WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement regarding H.R. 3598, the Republican “Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act,” which reauthorizes the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program. Democrats are long-time supporters of this program while Republicans have tried to cut its funding:
“Unfortunately, America lost another 11,000 manufacturing jobs in June. While America’s manufacturers, the backbone of our economy, continue to suffer the Bush White House and Republican Congress have responded by looking the other way and touting inadequate job growth in press releases.
“America has hemorrhaged 2.7 million manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office, but Republicans have refused to work with Democrats to stem this loss. In fact, Republicans passed a bill (FSC/ETI) to provide even more tax breaks for multinational corporations that ship U.S. jobs abroad and also tried to claim that fast-food jobs frying hamburgers should be classified as ‘manufacturing jobs’ to mask the crisis that is facing this part of our economy.
“During the past three years, the Republican majority has consistently slashed funding for programs that would help U.S. manufacturers and manufacturing technology. Today, House Republicans are making a feeble attempt to cover their tracks during an election year, by reauthorizing a program to help manufacturers which they traditionally do not support. The Republican bill is a weak version of a program that could help strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Democrats offered amendments to more aggressively address manufacturing’s problems, but Republicans blocked them.
“I ask my Republican colleagues to halt their partisan politicking and join together with Democrats to support bipartisan efforts to assist our nation’s struggling manufacturers.”