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Seventy-Four GOP Members Defect on China Bill

By The Hill, The Hill - September 30, 2010

In a vote that divided House Republicans, the chamber on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation meant to hammer China for its currency policy.

The legislation, meant to pressure China into boosting the value of its currency, passed in a 348-79 vote.

Ninety-nine Republicans voted for the measure while 74 opposed it, and the vote split GOP leaders from Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.), who could become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee if the GOP takes back the House this fall.

Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) opposed the legislation, but GOP Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) supported it.

Labor unions and manufacturers have been pressing for action for years. They argue China's currency manipulation lowers the cost of China's exports, hurting U.S. workers and businesses. The U.S. trade deficit with China stands at $145 billion.

Democrats believe the bill could boost turnout for their party at the polls, and approval of the China bill was one of the last acts the House took before adjourning. Only five Democrats voted against the bill.

"We believe that passing this legislation here today gives the president leverage in his conversation with the Chinese," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a floor statement.

Pelosi, who has often been criticized by China's government, gaveled the final vote closed. Pelosi unfurled a banner in 1991 in Tiananmen Square that honored "those who died for Democracy in China."

Republicans who opposed the bill sided with business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied against the legislation. They argued it could damage the U.S.-China trade relationship.

RELATED ARTICLES Schumer to push for Senate vote in lame-duck session Those Republicans voting aye largely hailed from states that have sizable manufacturing sectors, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania."Despite my disappointment about the lack of a broader trade agenda and the lack of action on these other concerns with respect to China, it would be an enormous mistake to give up completely on addressing China's currency policy," Camp said during the floor debate.

"I will vote for this bill because it sends a clear signal to China that Congress's patience is running out but does not give China an excuse to retaliate against U.S. companies and their workers," he continued.

Sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), the bill would allow the Commerce Department to consider currency manipulation when calculating anti-subsidy duties. That could lead to higher tariffs on Chinese imports.

It is unclear whether the legislation will make it to President Obama's desk, though Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to push for a vote in the Senate's lame-duck session after the election.

The White House has tried to keep the legislation locked up this year, but in recent weeks Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has suggested the administration's patience with China is wearing thin.

The House vote is likely to anger China's government, which blames the U.S. trade deficit on other factors. This is the first time legislation hitting China on the issue has been approved by the House.

China announced over the summer it would allow its currency to follow market trends, but the yuan has barely increased in value.

One business source opposed to the legislation earlier this week said how China responds to the vote could determine whether the Senate takes action. If China's currency rises significantly between now and the lame-duck session, the source said, a Senate vote on the legislation would be less likely.

The vote Tuesday was a rare example of division within the House GOP conference, which has largely voted in lockstep against Democratic legislation this Congress.

Most Republican opponents of the bill acknowledged that China undervalues its currency, but echoed the concerns of business groups that say passing the measure would spark a trade war with China that could destabilize the U.S. economy.

"We are starting to see the makings of a currency war out there where others are devaluing their currencies at our expense," said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), who voted against the bill.

"We're simply pandering instead of considering what will actually open new markets," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another opponent.

Other Republicans argued that the U.S. needs to develop a comprehensive trade agenda in order to fully resolve its issues with China.

Some Democrats looked to attack Republicans who voted against the measure, saying they were siding with U.S. corporations with investments in China over U.S. workers.

"They always find an excuse to side with their foreign benefactors," Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said of the GOP. "They're worried about a trade war. We're at war at China ... They are supporting capitulation; we are finally starting to fight back on this side of the aisle."

Other Republicans said China's currency policies had devastated U.S. manufacturers, and complained that both the Bush and Obama administrations had been slow to act.

"Chinese currency manipulation is the driving force behind this destruction" of the manufacturing sector, said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). He said the two White Houses had "refused to do anything but talk on the issue of Chinese currency manipulation."

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), a frequent critic of China's human-rights policies, said: "[Chinese leaders] have not only mistreated their own people, because they are the worst kind of tyrants that one can imagine, they have mistreated the American people as well."

Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/121757-74-gop-members-defect-as-china-bill-passes-the-house The contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc. Comments (6)FACT: September 25th, "Poll: U.S. Wants More Health Reform, Not Less, AP: Americans Who Say New Law Doesn't Go Far Enough Outnumber Those Against Health Coverage" http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/25/politics/main6899989.shtmlFACT: "Reagan OMB Chief: GOP Responsible for Entire US Economic Mess "http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsme mo.com/2010/08/02/reagan_omb_chie f_gop_responsib le_for_entire_u s_eco/FACT: September 16, 2010 Gallup: Dems lead Generic Ballot, 71% of Americans blame former President George W. Bush for U.S. economic problems. http://www.gallup.com/poll/143024/Bush-Takes-Brunt-Blame-Economy-Obama.aspxFACT: McCain's economic advisor reported that TARP and Obama stimulus averted another Great Depression: http://www.princeton.edu/~blinder/End-of-Great-Recession.pdfBY vote gop out 2010/12 on 09/29/2010 at 22:02A bill bought and paid for by the Unions. Millions in lobbying and millions in buying Democrats. BY Terrance on 09/30/2010 at 00:08Try flipping this around and think about it. If China tried to dictate how we valued our currency, there would be a national outrage. BY tar ball on 09/30/2010 at 01:11I live in Michigan. Thad McCotter has always pandered to the unions here. But he votes no for the 911 Bill. What an arse.BY jn7854 on 09/30/2010 at 06:46Amazing that there is no mention of the Member that actually introduced and pushed for the bill, Maine's Mike Michaud (ME-2).BY Gerald Weinand on 09/30/2010 at 07:41I asked a China businessmen what should be done to improve trade relations with China. He said with raiseyour tarrifs. You see China has no problem chargingtarrifs on imports to this country. BY MrUniteUs on 09/30/2010 at 08:12Add Comment

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Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) opposed the legislation, but GOP Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) supported it.

Labor unions and manufacturers have been pressing for action for years. They argue China's currency manipulation lowers the cost of China's exports, hurting U.S. workers and businesses. The U.S. trade deficit with China stands at $145 billion.

Democrats believe the bill could boost turnout for their party at the polls, and approval of the China bill was one of the last acts the House took before adjourning. Only five Democrats voted against the bill.

"We believe that passing this legislation here today gives the president leverage in his conversation with the Chinese," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a floor statement.

Pelosi, who has often been criticized by China's government, gaveled the final vote closed. Pelosi unfurled a banner in 1991 in Tiananmen Square that honored "those who died for Democracy in China."

Republicans who opposed the bill sided with business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which lobbied against the legislation. They argued it could damage the U.S.-China trade relationship.

RELATED ARTICLES Schumer to push for Senate vote in lame-duck session Those Republicans voting aye largely hailed from states that have sizable manufacturing sectors, such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania."Despite my disappointment about the lack of a broader trade agenda and the lack of action on these other concerns with respect to China, it would be an enormous mistake to give up completely on addressing China's currency policy," Camp said during the floor debate.

"I will vote for this bill because it sends a clear signal to China that Congress's patience is running out but does not give China an excuse to retaliate against U.S. companies and their workers," he continued.

Sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), the bill would allow the Commerce Department to consider currency manipulation when calculating anti-subsidy duties. That could lead to higher tariffs on Chinese imports.

It is unclear whether the legislation will make it to President Obama's desk, though Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has promised to push for a vote in the Senate's lame-duck session after the election.

The White House has tried to keep the legislation locked up this year, but in recent weeks Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has suggested the administration's patience with China is wearing thin.

The House vote is likely to anger China's government, which blames the U.S. trade deficit on other factors. This is the first time legislation hitting China on the issue has been approved by the House.

China announced over the summer it would allow its currency to follow market trends, but the yuan has barely increased in value.

One business source opposed to the legislation earlier this week said how China responds to the vote could determine whether the Senate takes action. If China's currency rises significantly between now and the lame-duck session, the source said, a Senate vote on the legislation would be less likely.

The vote Tuesday was a rare example of division within the House GOP conference, which has largely voted in lockstep against Democratic legislation this Congress.

Most Republican opponents of the bill acknowledged that China undervalues its currency, but echoed the concerns of business groups that say passing the measure would spark a trade war with China that could destabilize the U.S. economy.

"We are starting to see the makings of a currency war out there where others are devaluing their currencies at our expense," said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), who voted against the bill.

"We're simply pandering instead of considering what will actually open new markets," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another opponent.

Other Republicans argued that the U.S. needs to develop a comprehensive trade agenda in order to fully resolve its issues with China.

Some Democrats looked to attack Republicans who voted against the measure, saying they were siding with U.S. corporations with investments in China over U.S. workers.

"They always find an excuse to side with their foreign benefactors," Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said of the GOP. "They're worried about a trade war. We're at war at China ... They are supporting capitulation; we are finally starting to fight back on this side of the aisle."

Other Republicans said China's currency policies had devastated U.S. manufacturers, and complained that both the Bush and Obama administrations had been slow to act.

"Chinese currency manipulation is the driving force behind this destruction" of the manufacturing sector, said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). He said the two White Houses had "refused to do anything but talk on the issue of Chinese currency manipulation."

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), a frequent critic of China's human-rights policies, said: "[Chinese leaders] have not only mistreated their own people, because they are the worst kind of tyrants that one can imagine, they have mistreated the American people as well."

Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/121757-74-gop-members-defect-as-china-bill-passes-the-house The contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc. Comments (6)FACT: September 25th, "Poll: U.S. Wants More Health Reform, Not Less, AP: Americans Who Say New Law Doesn't Go Far Enough Outnumber Those Against Health Coverage" http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/25/politics/main6899989.shtmlFACT: "Reagan OMB Chief: GOP Responsible for Entire US Economic Mess "http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsme mo.com/2010/08/02/reagan_omb_chie f_gop_responsib le_for_entire_u s_eco/FACT: September 16, 2010 Gallup: Dems lead Generic Ballot, 71% of Americans blame former President George W. Bush for U.S. economic problems. http://www.gallup.com/poll/143024/Bush-Takes-Brunt-Blame-Economy-Obama.aspxFACT: McCain's economic advisor reported that TARP and Obama stimulus averted another Great Depression: http://www.princeton.edu/~blinder/End-of-Great-Recession.pdfBY vote gop out 2010/12 on 09/29/2010 at 22:02A bill bought and paid for by the Unions. Millions in lobbying and millions in buying Democrats. BY Terrance on 09/30/2010 at 00:08Try flipping this around and think about it. If China tried to dictate how we valued our currency, there would be a national outrage. BY tar ball on 09/30/2010 at 01:11I live in Michigan. Thad McCotter has always pandered to the unions here. But he votes no for the 911 Bill. What an arse.BY jn7854 on 09/30/2010 at 06:46Amazing that there is no mention of the Member that actually introduced and pushed for the bill, Maine's Mike Michaud (ME-2).BY Gerald Weinand on 09/30/2010 at 07:41I asked a China businessmen what should be done to improve trade relations with China. He said with raiseyour tarrifs. You see China has no problem chargingtarrifs on imports to this country. BY MrUniteUs on 09/30/2010 at 08:12Add Comment

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Submit CommentClear The Hill Archives: Senate | House | Administration | Campaign | Business & Lobbying | Capital Living | Opinion View News by Subject: Defense & Homeland Security | Energy & Environment | Healthcare | Finance & Economy | Technology | Foreign Policy | Labor | Transportation & Infrastructure GO TO THE HILL HOME ยป Most Popular Stories Most Viewed Franken commits another gaffe while presiding over SenateBoehner surprise: Dems barely get votes to adjourn after floor speechObliterating a generationSenate blocks recess appointments with deal between Dems, GOPDemocrats to stuff 20 bills into post-election lame-duck session Emailed Obliterating a generationBoehner surprise: Dems barely get votes to adjourn after floor speechDemocrats to stuff 20 bills into post-election lame-duck sessionFranken commits another gaffe while presiding over SenateReps. Bachmann, King allege fraud in black farmers settlement Discussed Franken commits another gaffe while presiding over SenateBoehner surprise: Dems barely get votes to adjourn after floor speechObliterating a generationSenate blocks recess appointments with deal between Dems, GOPChristine O'Donnell denies charges she falsified her academic record online Home/News » Most Viewed RSS Feed » $(document).ready(function() { $("#pane").next().css({width: "300px", overflow: "hidden"}); var stories = $("#pane dd").css("display", "none").remove(); $('') .css({paddingBottom: "1px"}) .insertAfter("#pane") .append(stories); $("#pane dt").addClass("closed").css("cursor", "pointer").click(function() { if (!$(this).hasClass("open")) { $("#pane .open").removeClass("open").addClass("closed"); $(this).removeClass("closed").addClass("open"); var ID = parseInt(this.id.substr(5)); //remove the 'panel' word stories.css("display", "none").get(ID-1).style.display = "block"; } }); $("#panel1").click(); });     More House Headlines House adjourns after passing short-term fix to fund federal governmentDivided Dems head homeReps. Bachmann, King allege fraud in black farmers settlement More House Headlines » House News RSS feed »     Briefing Room Sen. Ben Nelson: Flat tax a 'great idea' if implemented wellSpokesman: Obama may get chance to add more 'fresh legs' at White HouseTop Dem sees party returning to 2006-level majority More Briefing Room » Congress Blog STEM education must be coordinated across the nation (Rep. Mike Honda)The failed policies of the "Wrong Way Congress" (Rep. David Dreier)U.S. & Vietnam: Commitment to a shared future (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) More Congress Blog » Pundits Blog Disastrous economy spells doom for DemocratsWhen the unemployment rate goes upDemocrats moving up, Democratic enthusiasm rising More Pundits Blog » Twitter Room Weiner: 'Sigh' over low GOP support for 9/11 health billFeingold defies predictions, joins Obama at rallyGrassley, Landrieu 'Dr. Phil' spot to air Friday More Twitter Room » Hillicon Valley Good morning techRep. Waxman backs FCC reclassification as legislative effort breaks downAnalyst: Waxman endorsement could give Genachowski political cover More Hillicon Valley » E2-Wire E2 Morning Roundup: Reid sets lame duck energy showdown, Salazar to lay out drilling strategy, oil sands battle heats up, senators weigh Obama's piecemeal climate approach, and much moreSen. Rockefeller admits he can't overcome a White House veto of EPA reg delayCapps, Markey push Senate on spill commission subpoena power More E2-Wire » Ballot Box Sen. Murkowski targets Tea Party Express in new ad RACE OF THE DAY "“ California 11Candidates campaign on lame-duck legislation fears More Ballot Box » On The Money Senate passes bill to keep government running through Dec.Senate pushes up votes to 7 p.m.Senate expected to pass continuing resolution later tonight More On The Money » Healthwatch Healthcare ThursdayRockefeller: Mine safety bill has 'less of a chance' next yearVan Hollen: GOP's alternative 9/11 bill broke their 'Pledge to America' More Healthwatch » Blogs News Feed You need Flash Player 8 (or higher) and JavaScript enabled to view this content var config = new Array(); // Edit these parameters to configure your Brightcove Badge config["divId"] = "flashcontent"; config["playerId"] = 28096213001; //the player's id config["lineupId"] = null; //lineup id (optional, if not used enter null) config["columns"] = 2; //number of columns config["rows"] = 1; //number of rows config["bgcolor"] = "#FFFFFF"; //movie background color config["openInNewWindow"] = "true"; //open player in a new window createbadge(config); COLUMNISTS Markos Moulitsas We poll for a reason Dick Morris Obliterating a generation David Keene Dems hide but can't run Brent Budowsky Third party in 2012 More Columnists »

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One business source opposed to the legislation earlier this week said how China responds to the vote could determine whether the Senate takes action. If China's currency rises significantly between now and the lame-duck session, the source said, a Senate vote on the legislation would be less likely.

The vote Tuesday was a rare example of division within the House GOP conference, which has largely voted in lockstep against Democratic legislation this Congress.

Most Republican opponents of the bill acknowledged that China undervalues its currency, but echoed the concerns of business groups that say passing the measure would spark a trade war with China that could destabilize the U.S. economy.

"We are starting to see the makings of a currency war out there where others are devaluing their currencies at our expense," said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), who voted against the bill.

"We're simply pandering instead of considering what will actually open new markets," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another opponent.

Other Republicans argued that the U.S. needs to develop a comprehensive trade agenda in order to fully resolve its issues with China.

Some Democrats looked to attack Republicans who voted against the measure, saying they were siding with U.S. corporations with investments in China over U.S. workers.

"They always find an excuse to side with their foreign benefactors," Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said of the GOP. "They're worried about a trade war. We're at war at China ... They are supporting capitulation; we are finally starting to fight back on this side of the aisle."

Other Republicans said China's currency policies had devastated U.S. manufacturers, and complained that both the Bush and Obama administrations had been slow to act.

"Chinese currency manipulation is the driving force behind this destruction" of the manufacturing sector, said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). He said the two White Houses had "refused to do anything but talk on the issue of Chinese currency manipulation."

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), a frequent critic of China's human-rights policies, said: "[Chinese leaders] have not only mistreated their own people, because they are the worst kind of tyrants that one can imagine, they have mistreated the American people as well."

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