Amendment to Cut Unauthorized Appropriations to the International Trade Administration

Amendment to Cut Unauthorized Appropriations to the International Trade Administration
House Chamber, Washington D.C.
May 8, 2012

Mme. Chairman:

    This amendment cuts more than a quarter billion dollars of unauthorized appropriations from the International Trade Administration.

    What does it do, exactly?  The ITA has some legitimate functions enforcing trade agreements and treaties.  This amendment leaves these functions untouched.

    But it also – to quote from its own material – provides counseling to American companies in order to develop the most profitable and sustainable plans for pricing, export, and the full range of public and private trade promotion assistance… as well as market intelligence, and industry and market specific research,”

    That’s well and good, but Mme. Chairman, isn’t that what businesses, trade associations and the Chamber of Commerce are supposed to do with their own money?  Why should taxpayers pay for the profits of private companies?  If a specific business or industry is the sole beneficiary of these services, shouldn’t it be the sole financer of them – either individually or collectively through trade associations?

    True, this program has been around for generations, but Franklin Roosevelt, hardly a champion of smaller government, had the right idea when he slashed its budget back in 1932 and closed 31 of its offices.  The problem is it didn’t take, and today, ITA has 240 offices.

    The ITA’s authorization lapsed in 1996 – 16 years ago.  It has not been reviewed or authorized by Congress since then, but we still keep shoveling money out the door. 

    But although it hasn’t been reviewed by Congress in all those years, it has been thoroughly weighed by the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget and the President’s Fiscal Commission and they have all found it sadly wanting.  

    The Simpson-Bowles Report summed it up nicely when they said – quote --

    “Services provided by ITA’s U.S. Commercial Services and other Divisions directly providing assistance to U.S. Companies should be financed by beneficiaries of this assistance. While the agency charges fees for those services, its fees do not cover the costs of all its activities.  Additionally, it is argued that the benefits of trade promotion activities are passed on to foreigners in the form of decreased export costs.”  Simpson-Bowles goes on to say, “According to a study by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), businesses can receive similar services from state, local, and private-sector entities. The CBO option to eliminate ITA’s promotion activities or charge the program’s beneficiaries saves $267 million in 2010 and $1.6 billion through 2014.”

    Mme. Chairman, if the CBO, the OMB and the President’s fiscal commission all agree this is wasteful and Congress hasn’t bothered to reauthorize it since it expired sixteen years ago, why do we continue to spend money that we don’t have duplicating services the beneficiaries of those services either don’t need or are perfectly capable of funding on their own?

    And if the companies that we are told directly benefit from these “essential” services aren’t willing to fund them, maybe that’s just nature’s way of telling us that we shouldn’t be fleecing our constituents’ earnings to pay for them. 

    And why would we tap American taxpayers to subsidize the export activities of foreigners, as Simpson-Bowles notes.

    The rules of the House were specifically written to prevent this type of unauthorized expenditure – and they provide for a point of order to be raised if it’s included in an appropriations bill.  That’s exactly what we have here.  But alas, that rule is routinely waived when these measures are brought to the floor, making this amendment necessary. 

    This is a prime example of corporate welfare and we ought to be done with it.

# # #

Tele-townhall banner 

Latest News

In Defense of Israel

We are watching the rise of Islamic fascism on a scale unprecedented in modern times. It may be wrapped in different symbols and trace its genealogy through a different line, but at its core, it is fascism. Listen to its virulent anti-Semitism, the explicit promise of genocide, the utter rejection - indeed, disdain - for fundamental principles of democracy, justice and human rights. There can be no doubt what is happening. European fascism might have consumed all of Europe except for one gritty holdout - for more than a year, Great Britain stood in the breach. Had it fallen, the consequences would have been unthinkable.

The Border Crisis

Wherever I go, people express a growing anger over the illegal immigration that is overwhelming our southern border. People ask me: "How can we talk about securing the border...

HR 5397 - Adding Taxpayer Protections and a Guaranteed Right of Public Use to Previous Proposals to Expand the Boundaries of Yosemite National Park

"The proposed addition to the park offers spectacular views from Henness Ridge and still has remnants of timber roads that could be adapted for hiking, riding, mountain biking, and other recreational pursuits," said McClintock. "In acquiring this land, it is important that the public have an explicit guarantee of access...

View more »

Search

Connect with Tom

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • News Feed

Upcoming Events

Town Hall Meetings
Congressman McClintock will hold the following town hall meetings in August:
 
August 5
6:00 PM
Loomis Town Hall
Loomis Train Depot
5775 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis
 
August 7
6:00 PM
Copperopolis Town Hall
Copperopolis Armory
695 Main Street, Copperopolis
 
August 13
6:00 PM
Roseville Town Hall
Timber Creek Ballroom, Sun City
7050 Del Webb Blvd., Roseville
 
August 25
6:00 PM
Rocklin Town Hall
Rocklin Event Center
2650 Sunset Boulevard, Rocklin


-----------------------


Staff Satellite Office Hours

Office staff members are available to assist constituents with problems or concerns at satellite office locations held throughout the district.  Anyone wishing to discuss an issue of federal concern is invited to attend one of these satellite office sessions and speak with a member of staff.  For more information, or to reach staff, please call the district office at 916-786-5560.
  
Staff Satellite Office Hours:
 
Amador County 

Jackson 
Tuesday, August 26th 
10:00 am - 11:30 am 
Conference Room D 
County Administration Center 
810 Court Street
 
Calaveras County 

San Andreas 
Tuesday, August 12th 
10:00 am - 11:30 am 
Calaveras County Water Agency Conference Room 120 Toma Court
 
El Dorado County 

Camino 
Thursday, August 14th 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm 
Camino Pollock Pines Chamber of Commerce 
4123 Carson Road

El Dorado Hills 
Thursday, August 14th 
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm 
El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce 
2085 Vine Street, #105

Fresno County 

Auberry 
Thursday, August 21st 
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm 
The Auberry Library 
33049 Auburn Rd

Madera County  

Oakhurst 
Tuesday, August 19th 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm 
Yosemite Visitor Bureau Conference Room 
40637 Highway 41

Coarsegold 
Thursday, August 7th  
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm 
Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse 
30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway 
 
Mariposa County 

Mariposa 
Tuesday, August 26th 
8:30 am - 10:00 am 
Library Conference Room
4978 10th Street

Placer County 

Auburn 
Tuesday, August 12th 
9:00 am - 11:00 am 
Canyon View Community Center 
Sunset Room 
471 Maidu Drive

Auburn 
Tuesday, August 12th 
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
Auburn City Hall 
Room #10 
1225 Lincoln Way

Lincoln 
Tuesday, August 19th 
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
Sun City Lincoln Hills 
The Oaks Room 
925 Orchard Creek Lane

Rocklin 
Tuesday, August 26th 
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm 
Rocklin City Hall 
3980 Rocklin Rd

Roseville 
Wednesday, August 27th 
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
Sun City Roseville 
Birch Room 
7050 Del Webb Boulevard

Tuolumne County 

Sonora 
Tuesday, August 12th  
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
Small Business Center Conference Room 
99 N Washington St
 
  
For further information on staff satellite office hours, please call 916-786-5560.