Awarding tax credits to companies which maintain headquartered in the U.S. seems easy to support, but the concept faces an uphill battle in Congress.  The legislation, called the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act, offers incentives for companies which keep jobs in the U.S, pay most workers $15 per hour, recruit veterans and people with disabilities, and provide benefits.
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U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston), the House sponsor of the bill, says while Republicans haven’t supported legislation similar to this in the past, she hopes this attempt will be different.  “We need to do something for American workers,” Schakowsky said. “Those are the people in their district, not those that we have to compete with in China or Vietnam, but right here at home, and so we’re not going to give up on talking to our Republican colleagues.”
Schakowsky says voters should be shown that lower wages and the outsourcing of jobs are “not inevitable, that it’s choice,” and a choice which may lead to a different party being in control of Congress after next year’s elections.  The tax credit could be worth up to $1,200 per employee to companies which meet the criteria. Joe Block, president of Block Steel in Skokie, says he’s seen other companies in his own industry try to gain an advantage by moving jobs out of the U.S.  “Using lower-wage workers, lower resources, taking advantage of reduced environmental regulations, whatever it may be, which ends up costing American workers tremendously,” Block said.  U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.