Senate votes to restrict shipping federal work overseas

Federal agencies might no longer be able to hire contractors that ship work overseas if a Senate amendment passed last night becomes law.

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) attached a provision to S 1637, the Jumpstart Our Business Strength Act of 2004, that would prohibit federal agencies, federally funded state government procurements and vendors who win competitive-sourcing awards from moving or performing work overseas.

The Senate passed the amendment 70 to 26. There is no companion bill in the House of Representatives, however.

Dodd called the provision 'a step in the right direction' to stop exporting U.S. jobs and taxpayer money.

The amendment would not affect national security needs or work not being performed in the United States. The Office of Management and Budget, however, must grant any such waivers and explain them to Congress each quarter. The General Accounting Office also must submit to lawmakers an annual report on the number of waivers and why OMB granted them.

Dodd introduced similar legislation last month, but it stalled in the Governmental Affairs Committee.

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