NJ.com: Rep. Bill Pascrell calls for ‘insourcing’ tax credit at Bergen Technical High School stop
February 21, 2013
TETERBORO — U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell was at Bergen Technical High School on Thursday, getting a lesson on how circuit boards work from a class of juniors and seniors.
"We need you guys," Pascrell told the students. "If we don't have mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, we can't survive as the greatest country in the world."
Pascrell was in Teterboro to push the "Bring Jobs Home Act," a so-called "insourcing" initiative that would seek to punish businesses leaving the United States and reward those who return their business to American soil.
The bill is a top priority of the Obama administration that would remove business expense tax deductions for companies moving overseas, replacing them with a tax credit that amounts to 20 percent of the costs of relocating production back to the United States.
Pascrell said the tax credit would cover the costs of relocating the business, as well as the increase in labor and healthcare costs that come with higher labor practice standards in the U.S.
He said the House version of the measure was introduced during the last session of Congress but never came to a vote. He plans on reintroducing it to the floor on Monday.
The bill has its critics, including members of the GOP who blocked a Senate version last summer, calling it "political" and "misleading." Senate Democrats also reportedly refused GOP amendments to the bill.
Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser also had reservations about the Senate version, writing in a Boston Globe op-ed that the bill was "another invitation for corporate obfuscation, since it is easy to present plant relocations as the closing and opening of two different operations."
But Pascrell said Thursday that the current set-up is bleeding jobs from the American economy.
"One quarter of the jobs that exist right now are going to be gone in another 10 years if we don't do anything about it," he said. "They're going to be overseas someplace. And we're going to stand here and say, 'What do you know about that?'"
The Congressman toured the facilities at the Teterboro campus of Bergen Technical, a vocational high school recently recognized as a “Blue Ribbon School” by the U.S. Department of Education, as part of Career and Technical Education Month.
Senior Ann Claire Macalintal said the school's hands-on approach let her do everything from developing food products in school's culinology lab to working with students at the Robert L. Craig Elementary School in her hometown of Moonachie through an internship program.
She now wants to become a pediatrician specializing in special-needs patients, and has gotten acceptance letters from Drexel and Rutgers universities.
"These opportunities provided by BT helped shape my dream," she said.
Pascrell, a former teacher who said his own children attended technical schools, also said Congress needs to maintain support for the federal Perkins loan program, which provides low-interest loans to students seeking post-secondary education.
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