What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : General : H.R. 556 (National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act), McCaul of Texas amendment to require annual reporting on the amount of regulation in the United States compared to other countries/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 house Roll Call 107)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H.R. 556 (National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act), McCaul of Texas amendment to require annual reporting on the amount of regulation in the United States compared to other countries/On agreeing to the amendment
house Roll Call 107     Feb 28, 2007
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This vote was on an amendment to a bill attempting to improve the security review required for foreign investments in the United States. The amendment, offered by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), would require the annual report to Congress by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to include a detailed discussion of the amount of regulation in the United States as compared to other countries.

The bill to which McCaul was seeking to amend was prompted by reports in 2006 that the Bush administration had approved a deal allowing Dubai Ports World - a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates - to manage six of the largest ports in the United States. The deal was approved with minimal review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). (After widespread criticism of the way the deal was approved, Dubai Ports World eventually withdrew its bid.)

McCaul said his amendment would improve the oversight requirements included in the underlying bill and would allow Congress to be better informed on how future legislation would affect foreign investment.

"The underlying bill again is about foreign investment," McCaul said on the House floor. "I believe foreign investment affects national security. Issues relating to taxation and regulation certainly impact the foreign investments that are made both in this country and outside."

Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the amendment was not relevant to the bill. He called the series of amendments McCaul offered to the bill a "diversion."

"The fact is that if you define everything as national security, you really can't do the piece by piece that you want to," Frank said. The amendment, Frank said, was basically a requirement that the administration undertake an annual study on the effect of regulation on business. That discussion had no place in this debate, which is why the White House opposed it, Frank added.

By a vote of 197-231, the amendment failed on a party-line vote. Three Democrats and three Republicans didn't vote with their respective parties, but otherwise Republicans supported McCaul's effort, and Democrats near unanimously opposed it. Thus, the House defeated an amendment to require annual reporting on the amount of regulation in the United States, and a bill to improve the security review required for foreign investments in the United States proceeded without the provision.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss