, skyrocketing health costs, and struggling schools.

The GOP has also failed to deal with tariffs from the European Union which will affect many industries in states that have been particularly hard hit by manufacturing job loss and agricultural trade pressures starting this Monday, March 1.  The tariffs also have the potential for escalating a trade war and could lead to even more job loss.

Ways and Means Ranking Democrat Charlie Rangel introduced a bill with Subcommittee Chairman Crane that has 155 bipartisan cosponsors.  Crane-Rangel will not only prevent hundreds of millions of dollars in trade sanctions but will also lower taxes for US manufacturers to encourage job creation and prevent the migration of jobs overseas.   However, Chairman Thomas has refused to allow that bill to move forward and chosen instead to let the EU proceed with sanctions on American companies and put American jobs at risk.  

Democrats, led by Representative Baron Hill, will work to secure 218 signatures on a discharge petition to force the Crane-Rangel bill to the Floor.  The Whip office will begin collecting signatures for the discharge petition when it ripens the week of March 15th. 

Clcik here for background materials to assist you in doing press on this issue next week when the sanctions begin.