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 number of jobs in the United States related to foreign investment/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 house Roll Call 108)
 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 number of jobs in the United States related to foreign investment/On agreeing to the amendment
house Roll Call 108     Feb 28, 2007
Member's Vote
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Progressive Position
Progressive Result
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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 annual reporting on the number of jobs in the United States related to foreign investment.

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.

"It is hard for me to conceive why the Congress wouldn't want this kind of information in evaluating our national security policies as they relate to economics," McCaul continued, adding that it was difficult for him "to differentiate and dissect how national security is not impacted by our economic security and economic viability."

Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) replied, "The gentleman said he is unable to differentiate. I agree. He asked why don't I want this information. Mr. Chairman, I want lunch too, but I am not asking CFIUS to bring it to me.

"We want these people to thoroughly vet whether or not there is a purchase by foreign investors in America that could lead to national security issues in the narrow definition," Frank said, adding that lots of things were important to national security, but this bill was not the venue to debate them. He called the series of amendments McCaul offered to the bill a "diversion."

By a vote of 197-231, the amendment failed on a party-line vote. Two Democrats and two 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 number of jobs in the United States related to foreign investment, 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