The PJ Tatler

House Vote on Rare-Earth Mining Bill Puts Obama's Outsourcing Front and Center

As part of his overall attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record and wealth, President Obama’s campaign has tried to make a case that while he led Bain Capital Romney was an “outsourcer.” The mainstream media has found no evidence to back up the Obama assertions; meanwhile, evidence has emerged that via his stimulus program it was the president who outsourced jobs overseas on the American taxpayer’s dime.

Today, the House will vote on a bill that if it became law would help shore up a critical American industry. That industry is the rare-earth mining industry. The United States possesses one of the world’s largest supplies of these vital minerals, but the Obama administration has consistently fought against US companies and their efforts to extract them. This obstinacy benefits another country that possesses a large quantity of the minerals, China. Democrats like Sen. Bob Casey would like to see American mining strengthened against China’s “cheating.”

The House bill under consideration today would streamline the permitting approval process and limit lawsuits engineered to stop or slow efforts to mine rare-earth minerals. The mining industry, reeling from the effects of the administration’s overall regulatory environment, strongly supports the bill. Many Democrats can be persuaded to support it, and on Wednesday, 10 House Democrats joined the Republicans and voted to move the bill forward to today’s vote.

No one debates whether the US economy needs these minerals. We need them. Americans use them every day, in our cell phones, high tech industries and  cutting edge life-saving medical technology. The only debate centers on where we will get them. The House bill would make it easier to get them from American companies employing American workers. But President Obama is hinting that he would veto the measure if it reaches his desk. He “strongly opposes” it on environmental grounds, but the bill does not weaken environmental standards.

Vetoing the National Strategic and Critical Mineral Production Act would have several obvious effects. One, a veto will hurt American mining companies. Two, it will benefit China and its mining concerns. A veto would put the US at a disadvantage in obtaining vital minerals used in our everyday lives. And a veto will expose again the fact that President Obama is quick to outsource jobs to America’s strategic competitors if doing so satisfies the whims of his far left base.