Can Dems elevate outsourcing as an issue?

As you know, the Post ran a big story today detailing that under Mitt Romney’s tenure, Bain Capital invested in a range of companies that specialized in relocating American jobs to facilities in China and India. The Obama campaign pounced on the news, since it’s the most direct connection yet that’s been drawn between Romney and outsourcing — a practice Romney himself has said harms the American economy.

But there’s another angle to this story that could make it even more interesting.

One of the items on Obama’s “to-do list” for Congress, which Republicans have been mocking for some time now, is a proposal that would give companies a 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving their operations back to the United States. The proposal would “pay for this credit by eliminating tax incentives that allow companies to deduct the costs of moving their business abroad.”

The Senate may vote on this proposal, or one like it, after July 4th.

Romney, of course, has frequently talked about getting tough on China as a way to protect American jobs. Needless to say, it would be very interesting to see how Romney and Republicans react to this proposal if it is introduced.

This would take the political battle over outsourcing and put it into a legislative context. Each side would (presumably) take positions on what should be done about it, hopefully sharpening the contrast between the two candidates and parties on an issue that is all about what should be done to rebuild our economy and shore up the eroding middle class — a question at the core of the presidential race.

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UPDATE: A senior Senate Democratic aide tells me that a vote on this proposal is “very likely.”

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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