Property:U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2007 Senate Scorecard description

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C

CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 +In a significant victory for the Chamber, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate on an amendment to H.R. 6, the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, that would have levied punitive taxes on the oil and natural gas sector. As a result of this 57-36 vote, the tax increases were not included in the Senate energy package passed on June 21. The tax increase would have exceeded $32 billion and would have singled out the oil and natural gas industry for punitive tax treatment to pay for unproven alternative energy technologies that are not yet economically viable. Moreover, the tax increases likely would have been passed onto consumers, leading to higher prices for gasoline and home heating.Throughout 2007, the Chamber strongly opposed several schemes considered in the House and Senate to target the oil and natural gas sector for new taxes. Fortunately, no punitive tax increases were included in energy policy legislation, ultimately signed into law by President Bush on December 19., In a victory for the Chamber, the Senate on December 7 failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate on H.R. 6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act, which was at the time seriously flawed and unnecessarily anti-business energy legislation. The vote was 53-42. The version of H.R. 6 voted on December 7 would have established an unworkable 15 percent nationwide renewable electricity mandate and a $21 billion tax component that singled out the oil and natural gas industry for punitive tax increases. H.R. 6 was ultimately signed into law without the punitive tax increases or renewable electricity mandate.
College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 +In July, by a vote of 55-40, the Senate failed to attain the 60 votes necessary to waive the Budget Act to proceed with consideration of an amendment to H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. The Chamber strongly supported the amendment, which would have provided temporary relief for companies in need of highly skilled workers by raising the H1-B visa cap to 115,000 for 2008.The Chamber represents numerous companies and organizations that need to bring highly skilled workers into the United States each year. It is imperative to reform the H1-B visa program and the employment-based green card system to ensure that American businesses remain competitive.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007/Amendments +Despite strong opposition by the Chamber, the Senate, by a vote of 74-24, agreed to an amendment to S. 1348, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act, that would have cut the number of temporary workers in a future essential worker program from 400,000 to 200,000 a year. The Chamber supports a temporary worker program that realistically takes into account the needs of the economy in setting the number of visas to be granted. Ultimately, the Senate was unable to garner the support necessary to limit debate and bring S. 1348 to a final vote, and this amendment was not passed into law.

D

Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, 2008 +In September, the Senate passed H.R. 3074, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 88-7, with the Chamber’s full support. This legislation provides the necessary funding to ensure that the U.S. transportation system is the safest and most efficient in the world. The business community depends on a safe, reliable transportation system to remain competitive and productive. H.R. 3074 addresses the enormous demands of the U.S. transportation infrastructure system by providing funding for highway and transit programs authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). In addition, it provides full funding for the Federal Aviation Administration to improve the safety, performance, and capacity of the nation’s aviation system. This bill was ultimately folded into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 and signed into law by the president on December 26.

P

Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement +With strong support from the Chamber, the Senate passed H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act by a 77-18 vote in December after approval by the House. This trade agreement brings tangible commercial benefi ts to American workers, farmers, and firms while advancing key U.S. foreign policy interests. The agreement provides a level playing fi eld for American workers and farmers, ensuring that the United States gets liberalized access to the dynamic Peruvian market. Currently, most Peruvian products enter the U.S. market duty free, while American exports face an average tariff of 11 percent for manufactured goods and 16 percent for agricultural goods. This agreement corrects this unfair trade imbalance by eliminating nearly all tariffs on U.S. exports to Peru within a few years. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that this agreement will add $1.1 billion to U.S. exports and $2.1 billion to U.S. GDP. The president signed this legislation into law in December

U

U.S. Senate record vote 151, 110th Congress, Session 1 +The Chamber—a long-standing opponent of legislation to authorize the unregulated reimportation of medicines from foreign sources—supported a compromise amendment to S. 1082, the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act, that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to certify public health and safety before allowing any reimportation of pharmaceuticals into the United States. This compromise, which was approved 49-40, prevented an amendment from being included in S. 1082 that would have allowed unregulated drug reimportation. Reimported prescription drugs raise serious concerns about drug safety and counterfeiting. While the Chamber recognizes the need to make prescription drugs more accessible, reimportation legislation could eliminate the ability of drug manufacturers to ensure the integrity of their products and could expose Americans to mislabeled, tainted, or expired medications. No reimportation provisions were included in subsequent legislation that ultimately became law.
U.S. Senate record vote 175, 110th Congress, Session 1 +Despite strong opposition by the Chamber, the Senate, by a vote of 74-24, agreed to an amendment to S. 1348, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act, that would have cut the number of temporary workers in a future essential worker program from 400,000 to 200,000 a year. The Chamber supports a temporary worker program that realistically takes into account the needs of the economy in setting the number of visas to be granted. Ultimately, the Senate was unable to garner the support necessary to limit debate and bring S. 1348 to a final vote, and this amendment was not passed into law.
U.S. Senate record vote 223, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In a significant victory for the Chamber, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate on an amendment to H.R. 6, the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, that would have levied punitive taxes on the oil and natural gas sector. As a result of this 57-36 vote, the tax increases were not included in the Senate energy package passed on June 21. The tax increase would have exceeded $32 billion and would have singled out the oil and natural gas industry for punitive tax treatment to pay for unproven alternative energy technologies that are not yet economically viable. Moreover, the tax increases likely would have been passed onto consumers, leading to higher prices for gasoline and home heating.Throughout 2007, the Chamber strongly opposed several schemes considered in the House and Senate to target the oil and natural gas sector for new taxes. Fortunately, no punitive tax increases were included in energy policy legislation, ultimately signed into law by President Bush on December 19.
U.S. Senate record vote 266, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In July, by a vote of 55-40, the Senate failed to attain the 60 votes necessary to waive the Budget Act to proceed with consideration of an amendment to H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. The Chamber strongly supported the amendment, which would have provided temporary relief for companies in need of highly skilled workers by raising the H1-B visa cap to 115,000 for 2008.The Chamber represents numerous companies and organizations that need to bring highly skilled workers into the United States each year. It is imperative to reform the H1-B visa program and the employment-based green card system to ensure that American businesses remain competitive.
U.S. Senate record vote 336, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In September, the Senate passed H.R. 3074, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 88-7, with the Chamber’s full support. This legislation provides the necessary funding to ensure that the U.S. transportation system is the safest and most efficient in the world. The business community depends on a safe, reliable transportation system to remain competitive and productive. H.R. 3074 addresses the enormous demands of the U.S. transportation infrastructure system by providing funding for highway and transit programs authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). In addition, it provides full funding for the Federal Aviation Administration to improve the safety, performance, and capacity of the nation’s aviation system. This bill was ultimately folded into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 and signed into law by the president on December 26.
U.S. Senate record vote 347, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In September, the Senate agreed to the conference report to H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act, 81-12, with the full support of the Chamber. This comprehensive water resources legislation is long overdue and provides the coordinated federal agenda needed to better protect the United States against severe weather and fl ooding and to facilitate commerce at the nation’s waterways and ports. H.R. 1495 provides the Army Corps of Engineers with the resources needed to undertake hundreds of flood control, navigation, and environmental mitigation projects over the next two years and ensures that transportation demands are met. The president vetoed the legislation in November.
U.S. Senate record vote 406, 110th Congress, Session 1 +Following House action to override the president’s veto, the Senate on December 8 voted 79-14 to override the veto. The measure became law. The Water Resources Development Act—typically authorized on a two-year basis—is an important Chamber priority and had not been reauthorized since 2000.
U.S. Senate record vote 413, 110th Congress, Session 1 +With strong support from the Chamber, the Senate passed H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act by a 77-18 vote in December after approval by the House. This trade agreement brings tangible commercial benefi ts to American workers, farmers, and firms while advancing key U.S. foreign policy interests. The agreement provides a level playing fi eld for American workers and farmers, ensuring that the United States gets liberalized access to the dynamic Peruvian market. Currently, most Peruvian products enter the U.S. market duty free, while American exports face an average tariff of 11 percent for manufactured goods and 16 percent for agricultural goods. This agreement corrects this unfair trade imbalance by eliminating nearly all tariffs on U.S. exports to Peru within a few years. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that this agreement will add $1.1 billion to U.S. exports and $2.1 billion to U.S. GDP. The president signed this legislation into law in December
U.S. Senate record vote 416, 110th Congress, Session 1 +In a victory for the Chamber, the Senate on December 7 failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate on H.R. 6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act, which was at the time seriously flawed and unnecessarily anti-business energy legislation. The vote was 53-42. The version of H.R. 6 voted on December 7 would have established an unworkable 15 percent nationwide renewable electricity mandate and a $21 billion tax component that singled out the oil and natural gas industry for punitive tax increases. H.R. 6 was ultimately signed into law without the punitive tax increases or renewable electricity mandate.
U.S. prescription drug legislation +The Chamber—a long-standing opponent of legislation to authorize the unregulated reimportation of medicines from foreign sources—supported a compromise amendment to S. 1082, the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act, that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to certify public health and safety before allowing any reimportation of pharmaceuticals into the United States. This compromise, which was approved 49-40, prevented an amendment from being included in S. 1082 that would have allowed unregulated drug reimportation. Reimported prescription drugs raise serious concerns about drug safety and counterfeiting. While the Chamber recognizes the need to make prescription drugs more accessible, reimportation legislation could eliminate the ability of drug manufacturers to ensure the integrity of their products and could expose Americans to mislabeled, tainted, or expired medications. No reimportation provisions were included in subsequent legislation that ultimately became law.
United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act +With strong support from the Chamber, the Senate passed H.R. 3688, the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act by a 77-18 vote in December after approval by the House. This trade agreement brings tangible commercial benefi ts to American workers, farmers, and firms while advancing key U.S. foreign policy interests. The agreement provides a level playing fi eld for American workers and farmers, ensuring that the United States gets liberalized access to the dynamic Peruvian market. Currently, most Peruvian products enter the U.S. market duty free, while American exports face an average tariff of 11 percent for manufactured goods and 16 percent for agricultural goods. This agreement corrects this unfair trade imbalance by eliminating nearly all tariffs on U.S. exports to Peru within a few years. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that this agreement will add $1.1 billion to U.S. exports and $2.1 billion to U.S. GDP. The president signed this legislation into law in December

W

Water Resources Development Act of 2007 +In September, the Senate agreed to the conference report to H.R. 1495, the Water Resources Development Act, 81-12, with the full support of the Chamber. This comprehensive water resources legislation is long overdue and provides the coordinated federal agenda needed to better protect the United States against severe weather and fl ooding and to facilitate commerce at the nation’s waterways and ports. H.R. 1495 provides the Army Corps of Engineers with the resources needed to undertake hundreds of flood control, navigation, and environmental mitigation projects over the next two years and ensures that transportation demands are met. The president vetoed the legislation in November., Following House action to override the president’s veto, the Senate on December 8 voted 79-14 to override the veto. The measure became law. The Water Resources Development Act—typically authorized on a two-year basis—is an important Chamber priority and had not been reauthorized since 2000.
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