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.