Week of March 8, 2004

For Immediate Release:

March 8, 2004

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» Please view "The Weekly Whip" for the week of March 8, 2004

For the seventh week this session, the Republican leadership has again put forward a light Floor Schedule that does not address the fundamental problems facing America– including the stubborn unemployment that continues to plague the country as today’s Bureau of Labor Unemployment Report shows.

As discussed in last week’s The Week Ahead, and in other emails from Leadership and the Committee on Ways and Means, the GOP has also failed to deal with tariffs implemented this week by the European Union which will affect many industries in states that have been particularly hard hit by manufacturing job loss and agricultural trade pressures.  The tariffs also have the potential for escalating a trade war and could lead to even more job loss.

Democrats, led by Representative Baron Hill, will launch a DISCHARGE PETITION this week.  If successful, the petition will bring to the Floor a bipartisan bill introduced by Ways and Means Ranking Democrat Charlie Rangel and 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 has chosen instead to let the EU proceed with sanctions on American companies and put American jobs at risk. 

Following Caucus on Wednesday, Members are encouraged to go to the House Floor to sign the petition and to send out a press release to your district afterwards.

Attached are background materials to assist you in doing press on this issue next week when the sanctions begin.

Also of note:

v     Wednesday, State-by-State Unemployment Numbers Released

v     Thursday, Chairman Greenspan testifies before House Education and Workforce Committee