Democrats and now some Republicans are criticizing President Bush’s weak handling of the outsourcing issue. Recently, the administration has begun to respond with ideas on making the U.S. labor force more competitive against international rivals. This answer is leaving some congressional Republicans unsatisfied, however. “Republicans have to have a better response because the Democrats are going to hit this until the horse drops,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) in a Washington Post piece on April 1. “So far, we’ve had an academic response to an emotional issue, and that never serves you in politics.”
The White House says it believes in creating a level playing field but also that free trade will eventually correct the short-term problems the country is experiencing with the offshoring of jobs. In an effort to politically back the President, Republicans are planning a “Hire Our Workers” debate this spring and summer in the House which will focus on tax cuts, tort and regulatory reform, energy production, research and development incentives and trade fairness. However, it will also include discussion of President Bush’s plans to institute federal job training programs.