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Op-Ed: Businesses don't need 'help' like Toomey's
I felt the need to respond to a recent partisan column in The York Dispatch by David N. Taylor, which painted a positive picture of Sen. Pat Toomey but failed to point out his votes against small business owners and manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Mr. Taylor failed to point out Sen. Toomey's numerous votes against American manufacturing jobs. Toomey has filibustered the Bring Jobs Home Act twice, which would have ended tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas and would have provided tax credits for businesses that bring jobs back onshore.
As the president of a company that manufacturers all of its goods right here in the good old U.S.A., I am shocked at Senator Toomey's failure to support the effort to bring jobs back to America.
Toomey cast these harmful votes at a time when over 50,000 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. have shut down over the last decade and America has lost about 6 million manufacturing jobs. Toomey also opposed bills that helped the auto industry recover during the Great Recession. Time after time, Sen. Toomey is on the wrong side of history.
And after filibustering a transportation bill in 2013 that included infrastructure funding for the critical corridors that manufacturers use to transport their products, Toomey gloated to a Tea Party Patriots meeting, "We did something constructive today ... I told you we'd kill it, and we did."
How is killing infrastructure funding for the critical corridors that manufacturers use to transport their products constructive? What Pennsylvania manufacturer wants their products bouncing down Pennsylvania's neglected roads and across Pennsylvania's crumbling bridges?
Sen. Toomey — if killing infrastructure funding is your idea of help, please stop.
Toomey also has consistently voted against funding for small manufacturing businesses in the United States.
For example, he's voted against federal loans that help manufacturers purchase machinery, equipment and working capital. He's also voted against tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds, the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms, grants and venture capital.
In addition to harming manufacturing jobs in America, Toomey has turned his back on small business owners on a consistent basis.
For example, Toomey has voted to end microloans and access to capital for start-up businesses. He voted to close 16 Veterans Business Outreach Centers and 100 Women's Business Centers.
He also voted against a bill that would have given incentives to small businesses that hire new employees or increase their wages.
In fact, Toomey's record against small businesses is so extreme that he was one of only 29 senators who voted against an amendment that sought to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps small businesses expand into export markets. While 22 Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of the bank's reauthorization, Toomey joined the fringe wing of his party.
In Pennsylvania alone, the Ex-Im Bank supported over 250 businesses that conducted a total of $6 billion in transactions since 2007, directly supporting 35,000 jobs in the process.
As the president of a manufacturing company that produces goods that are shipped around the world from our headquarters in Pennsylvania, I am deeply disappointed in Sen. Toomey's voting record. He claims to support small business, but his votes clearly tell a different story.
The proof is in the pudding. How can we trust a political leader who says one thing and does the complete opposite? What other interests is Sen. Toomey claiming to support while his votes actually undermine those same interests?
As the original op-ed writer, Tanya S. Wagner, correctly noted, Toomey's harmful votes are the reason why we need change in Washington, D.C. We need to elect a leader like former Admiral Joe Sestak, who was the vice chairman of the Small Business Committee in Congress. He also was the Admiral "CEO" overseeing the U.S. Navy's $350 billion budget for warfare programs, which dealt directly with small businesses.
Sestak voted to close tax loopholes that ship jobs overseas. He also voted for the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, which provided bridge loans that prevented the collapse of the domestic auto industry — while demanding strict accountability for taxpayer funds and industry innovation to achieve greater efficiency and international competitiveness.
Sestak authored and passed legislation to help small business owners compete with larger companies for federal contracts, support entrepreneurship through business development centers, and help small manufacturers survive in a competitive global economy. He authored and passed the Small Business Entrepreneurial Development Programs Act to enhance Small Business Development Centers, including Women Business Development Centers as well as the Service Corps for Retired Executives (SCORE).
He co-sponsored the Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act to establish a Veterans Business Center Program.
Sestak — the highest-ranking former military officer ever to be elected to the House of Representatives and the most productive member of his freshman legislative class — is the type of accountable leader we need to send to the Senate.
— Bill Swartz is the president of Pewtarex, a metalware manufacturer based in York.