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Howard Coble (R-NC): "It's my momma talking to me" (CAFTA "no" vote)

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Bush_Eats_Beef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:39 AM
Original message
Howard Coble (R-NC): "It's my momma talking to me" (CAFTA "no" vote)
Bush had urged Republicans at a meeting on Wednesday to put aside "parochial interests" and argued CAFTA would increase regional prosperity and reduce illegal immigration, said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican. Some Republicans were unmoved.

"I told President Bush that my late mom was a textile worker," said Rep. Howard Coble (news, bio, voting record), a North Carolina Republican. "And when textile workers ... plead with me to vote against CAFTA, I said to the president 'it's my momma talking to me and I cannot turn a deaf ear to those pleas'."


Washington, Jul 27 - Saying it would be a bad deal for 6th District textile workers that he represents, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) said he will vote against the Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) when it reaches the House floor. Congressman Coble the co-chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus said DR-CAFTA does not offer enough protection to the beleaguered U.S. textile industry which has lost tens of thousands of jobs during the past few years.

I have met face-to-face with President Bush, Speaker Hastert, Commerce Secretary Guitierrez, Trade Representative Portman, and numerous advocates on behalf of CAFTA, Rep. Coble noted. I told all of them the same story. When I talk with textile workers in my district and look into the faces of those pleading with me to vote against CAFTA and protect their jobs, I see the face of my mama who worked in the textile industry when I was young. Many of these workers are women, and they fear that CAFTA will force their jobs out of North Carolina. Because of my mama, I know the importance of textile jobs to North Carolinas economy and a way of life that is all-too-fast disappearing. I fear that CAFTA will accelerate the demise of these domestic textile jobs.

Coble said he was disappointed that Democrats in the House have used DR-CAFTA as a political football. I have been told, Coble added, that many Democrats, who traditionally have been in favor of free trade agreements, are being pressured by their leadership to cast no votes in an attempt to hand President Bush a political defeat. It is disappointing that members would be playing such fierce partisan politics with an important policy decision.

Rep. Coble said he would favor Congress extending the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) which does a better job protecting many U.S. textile manufacturers than DR-CAFTA. I have yet to be presented with a cogent argument as to why CBTPA could not be effectively reauthorized or why CAFTA could not be renegotiated to make its textile-specific provisions stronger, Rep. Coble said. For example, under CBTPA, with one exception, the use of U.S. yarn, fabric and components are required in order for apparel from CBTPA countries to qualify duty-free. CAFTA eliminates this U.S.-only requirement, and instead, allows for a regional (CAFTA countries or the U.S.) requirement for yarn, fabric and components to be used in garments afforded tax-free importation into the U.S. In addition, the CAFTA text contains several significant loopholes that will benefit countries that were not party to the negotiations, such as China.

Rep. Coble noted that under the so-called single transformation loophole, there would be an unlimited amount of fabric and yarn that could be imported from any country (such as China) for brassieres, woven boxers and woven nightwear. That being said, Coble added, there is no question that thanks to the hard work and efforts of many in the textile industry, CAFTA has been vastly improved, with some, but not all, of these loopholes closed, from the agreements original construction. Here again, lies part of the problem. This is not a vote just for the CAFTA agreement, but a vote for CAFTA plus, or various side-agreements (sweeteners) that have been added outside of the text of the original agreement to make a yes vote more palatable for some members of Congress. It is my understanding that many of these side agreements rely on either Congress to pass additional legislation and/or the good-faith of the six CAFTA countries to approve these new provisions which are, again, outside the scope of the original CAFTA agreement.

Rep. Coble added that CAFTA will cost more than just jobs. I have taken note of a recent analysis compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office stating that CAFTA would cost U.S. taxpayers $500 million over the next 10 years, Coble stated, and furthermore, would cause revenues to the U.S. treasury to decline by $4.4 billion over the same 10-year period, or about $440 million a year. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, CAFTA is saddled with a serious perception problem. For better or worse, if I were to vote yes on CAFTA, many of my constituents would say that I was just kicking out the door the last of North Carolinas remaining textile jobs. Because of that, I will be a no vote when the roll is called.
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bushisanidiot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. A republican who actually stands up for the working american?
has hell frozen over?
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jojo54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Well, the heat wave broke sssoooooo........maybe it's started. n/t
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highnooner Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Walter Jones, Another NC Republican
is voting against CAFTA.
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jojo54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's the 15 f_cker DLCers that we have to go after.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Are all 15 DLCers?
Is there a list that this can be verified?
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Awwwwwwwww, that's sweet
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 07:51 AM by NoMoreMyths
It's a shame we're nothing but a commodity to be traded on the global market at the whim of the wealthy. Always have been, always will be.

But still quite touching. That little old man...wait, I have something in my eye...talking about his momma. Priceless.

A commodity has a price though.
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flakey_foont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm in Coble's district
heard his little speach ...felt proud of the guy
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