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Press Releases :: April 5, 2006

Dems Quest For Jobs Report Successful

Committee Reaches Agreement to Obtain Valuable Data from Commerce Department on Offshoring

House Science Committee Democrats today reached an agreement with their Republican counterparts to jointly request that the U.S. Department of Commerce turn over valuable data on offshoring of U.S. jobs.

Obtaining the report containing an analysis of the state of U.S. jobs was the focus of H. Res. 717, a Resolution of Inquiry submitted by Science Democrats.  Democrats were successful in reaching a compromise today with the Committee’s Majority that will provide just that.

"I thank the Chairman for accepting the compromise that I put forward," stated Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN).  "I look forward to getting the data and putting it to good use for hardworking Americans."

More than two years ago, Appropriations Chairman Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) charged the Commerce Department with the task of studying the globalization of the U.S. workforce in knowledge intensive industries.  Analysts at the Department’s Technology Administration (TA) produced a large analytical document containing four chapters and comprising approximately 200 pages.

The report Democrats are seeking, titled Six-Month Assessment of Workforce Globalization in Certain Knowledge-Based Industries, was produced by TA analysts in 2004, but was never publicly released in full form.  Science Democrats have been requesting the full report, which represents the most thorough examination to date by the U.S. Government of the factors driving U.S. jobs “offshore” to foreign countries, since last fall.

Largely due to a FOIA request from an outside media entity, the Department released a 12-page summary of their analysis in September 2005.  The shortened document cost taxpayers roughly $335,000 and TA staff contend that the summary did not accurately reflect their lengthy analysis.

Democrats introduced their Resolution of Inquiry in early March 2006 to acquire the full report after efforts to jointly request the documents with the Committee Majority were rebuffed.  Today, that effort ended in a compromise – offered by Rep. Gordon – to jointly request the 200-page report from the Department.

"Our hope was simple and today we were successful," added Rep. Gordon.  "We wanted to find out what the best analysts in the Federal Government had to say about why so many U.S. jobs are going overseas.  If that data gained from this compromise leads to action that saves just one American job, this effort will have been worth it."

"I agreed to work in good faith today with the Chairman in return for getting the most information we can about the fate of American jobs," concluded Rep. Gordon.

Science Democrats expect that a deal can be worked out this week and the pertinent documents can be obtained from the Department of Commerce soon.


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