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Carter Opposes Massive Expansion Of Government Program

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Carter Opposes Massive Expansion Of Government Program

U.S. Congressman John Carter (TX-31), House Republican Conference Secretary, today voted against H.R. 3920, the Trade and Global Assistance Act of 2007. This bill dramatically expands the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program by $8.6 billion over ten years and makes it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain benefits designed for American workers.

"TAA has been successful in assisting workers who have lost jobs because of trade and we should extend this program to meet their needs," Congressman Carter said. "However, the Democrats plan to expand this program by billions to benefit illegal aliens and government workers only create new spending and new taxes."

The Trade and Globalization Act expands the existing TAA program by providing benefits to workers in the service industry as well as in government agencies at any level. In addition, it expands TAA to apply to production or services relocated to any foreign country, not just those affected by trade agreements. The bill significantly expands the benefits provided to eligible individuals, and transfers additional funds to the states for unemployment compensation. Overall, these expansions cost $8.6 billion over ten years.

Additionally, the Trade and Globalization Act loosens the citizenship requirements put in place during the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. These loose requirements make it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain TAA benefits intended for American citizens.

"I have long been outspoken against illegal immigration. This bill opens the door for illegal immigrants to obtain benefits at the cost of the taxpayer," Carter continued. "We should not be giving benefits designed for American workers to illegal aliens. If anything this bill undermines our border security efforts and imposes a tax increase on legal hard-working Central Texans."

Carter voted in favor of an alternative plan offered in an amendment to H.R. 3920 by Jim McCrery. The amendment would reauthorize for five years the TAA programs for workers, firms, and farmers, as well as reform and modernize the program, and would strengthen and improve the Workforce Investment Act and its services. The amendment also retained the current citizenship requirements. Unfortunately, the amendment failed.

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