DNC - Senator McCain's Strategy on Jobs and Energy: Say One Thing Do Another

Washington, DC--John McCain's failed economic policy tour continues, and so does his doubletalk.  Though he claims to have a "comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs," McCain supports more of the same Bush economic policies that have hurt American workers and unfair trade deals that have led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs.  Not exactly good news to the 200,000 workers in Pennsylvania and Ohio who have lost their jobs under President Bush and the millions more worried about keeping theirs. [johnmccain.com, accessed 7/8/08]  

When McCain visits an energy company today in Pittsburgh, the doubletalk will no doubt continue.  Though he has been talking about supporting alternative energy on the campaign trail, no amount of campaign rhetoric can bury McCain's voting record on the issue. McCain has opposed incentives for renewable energy and green jobs repeatedly during his time in Congress, in favor of giveaways for big oil.

From jobs to the economy to alternative energy, John McCain's say one thing do another approach to campaigning is not the kind of real solutions the American people are looking for.


Unemployment Up 26% In Pennsylvania. Unemployment is up 26% in Pennsylvania since President Bush took office. It was 4.3% in January of 2001 and preliminary figures for May are 5.2%. The number of unemployed workers has gone up from 262,572 to 330,548, an increase of 67,976 workers. [Local Area Unemployment Statistics, (Seasonally Adjusted), Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 6/29/08]

Unemployment Up 65% In Ohio. Unemployment is up in Ohio. It was 4.0% in January of 2001, and preliminary figures for May 2008 are 6.3%. The number of unemployed workers has gone up from 230,242 to 379,708, an increase of 149,466 workers. [Local Area Unemployment Statistics, (Seasonally Adjusted), Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 7/7/08, here]

McCain Predicted 316,000 New Jobs in 1993. Similarly, the NAFTA could result in the creation of 316,000 new jobs in this country, as well as tens of thousands of jobs in my home State of Arizona, in addition to adding considerably to overall economic output in Arizona, the United States and Mexico. President Clinton says that we must have safeguards to protect our workers and the environment. I agree that it is important that we negotiate these side agreements, but they should not forestall moving forward on the underlying agreement. [Congressional Record, 2/18/1993]

NAFTA Net Displacement Was One Million Workers. A 2006 Economic Policy Institute study found that NAFTA had displaced just over 1 million jobs in this country, and net job loss of 16,000 in Arizona. [Scott, Salas & Campbell, Revisiting NAFTA, 9/28/2006; http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/bp173]

2004: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Provide Assistance, Including Training, To Service And High-Tech Workers Whose Jobs Move Overseas. McCain voted against an amendment that provides that existing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits be made available to service and high-tech workers; clarifies that TAA benefits are available to workers whose company moves overseas to any other country; increases training funds to match anticipated enrollment; increases health care subsidy available to TAA beneficiaries from 65 percent to 75 percent; and provides economic adjustment plan assistance to communities that have significant trade-related layoffs. [2004 Senate Vote #80, 5/4/2004]

2002: McCain Voted Against Community College Training Programs For Trade Displaced Workers. McCain voted against an amendment that would outline additional trade negotiating objectives regarding textiles and establish an emergency assistance grant program for community colleges that provide training programs for displaced or endangered workers, and to allow community colleges to expand and create new retraining programs customized to immediate needs of communities. [2002 Senate Vote #111, 5/15/2002]

1995: McCain Voted Against Job-Retraining For Workers Displaced By International Trade Agreements. McCain voted against an amendment to maintain the worker retraining assistance part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides job retraining for workers laid off as a direct result of an international trade program such as NAFTA. [1995 Senate Vote #482, 10/10/1995]


2007: McCain Opposed Legislation Extending The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit; Recent Study Concluded More than 116,000 Jobs Could be Lost If the Tax Credit is Not Extended. John McCain supported the filibuster of the 2007 energy bill that included an extension of the production tax credit to 2011. While McCain missed the vote to on the bill, according to his staff he did, in fact, support the continuing the filibuster, which eventually killed the bill. In its place, Congress passed another version of the legislation that did not include an extension of the tax credit. A 2008 economic study by Navigant Consulting found that "over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress… The study concluded that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry." [HR 6, Vote 425, 12/13/07; Forbes, 12/13/07; U.S. News & World Report, 12/14/07; American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association press release, 2/4/08]

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Legislation McCain Opposed Included Investment Set To Expire Next Year For Generators Of Geothermal, Wind And Solar Power. "Compromises that won passage for a major energy bill in the Senate this week left investors for geothermal, wind and solar resources out in the cold. After a long struggle, the Senate passed the bill late Thursday. It increases vehicle fuel mileage standards and encourages energy efficiency in federal buildings and in electricity-guzzling appliances. The House is expected to take a final vote next week. But passage was assured only after negotiators removed provisions that would set a requirement that 15 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. Also gone were extensions for investment and production tax credits set to expire next year for generators of geothermal, wind and solar power. 'From the standpoint of renewable energy, the compromises were certainly a missed opportunity, and they were out of step with much of the support we get from across the country,' said Gregory Wetsone, director of government affairs at the American Wind Energy Association." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 12/15/07]

San Francisco Chronicle: Legislation McCain Opposed Also Sought Eliminate Tax Cuts for Oil Companies and Instead Fund Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the 2007 energy bill that McCain opposed "would have revoked $13.5 billion in tax breaks from the five largest oil companies. The money would have been redirected into tax incentives for solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, wave energy and other renewables. Consumers would have received a $3,000 tax credit for buying an electric plug-in hybrid and a tax credit of up to $4,000 for installing solar panels to power their homes. But the measure failed on a 59-40 vote, falling one vote shy of the 60 votes needed to end debate and move the bill forward." [2007 Vote 425, 12/13/07; San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14/07]

McCain Says He Would Veto The Farm Bill -- $300 Million in Renewable Biofuels Funding. The farm bill "provides $300 million in mandatory funding for payments to support production of advanced biofuels including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel." There is also "$250 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency systems for agriculture and rural small businesses." [McCain Prepared Remarks, 5/19/08; Reuters, 5/15/2008]

McCain Opposed $290 Million For R&D On Renewable Energy, Including Wind Power. McCain voted against an amendment to extend the renewable energy production tax credit and clean renewable energy bonds programs for four years including $290 Million for renewable energy R&D on Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006]

McCain Cast Deciding Vote to Cut Funding For the Rural Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program From $23 Million To $3 Million. McCain voted to cut $20 million from rural renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. [2005 Senate Vote #363, 12/21/2005]