Home Budget, Economy Wait, Did We Actually Elect Harris Miller to the U.S. Senate?

Wait, Did We Actually Elect Harris Miller to the U.S. Senate?

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You might recall that a major issue in the 2006 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Virginia was Harris Miller’s support for outsourcing American jobs. Heck, Jim Webb even called Miller the “antichrist of outsourcing,” whatever that means exactly. Anyway, it was a major issue, and rightfully so. Fortunately, Miller lost the primary and was not elected to the U.S. Senate. Or was he?!?

The reason I ask that last question is that, earlier today, it appeared that Mark Warner was working hard to do his best possible Harris Miller imitation.

Senate Republicans beat back an effort by Democrats Tuesday to end tax breaks for companies who send jobs offshore only to import products back into the United States. The House has passed a series of similar legislation over the past several weeks, as Democrats work to portray Republicans as in the pocket of Big Business at the expense of workers, the economy, the trade deficit and the budget deficit. That message was muddied, however, by the defection of four Democrats and Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman, who voted against the motion to end a filibuster.

In addition to Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, our own Harris Miller Mark Warner  not only voted against this important measure for American workers, he voted to sustain a freakin’ Mitch McConnell filibuster of the legislation! So far, I haven’t seen a statement from Sen. Warner’s office, nor have I received a response to my request for an explanation. Perhaps we should all just skip Warner and call the Chamber of Commerce directly on this? Or, I suppose we could just contact Harris Miller, now gainfully occupied representing another slimeball industry. Grrrr.

UPDATE 6:25 pm: I just received the following statement from Sen. Warner’s office.

No one has worked harder to bring jobs and new investment to regions like Southside and Southwest Virginia than Mark Warner. In fact, he’s been working with economic development officials in those regions for almost a year now on legislation to create responsible incentives to encourage more jobs and investment in these regions.

His concern with today’s legislation was the way it would be paid for: he certainly supported ending a tax deduction for a company’s expenses in dismantling a U.S. plant, but he had concerns about the second ‘pay-for’ because it represented only a piecemeal approach to trade policy.  Senator Warner thinks we should be focused instead on making the strongest possible business case for attracting and retaining investment and jobs here in this country.

  • martinlomasney

    n/t

  • tentwenty

    Senator Warner offered no details how he would “make the strongest possible business case for attracting and retaining investment and jobs in the country.”  

    His excuse was that the measures don’t do enough, but when you say that, and then offer no other policy measures to make the bill stronger, it sounds like he is just trying to cover his ass for voting to outsource jobs from the country.

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    I personally was too disgusted to “gather my thoughts” on this subject tonight.  So I thank you for posting…and for your comparison, which is a good one.  This is the perfect example of a vote which kicks Virginians and Americans in the gut.  Warner’s office may try to talk themselves out of this, with cost as the straw man, but at its core, the vote was cavalier, mean-spirited and cruel. It is breathtaking how out-of-touch and how anti-worker the obstructionists are. One other thing: Warner just saved himself the effort for running for President (again). Otherwise, good luck with that.  

  • notlarrysabato

    If you want the job, go move to China where you can work in conditions that save Mark money.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    (snark) Poor Mark. No one understands that he is simply trying to help the average American worker by encouraging him (or her) to “retrain” himself (or herself) because the jobs of “tomorrow” require that. After all, Mark understands that the implement that made him a mega-millionaire – the cell phone – is manufactured completely outside of the U.S. So, why should Prince Mark want to keep entrepreneurs from outsourcing other jobs to deserving third-worlders willing to work without benefits or overtime or unions or safe working conditions. (snark)

    Mark knows that the Democratic Leadership Council, that Clinton-era DLC, is where his heart lies, his affection resides.

    Hey, if anyone wonders why Warner is the most popular Virginia politician, well…he has the Dems bamboozled and the business GOPers understand his wink-wink to them.  

  • libra

    sometimes just who, in Warner’s opinion, his constituents were. Now I know: the haves and the have-mores.

  • Sorry, Senator Warner.  If we don’t do it piecemeal, we will never change anything.  It’s impossible to conceive of the government, not only so extremely partisan, but also so entrenched by lobbying groups, ever approaching overhauling trade policy in a robust way.  And you know that as well as anyone.

  • NotJohnSMosby

    Mark Warner is not a liberal.  He’s a moderate, as is Webb.  A liberal Dem will not get elected Senator from Virginia, sorry to be the one to tell you that.  Virginia as a whole is still leaning conservative/Republican, much less so than 20 years ago but still decidedly not liberal.  

    If you want a straight-line liberal Senator, you’re going to have to move across the Potomac.  Maryland and New York will guarantee you at least one liberal vote on every issue, Rhode Island and Vermont will get you two every time.  

    Warner – and Webb – vote 99% our way.  Sometimes they won’t, as most politicians will on occasion.  Who are the viable Dems to primary either Webb in 2012 or Warner in 2014?  Kaine?  He’s not any more liberal than Warner.  McAuliffe?  He’s governor in 2013 or bust.  Brian Moran?  Ward Armstrong?

    Electability in a general election must be a primary concern when selecting a candidate.  Not the one who appeals to just progressives or Dems in general, but who will garner 50.1% of the statewide vote.  Warner is in a position to stay in the Senate for decades if he so chooses, he’s by far the most popular politician in the state – from either party.  He’s a great Dem who does great things for the Party and for Virginia.  If you want to get your panties in a bunch because of the occasional stray from your view of strict “Democratic/progressive/liberal/whatever”, then you really shouldn’t be involved in politics.  Because your preferred candidates will lose a hell of a lot more often than they’ll win.  And as we’ve continuously seen, a bad Democratic is far more desirable than any Republican.