PASCRELL VOTES TO PREPARE AMERICAN WORKERS
AND COMMUNITIES TO SUCCEED IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Citing a need to provide the tools for American workers to transition into the global economy, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today voted with the House of Representatives to approve the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act and create greater economic opportunities for American families and their communities. The legislation was approved by a vote of 264-157.
"The dramatic acceleration of globalization is one of the major socio-economic phenomena of this generation. I accept this, but believe Congress has a responsibility to shape globalization in a way that provides American workers and communities with the tools they need to compete and win in the global economy. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is broken and desperately needs the overhaul approved today in the House of Representatives. Too many working-class American families and industrial cities like Paterson have struggled through the negative effects of globalization and need our support."
The Trade and Globalization Assistance Act provides a comprehensive approach to mitigating the negative side effects of globalization on American workers. It would expand Trade Adjustment Assistance to more manufacturing workers and extend benefits to service workers, as it is anticipated that approximately 3.3 million service sector jobs could go overseas by 2015. Current law only extends coverage to a limited number of workers in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
Healthcare needs would be addressed by increasing the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) to cover 85 percent of the out-of-pocket cost for private health insurance and improve coverage for spouses and dependents. COBRA benefits would be extended up to 30 months for TAA eligible workers.
Finally, under the legislation, individuals would also benefit from the doubling of job training funding and the expansion of job training support. The bill explicitly prohibits undocumented workers form receiving any TAA benefits or services.
In communities hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act provides incentives for business redevelopment. It would provide work opportunity tax credits for employers hiring individuals from that area. Communities would be eligible for more than $5 billion in tax exempt bonds to finance new business, and become eligible for more low-income housing credits.
The legislation is revenue neutral and would be fully paid for by delaying a tax break (which has not gone into effect yet) that would permit companies to reduce their U.S. taxes by allocating their worldwide interest between their U.S. and foreign source income in order to gain a higher foreign tax credit limitation.
"Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin have appropriately prioritized a social injustice and economic burden on our local, state and national economies. I applaud the House for finally working to pick-up our struggling workers and communities. It is critical that we retool them with the training and economic stimulus necessary to compete in the 21st Century," concluded Pascrell.