MEMORANDUM: GOP vs. GOP on China Currency

To: Reporters, Editors, Producers  
Cc: House Republicans
Fr: Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Dt: October 7, 2011
Re: GOP vs. GOP on China Currency

American workers are losing their jobs because China manipulates its currency and if we passed legislation to level the playing field for American workers and create jobs by holding countries accountable that create an unfair trade advantage by manipulating their currency, we could help create an estimated 1 to 1.5 million jobs here in America.

There is broad support from House and Senate Democrats–and Republicans:

Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina)
"The trade deficit we have with China represents a dire threat to our economy and has resulted in fewer American exports and the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs, including many in North Carolina…This trade deficit is due, in large part, to China undervaluing its currency, which is an issue we must address in order to re-establish our competitiveness in the global marketplace." [Winston-Salem Journal, 9/23]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
“Enough is enough…It is about people in my state who will lose their job if we don’t do something…The institution I need to be protecting is the American workforce, who is having their clock cleaned by a communist dictatorship who cheats.” [Hill, 10/6]

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
"I don’t think it’s at all inconsistent to be for exports but to also ensure that trade is done on a level playing field…It would need to be fairly and carefully administered in order to avoid being in violation of our trade agreements. But I think it can be done or I would not be supportive of this legislation…I’m really encouraged that we’re finally moving forward on some bipartisan efforts to actually create jobs.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/7]

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
“…this measure upholds the rule of law. This has nothing to do with protectionism; rather, it’s about protecting the principles that make trade work… The time has come for the United States to defend its core economic interests. American workers are the best in the world.” [FOX, 10/6]

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
"This day has been far too long in coming for the millions of American workers who are out of work and whose wages have been decimated as a result of our inability to compete with unfairly subsidized Chinese imports.” [Kennebec Journal, 10/5]  

Rep. Howard Coble (R-North Carolina)
"This bill will at least force China to compete on a level playing field with U.S. manufacturers.” [Winston-Salem Journal, 9/20]

Rep. Allen West (R-Florida)
"If someone’s out there cheating, you’ve got to call them out," he told a reporter on Wednesday night. "We’re already in a trade war, whatever you want to call it, the trade imbalance with China," and "if you don’t take some type of action, you’re going to get even worse behavior, and we’ve got to call the Chinese out on this." [Wall Street Journal, 10/6]

Of the 225 co-sponsors of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 639), 61 are House Republicans:

Rep. Todd Akin (Missouri)

Rep. Steve Austria (Ohio)

Rep. Lou Barletta (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Brian Bilbray (California)

Rep. Rob Bishop (Utah)

Rep. Mo Brooks (Alabama)

Rep. Dan Burton (Indiana)

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)

Rep. Howard Coble (North Carolina)

Rep. Chip Cravaack (Minnesota)

Rep. Rick Crawford (Arkansas)

Rep. Charlie Dent (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (Missouri)

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Randy Forbes (Virginia)

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (Nebraska)

Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Chris Gibson (New York)

Rep. Sam Graves (Missouri)

Rep. Morgan Griffith (Virginia)

Rep. Gregg Harper (Mississippi)

Rep. Duncan Hunter (California)

Rep. Bill Johnson (Ohio)

Rep. Tim Johnson (Illinois)

Rep. Walter Jones  (North Carolina)

Rep. Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Steve LaTourette (Ohio)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (New Jersey)

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Missouri)

Rep. Donald Manzullo (Illinois)

Rep. Tom Marino (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Michigan)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (North Carolina)

Rep. David McKinley (West Virginia)

Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Candice Miller (Michigan)

Rep. Tim Murphy (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Sue Myrick (North Carolina)

Rep. Tom Petri (Wisconsin)

Rep. Joe Pitts (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Todd Platts (Pennsylvania)

Rep.  James Renacci (Ohio)

Rep. Scott Rigell (Virginia)

Rep. Hal Rogers (Kentucky)

Rep. Mike Rogers (Michigan)

Rep. Mike Rogers (Alabama)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (California)

Rep. Dennis Ross (Florida)

Rep. Jon Runyan (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin)

Rep. John Shimkus (Illinois)

Rep. Bill Shuster (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Indiana)

Rep. Glenn Thompson (Pennsylvania)

Rep. Michael Turner (Ohio)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Georgia)

Rep. Ed Whitfield (Kentucky)

Rep. Joe Wilson (South Carolina)

Rep. Rob Wittman (Virginia)

Rep. Frank Wolf (Virginia)

Rep. Don Young (Alaska)

Despite the bi-partisan support for the China currency legislation, Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership refuses to bring the bill to the floor for a vote:  

In the House of Representatives, the China issue is resonating with both Republican and Democrats; a total of 226 House lawmakers have signed onto a House version of the currency legislation. They include 61 Republicans who have bucked warnings from House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) that the legislation is "dangerous" and who has insisted he will not bring the measure up for a vote.

Mr. Boehner and Republican leaders are trying to tamp down a movement by rank- and-file members to force a vote on currency legislation. There’s an effort to bring the bill to the floor via a so-called discharge petition, which allows a majority of rank-and-file lawmakers to override leadership and bring legislation up for a floor vote.

…A GOP aide said that Republicans have been told not to sign the discharge petition. [10/7]

Just who are Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership listening to?

Chris Chocola, former House Republican and current President of Club for Growth
“I give Boehner a lot of credit. He clearly doesn’t want to bring it to the floor. And we’re trying to do everything we can to prevent it from getting to the floor.” [NYT, 10/7]

Heritage Action
“Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, and the Club for Growth are both agitating against the bill and warning that they’ll include a Chinese currency vote on their legislative scorecards.” [Politico, 10/5]

Now, is the time for the House Republican leadership to stand with American workers by allowing the House to pass the bipartisan China currency bill, and put more Americans back to work.

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