Senate Republicans unanimously opposed and successfully blocked the passage of an anti-offshoring bill that would have denied tax breaks to US companies, which move jobs overseas, while at the same time giving breaks to companies that ship jobs back to the US.
Republicans in a 53-45 vote prevented the bill from overcoming a filibuster. At least 60 votes were needed to overcome the opposition's obstruction. Joining the Republicans in opposition were four Democrats, senators Max Baucus of Montana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia, as well as Joseph I Lieberman, the Connecticut independent.
The bill had sought a ban on government contractors from using American taxpayers' money to move jobs offshore. The 'creating American jobs and end offshoring act' was seen as a populist electoral move, and was aimed at small manufacturers and included a payroll tax exemption for firms that move jobs to US, but the bill also contained provisions to prevent businesses from deferring US taxes on the income they make from foreign subsidiaries.
Republican Party leader Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dismissed the bill as an ill-conceived political stunt by Democrats seeking to portray themselves as opposed to the outsourcing of jobs.
''This is about as pure a political exercise as you can get,'' McConnell said in a floor speech. ''The way to get US businesses to produce more here isn't to tax them even further, it's to stop punishing them with our high corporate tax rate.''
Supporters said they were trying to protect American workers.