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Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY COMPETITIVENESS ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - September 21, 2005)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 451 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 250.

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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, first of all, let me start by associating myself with the remarks of the distinguished Democrat from Tennessee and the accolades that have been given to the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert), the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Manzullo) who was on the floor earlier, for the hard work and effort that they have put forward.

My amendment cuts right to the chase of a deep and abiding concern that I and a number of small manufacturers in the State of Connecticut and, I dare say, across this Nation have. We all know the statistics: 3 million Americans employed in manufacturing have lost their jobs, 110,000 in this year alone; 57,000 jobs have been lost in the State of Connecticut since 2001.

The genesis of this amendment came at a Chamber of Commerce meeting when small businessmen got up and spoke out with great alarm, wondering out loud how is it that we can have a Department of Agriculture and not a department of manufacturing that focuses on these issues. Where is the ombudsman and voice for us at the national level? They prevailed upon me to introduce this legislation. I am proud to say it is endorsed by the National Council for the Advancement of Manufacturing and the IAM, to name a few. But the focus here is to make sure that we have an individual within a department that is doing its job.

Now, the President has appointed a so-called ``manufacturing czar,'' but he has no budget and he has no resources. This amendment is straightforward and pragmatic. It redirects and reorients the already existing resources that we have in order to create a position whose sole focus becomes manufacturing and who becomes the ombudsman for the small manufacturer who is crying out as they continue to see their jobs outsourced overseas, as they see very little voice that they have in terms of the larger scale dealing with the WTO and a number of the trade agreements that come forward.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the chairman not opposing me, and I appreciate and I understand his unwillingness to debate what Mr. Frink has been able to accomplish in his position to date.

The hard truth is that we have not been able to accomplish much, and the reason is, I think as everyone knows, it has become intuitively obvious to the National Coalition for the Advancement of Manufacturing, that he is located within the bowels of an administration and given no budget and no resources to carry out a goal that all of us agree needs to be accomplished.

So that is why we take and reorient existing resources to accomplish that goal; so there is no new bureaucracy that is created, it is just reoriented and refocused in a manner that will provide a voice, with resources and a budget, to speak out on behalf of manufacturers. This bill is not of my creation. It comes out of the mouths of those people who are directly impacted: the small manufacturers all across the State of Connecticut and this great Nation of ours.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro) who understands these issues and understands what is happening in our State of Connecticut with regard to manufacturing.

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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon) whose sentiments that he expressed earlier today are mine, as well, with respect to this bill. I have the greatest admiration for my colleagues on the other side, but I have to go home and face constituents who wonder aloud why they do not have a voice, an ombudsman, and why moving at a snail's pace in this direction cannot wait.

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