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Congress at Work for August 2014

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Bringing Jobs Home and Cracking Down on Human Trafficking

Bring Jobs Home Act (S 2569) – This bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 93-7 on July 23 and moves to the House for debate. If the bill were to become law, corporations would lose the ability to deduct the cost of moving overseas. There is renewed interest in the bill because it’s a congressional election year and because, in recent years, corporate offshoring has become more prevalent as American corporations used mergers to transfer their headquarters overseas to lower their tax liability. Specifically, this act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to grant businesses a tax credit (up to 20 percent) for insourcing expenses incurred by eliminating a business located outside the United States and relocating it within the United States, and mandate that companies increase the number of full-time employees in the United States in order to claim the credit. In addition, it also would eliminate the tax deduction for outsourcing expenses related to relocating a U.S. business outside the United States. President Obama first called on Congress to pass such legislation in early 2012 as part of his strategy to restore American manufacturing.

Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 4449) – Sponsored by Sean Maloney, Democratic Representative for New York’s 18th congressional district, this bill amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to require training for federal government personnel. Provisions of the bill include a distance learning course on trafficking-in-persons issues and the Department of State’s obligations under the Act, specific trafficking-in-persons briefings for all ambassadors and deputy chiefs of mission before they depart for their posts; and at least annual reminders to all such personnel of key problems, threats, methods and warning signs of trafficking and appropriate procedures to report information about possible trafficking cases. The bill passed in the House on July 23 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention and Recovery Act of 2014 (H.R. 5135) – Sponsored by Kristi Noem, Republican Representative for South Dakota at Large, this bill would direct the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking to identify strategies to prevent children from becoming victims of trafficking, review trafficking prevention efforts, protect and assist in the recovery of trafficking victims, and authorize grants for programs that provide housing assistance for these victims. The bill also would require the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress regarding federal and state law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in the United States, and information on each relevant federal grant program. The bill passed in the House on July 23 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3806) – Introduced by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), this act would amend the Internet Tax Freedom Act to make permanent the ban on state and local taxation of Internet access and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The bill passed in the House on July 15 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R. 4250) – Reported by committee and recommended for consideration, this bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to provide an alternative process to review the safety and effectiveness of the active ingredients in nonprescription sunscreen.

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