Republican Led House Refuses to Take Up Call Center Bill

The Republican-majority House of Representatives Wednesday voted against consideration of HR 3596, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act.

CWA is a strong supporter of this bill that will keep good call center jobs in the U.S. and penalize employers that send jobs offshore. More than 500,000 U.S. call center jobs have been lost over the past six years.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Timothy Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Dave McKinley (R-W.Va.), has nearly 120 cosponsors. It would bar companies that send jobs offshore from receiving federal grants and loans for five years, requires that U.S. consumers be told the location of an overseas agent and provides for transfer of the consumer's call to a U.S. based agent.

House Democratic supporters tried to have the call center bill brought up as an amendment to another bill, but that effort failed.

Ron Collins, CWA's Chief of Staff, said, "The House of Representatives faced a stark choice — side with American consumers' security while revitalizing the job prospects of thousands of American workers or side with corporate America that is all too content to ship jobs overseas at any cost. It's not surprising that today's result broke along party lines and that most House Republicans sided with corporations like Bank of America, T-Mobile USA and Wells Fargo ahead of the best interests of the American public."

The final vote was 238-178 against consideration of the bill. Joining the bill's supporters was Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) Democrats who opposed the bill are Jason Altmire, Pa.; Dan Boren, Okla.; Jim Matheson, Utah; Kurt Schrader, Ore.; and Heath Shuler, N.C.

Seven Republicans and eight Democrats did not vote, including: Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Jesse Jackson Jr., (D-Ill.), Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), and C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.).

"Now we have a recorded vote on this critical issue, and we know who chose to stand with U.S. workers over corporations that offshore our jobs. Our members will take this into account in the fall elections," said Shane Larson, CWA Legislative Director.