President Obama is due in Cedar Rapids over the noon-hour for a speech at a manufacturing plant, a trip that highlights Iowa’s role as a “swing” state in the 2012 election.
Obama will stress the tax changes for manufacturers that he outlined during last night’s “State of the Union” speech. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the country needs a “more robust” strategy to help the U.S. manufacturing industry.
“We’ve lost 54,000 manufacturers in the last decade. We’ve lost 25 percent of our high-tech manufacturing jobs in the last decade,” Braley says.
President Obama is calling for elimination of the tax deduction U.S. companies can take for “outsourcing” and the president wants to require that “multinational” companies based in the U.S. pay a “minimum” tax on the profits and jobs they have overseas. Obama also proposes rewarding companies that bring jobs back into the U.S.
Braley says those kind of proposals can “level the playing field” and help rebuild the American middle class.
“I’m excited to be going to Cedar Rapids to an important Iowa manufacturer with the president and continue that call to invest in American manufacturing,” Braley says.
Braley will fly from D.C. to Cedar Rapids with the president, as will Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City. Loebsack says he was pleased to hear Obama last night call for “bipartisan” cooperation in congress.
“When I’m home every weekend, what I hear is that they’re tired of the partisan food fights,” Loebsack says.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad has accepted the president’s invitation to attend today’s event in Cedar Rapids, but when Branstad was asked about Obama’s trip yesterday, the governor gave reporters a long list of complaints about Obama’s record.
“I hope that he’ll recognize the error of his ways and address these issues,” Branstad said Tuesday.
Branstad faults the Obama Administration for stifling the economy with regulations and failing to address the growing federal deficit.
“We cannot sustain this, increasing the national debt a trillion dollars every year,” Branstad told reporters Tuesday. “We’re headed the way of the Europeans and that’s an economic disaster.”
Obama’s reelection campaign has had eight offices open around the state for months and his stop today in Iowa is part of a five-state tour through battleground states in the fall election.