Hoyer Outlines ‘Make It in America’ Agenda for Dems

The House minority whip says the proposals should draw support from Republicans, but time for legislation is short.

National Journal
Billy House
June 10, 2014, 2:53 p.m.

House Demo­crats led by Minor­ity Whip Steny Hoy­er on Wed­nes­day plan to roll out an up­dated ver­sion of their “Make It in Amer­ica” agenda, a pack­age of pro­pos­als Hoy­er has pushed for much of this dec­ade aimed at cre­at­ing middle-class jobs by re­build­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

“We think this is a bi­par­tis­an agenda,” Hoy­er said in an in­ter­view, adding seconds later that he be­lieves it is even “a uni­fy­ing agenda.”

Hoy­er de­flec­ted a ques­tion about why the up­date is only now — so late in the ses­sion — be­ing un­veiled. But he in­sisted there is genu­ine hope that some of its pro­vi­sions could at very least be in­cor­por­ated in­to some lar­ger Re­pub­lic­an bills.

In fact, some of the pro­pos­als be­ing high­lighted in the pack­age are bills from new­er House Demo­crats. In­clu­sion of those meas­ures will al­most cer­tainly provide these law­makers with cam­paign-trail am­muni­tion to counter claims that House Re­pub­lic­ans corner the mar­ket on con­cern about jobs and the eco­nomy.

Those bills in­clude one called the Man­u­fac­tur­ing Jobs for Vet­er­ans Act, sponsored by Rep. Su­z­an Del­Bene of Wash­ing­ton. Her bill is de­signed to ac­cel­er­ate skills-train­ing for vet­er­ans for man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­reers.

An­oth­er is the Edu­ca­tion for Jobs Act, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Lu­jan Grisham of New Mex­ico, which would ex­pand fed­er­al stu­dent-loan pro­grams to work­ing pro­fes­sion­als and oth­ers who may have dif­fi­culty meet­ing cur­rent re­quire­ments.

And a third is the Work­ers Op­por­tun­ity and Re­train­ing Com­pet­it­ive Grant Pro­gram, sponsored by Rep. Bill En­yart of Illinois, which es­tab­lishes a man­u­fac­tur­ing grant pro­gram to provide schol­ar­ships to un­em­ployed work­ers for man­u­fac­tur­ing job re­train­ing.

But among pro­vi­sions of the Demo­crats’ agenda is one cer­tain to grab at­ten­tion: a call for re­new­ing the charter of the little-known Ex­port-Im­port Bank later this year. The bank makes tax­pay­er-backed loans to help over­seas en­tit­ies buy U.S. products, au­thor­iz­ing roughly $27 bil­lion in fisc­al 2013 to back about $37 bil­lion in ex­port sales.

House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor had teamed with Hoy­er to put to­geth­er a bill in 2012 that raised the bank’s lend­ing lim­it and ex­ten­ded its charter through this year. But the fate of the bank ap­pears very much in the air as con­ser­vat­ive law­makers and groups such as Her­it­age Ac­tion and the Club for Growth have come out against re­new­ing its charter, which ex­pires on Sept. 30.

Hoy­er said he knows that Can­tor and oth­er House GOP lead­ers are wrest­ling with the is­sue. But he pre­dicted that, ul­ti­mately, “I think the busi­ness com­munity is go­ing to push Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship very hard on this,” and that the charter will be re­newed once again.

What We're Following See More »
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
14 hours ago

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
15 hours ago

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
16 hours ago

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
18 hours ago

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
20 hours ago

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."