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Home   /   Capitol Connection   /   Capitol Connection 07/28/2006

House Votes on Marriage Protection Amendment

On July 18th, I was proud to cast a vote in strong support of the Marriage Protection Amendment (H.J. Res. 88), which proposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as an institution only between a man and a woman. I am also a proud cosponsor of this legislation. The vote in the House on the constitutional amendment was 236 to 187, unfortunately short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Although the amendment did not pass the House, we have started to build a strong consensus toward the required two-thirds necessary to send the amendment to the states for ratification. Clearly, national polls show that this vote does not reflect the views of a majority of Americans, who want the institution of marriage protected and defined as one man and one woman. Historically, constitutional amendments take years to gain enough support for passage. If the amendment would have passed and been ratified, no legislature or court would have the power to legalize a same-sex union as "marriage." I will continue to fight for the protection of the American family from activist judges seeking to impose their own personal beliefs on the American people.

Rep. Taylor Votes Against Oman Free Trade Agreement

 Last week I voted strongly against H.R. 5684, the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act – a bill that would do nothing but wreak havoc on the WNC economy by sending local jobs overseas.

This agreement is just another in a long line of devastating trade deals, stretching back to President Bill Clinton’s signature of NAFTA. Foreign countries may be racing for the bottom with cheap labor and nonexistent environmental regulations, but we don’t have to help them by giving away the store.

The Oman Free Trade Agreement opens a loophole that will benefit Chinese companies at the expense of U.S. textile companies and workers. This loophole allows yarns and fabrics from China to be sent to Oman and assembled into apparel while still receiving duty-free access to the U.S. market, which is twice the level of current apparel trade with Oman. The apparel plants in Oman are Asian-managed and staffed with thousands of Chinese and Bangladeshi laborers who live and work in large enclosed compounds. As a result, this agreement will benefit China – not Oman or the United States.

While I have fought every “free” trade deal for the last sixteen years in Congress, I have also fought to bring new job opportunities to our region. We have accomplished much through the Education and Research Consortium to attract higher-paying, knowledge-based jobs to WNC. However, unfair trade deals like this Omani agreement only undermine these efforts.

Despite my opposition to the Oman Free Trade Agreement, it passed the House on July 20th by a vote of 221-205. The U.S. Senate passed its version of the Oman Free Trade Agreement in June, and it will now go to President Bush for his approval.

A comprehensive list of my votes against unfair trade agreements is available here.

House Passes the Pledge Protection Act

 Last week the House passed -- with my strong support -- H.R. 2389, the Pledge Protection Act by a vote of 260 to 167. The Pledge Protection Act gives state courts the authority to rule on the constitutionality of the Pledge in their state only, and denies jurisdiction to the federal courts to even hear such cases. This will prevent activist federal judges from ruling on the constitutionality of the Pledge for the citizens of states hundreds of miles away. As late as September of last year, liberal judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in California, have issued rulings that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge is unconstitutional.

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe “under God” ought to stay in the Pledge of Allegiance, and that children in public schools should be free to recite the Pledge. Throughout our country’s history, some of our greatest leaders – men like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln – did not hesitate to speak repeatedly of their faith. I was honored to pay tribute to their proud examples by casting my vote for the Pledge Protection Act.

H.R. 2389 will now go to the Senate for its consideration.