House Democrats today continued to press for action on legislation to confront China's currency manipulation, using a procedural vote (the Previous Question to H.Res. 453) to force consideration of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. The currency legislation, which passed the House last year with overwhelming and bipartisan support, has 230 co-sponsors. Yet House Republican leaders have refused to allow the bill to come up for a vote. Economists note that China's currency manipulation -- the yuan is undervalued by an estimated 28 percent -- costs one million-plus American jobs. More information about the legislation can be found here.
"There's no reason why Republican leaders should continue to block action on a piece of legislation that has wide bipartisan support and would confront a Chinese trade-distorting policy that costs one-million plus American jobs," said Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), sponsor of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, H.R. 639. "We will continue to press for action on this measure until the House is allowed to work its will."
"The American people want Congress to pass bipartisan, commonsense, job-creating legislation - and the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act is both bipartisan and creates millions of new American jobs," said Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA), sponsor of the discharge petition on H.R. 639. "The Senate passed this bill last month, and it's time for the Republican Leadership to allow the House to "work its will" and bring this important legislation to the Floor for an up or down vote."
"It is an embarrassment for Congress that the House Republicans don't have the spine to bring this measure to a vote on the floor," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), sponsor of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act. "We are in Washington to take action on behalf of the American people, and right now our number one priority should be creating jobs and fixing the economy. Every day that passes without a vote on this bill is another day that we decide that losing a million jobs isn't a problem and rethinking our economic future isn't worthwhile. We need to do our job and pass this bill to create the jobs America needs."
"Right now there are thousands of Americans who would be put to work if we held China accountable for manipulating its currency," said Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH). "If House Republican leaders are serious about helping our economy recover, they will work with us to pass this bill and help our working families."
"The consequences of China's unchecked currency manipulation will only get worse. China is literally robbing us of our factories and our manufacturing jobs, and we aren't doing a thing about it," said Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME). "Addressing China's currency manipulation would create at least one million jobs without costing the American people a penny. That is why Congress has to bring the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to the floor immediately."
"My friends across the aisle need to stop standing in the way of American jobs," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. "It is time to act. We have been discussing this issue with the Government of China for more than eight years and the Republicans have blocked all common-sense action. Republicans shouldn't force American manufacturers to compete against a 28% discount on imports from China due to the China's predatory currency practices."