Recess Reality Check: Members of Congress talk job creation, but ignore major cause of high unemployment: China’s cheating

Posted by Anonymous on 08/24/2011

This August recess, members of Congress undoubtedly returned home to their districts with their tails between their legs.  Having spent the past few months engaged in partisan squabbles while all but ignoring the issues voters actually care about, (hint: JOBS!) it’s no wonder lawmakers weren’t welcomed back by their constituents with open arms.

So what have they been doing to smooth things over with the voters they’re depending on for re-election in 2012? For one, they’ve finally started talking about the issues Americans care most about (the ones they ignored while bickering with each other on the Hill): job creation and manufacturing.

Well, talk is cheap.  That’s why we’re here to serve up a healthy dose of reality to those members who are home and talking about getting their constituents back to work,  but who haven’t done enough to stop China from walking all over American workers with illegally subsidized exports and a severely undervalued currency. 

Below is a list of the members who are home talking job creation, but who have not yet co-sponsored the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (S. 328 & H.R. 639), which would enhance America's ability to hold China accountable for its market-distorting, job-killing currency manipulation:

  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) toured her state to hear from manufacturers and propose steps for job creation. REALITY CHECK: There would be more manufacturers for Sen. McCaskill to visit if American companies were on a level playing field with China--  and the U.S. GDP would increase by as much as $285.7 billion (1.9%). Senator McCaskill, will you cosponsor the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (S. 328)?
  • Rep. Tim Griffin (R- AR) called on the Senate to return to Washington and promptly take up and pass bills to spur private-sector job creation and give Americans confidence in our economy. REALITY CHECK: If China were to revalue the Yuan, as many as 2.25 million American jobs would be created. (Talk  about boosting confidence in the economy!) Congressman Griffin, will you cosponsor the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639)?
  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is gathering signatures for a petition to Washington Republicans to move on putting forward a job creation agenda.REALITY CHECK:  If China were to stop undervaluing its currency, U.S. employment would rise by 1.6%. (Now wouldn’t that be a nice result of a job creation agenda!) Congressman Perlmutter, will you cosponsor the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639)?
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold  (R-TX)  is working to protect  local manufacturing jobs by co-sponsoring legislation that would stay and improve EPA's costly and burdensome Boiler MACT rules. REALITY CHECK: The U.S. will lose 1.4 million additional jobs if China does not substantially revalue its currency.  (It’s time he focus on the BIG PICTURE job loss problem.) Congressman Farenthold, will you cosponsor the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639)?

So there you have it. The Recess Reality check.  If you’re as fed up as we are with the hypocrisy these members are engaging in while home in their districts, there is something you can do: Click here to tell your members of Congress to create the right conditions for manufacturing in your state—tell them to cosponsor the currency bill (S. 328 and H.R. 639).

Learn more about currency manipulation here.

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