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Chris Van Hollen on Corporations

Democratic Representative (MD-8)

 


Voted NO on workforce training by state block grants & industry partners.

Congressional Summary: Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    National League of Cities op-ed, "H.R. 803 fails because it would:"
  1. Undermine the local delivery system that has been the cornerstone of job training programs
  2. Establish a program that is based on political boundaries (states) rather than on economic regions and local labor markets, or the naturally evolving areas in which workers find paying work
  3. Eliminate a strong role for local elected officials but require that they continue to be fiscally liable for funds spent in their local areas
  4. Change what was once a program targeted to those most in need--economically disadvantaged adults and youth and special population groups like veterans, migrant farm workers, and low income seniors--into a block grant to governors
  5. Contribute to the emerging division between those American's who have the requisite skills to find employment and those who do not.
Reference: SKILLS Act; Bill H.R. 803 ; vote number 13-HV075 on Mar 15, 2013

Voted YES on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation.

Congressional Summary:

Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act: Amends the Securities Exchange Act to require that any proxy for an annual shareholders meeting provide for a separate shareholder vote to approve executive compensation for named executive officers. The shareholder vote shall not be:

  1. binding on the corporation
  2. construed as overruling a board decision, or as creating or implying any additional fiduciary duty by the board; or
  3. construed as restricting or limiting shareholder ability to place executive compensation proposals within proxy materials.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D, MA-4): The amount of wages is irrelevant to the SEC. What this bill explicitly aims at is the practice whereby people are given bonuses that pay off if the gamble pays off, but don't lose you anything if it doesn't. That is, there is a wide consensus that this incentivizes excessive risk.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. SPENCER BACHUS (R, AL-6): True, the first 6 pages of the bill give the owners, the shareholders, a non-binding vote on the pay of top executives. But then come the next 8 pages, the switch, which gives the regulators the power to decide appropriate compensation for not only just top executives but for all employees of all financial institutions above $1 billion in assets and all without regard for the shareholders' prior approval. So under the guise of empowering shareholders, it is, in fact, the government that is empowered. And, finally, on page 15, the bill designates those same government entities which regulated AIG, Countrywide, and collectively failed to prevent the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. This bill continues the Democrat majority's tendency to go to the default solution for every problem: create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens and private corporations.

Reference: Say-On-Pay Bill; Bill H.R.3269 ; vote number 2009-H686 on Jul 31, 2009

Voted YES on more funding for nanotechnology R&D and commercialization.

Congressional Summary:Extends funding for research and development topics, nanotechnology, project commercialization, prioritization of applications, and federal administration and oversight.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ (D, NY-12): We need jobs that cannot be shipped overseas and will not evaporate in the next cycle of boom and bust. But those jobs aren't going to appear out of thin air. They need to be created. By expanding existing industries and unlocking new ones, H.R. 2965 will generate the jobs we need. Job creation is the primary goal of R&D. But in order to generate new positions, we have to first develop new industries. Commercialization is critical to that process.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): I must oppose this bill because I have serious concerns about allowing SBIR awards to go to an unlimited number of businesses owned or controlled by venture capital (VC) firms. The SBIR program, responsible for over 60,000 patents, has always focused on innovation from truly small businesses for whom commercial capital market funding is typically not an option. However, with the change made in this bill, the SBIR program would be wide open to applicants that already are well-capitalized due to VC participation, crowding out the small businesses that have been the focus of the highly successful SBIR program.

While I support VC participation in the SBIR program, enabling an unlimited amount of large VC majority-owned firms to qualify for SBIR funding calls into question whether this program, intended for genuinely small businesses, is, in fact, still focused on these firms.

We should do everything in our power to strengthen small businesses that generate 70% of new jobs in our country. H.R 2965 does not do enough to ensure that small businesses are the focus of the SBIR program, and therefore I cannot support the bill.

Reference: Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act; Bill S.1233&H.R.2965 ; vote number 2009-H486 on Jul 8, 2009

Voted YES on allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation.

To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation [and as part of that process, fully disclosing executive compensation].

Proponents support voting YES because:

We should not deprive the public, the stockholders, from being able to do anything meaningful once they find out about scandalous levels of executive compensation or board compensation. Everyone talks about the corporate board as the remedy. But the board is often a part of the problem, being paid huge amounts of money for showing up once or twice a year at meetings.

Give the stockholders a meaningful remedy. Once you get the mandatory disclosure put in place by previous legislation, we are saying the stockholders should be allowed to have a referendum on that and not have a runaround by the board.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This vote is based on mischaracterization--it is an unnecessary amendment. The opportunity for these kinds of votes already exists within the structure of corporate governance right now. A good company from Georgia, AFLAC, went ahead and already has these nonbinding shareholder votes. But there is a difference between having individuals in the private sector, shareholders and individuals outside of the mandating of government to have it occur and have government come in with its heavy hand and say, this is exactly what you need to do because we know best. Our constituents know better how to act and how to relate to corporations than Washington.

Reference: Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act; Bill H R 1257 ; vote number 2007-244 on Apr 20, 2007

Voted NO on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks.

Vote to pass a bill that would repeal an export tax break for U.S. manufacturers ruled an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization, while providing for about $140 billion in new corporate tax cuts. Revenue raising offsets would decrease the cost of the bill to $34.4 billion over 11 years. It would consist of a buyout for tobacco farmers that could not go over $9.6 billion. It also would allow the IRS to hire private collection agencies to get back money from taxpayers, and require individuals who claim a tax deduction for a charitable donation of a vehicle to obtain an independent appraisal of the car.
Reference: American Jobs Creation Act; Bill HR 4520 ; vote number 2004-259 on Jun 17, 2004

Rated 33% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Van Hollen scores 33% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Mission Statement:

"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Screen imports & ban lead in children's products.

Van Hollen co-sponsored screening imports & ban lead in children's products

A bill to reform the Consumer Product Safety Commission to provide greater protection for children's products, to improve the screening of non-compliant consumer products, to improve the effectiveness of consumer product recall programs, and for other purposes.

House version is H.R.4040.
Source: CPSC Reform Act (S.2663) 08-S2663 on Feb 25, 2008

Rated 100% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.

Van Hollen scores 100% by UFCW on labor-management issues

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America's Neighborhood Union--1.3 million members with UFCW locals in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our members work in supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores, meatpacking and meat processing plants, food processing plants, and manufacturing workers who make everything from fertilizer to shoes. We number over 60,000 strong with 25,000 workers in chemical production and 20,000 who work in garment and textile industries.

    The UFCW House scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. (+) Extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  2. (+) H. Am. 877 Bishop Am. to HR 3094, penalties for lawsuits against unionization
  3. (+) H. Am. 880 Jackson-Lee Am. to HR 3094, preventing delays in union votes
  4. (-) Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, freezing public salaries
  5. (-) Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, for less corporate regulation
  6. (-) Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act
  7. (-) Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, letting CEOs fire union organizers
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-H on May 2, 2012

Sponsored enforcing against corporate offshore tax haven banking.

Van Hollen co-sponsored Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act

Congressional Summary:Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: to impose restrictions on foreign jurisdictions or financial institutions operating in the US that are of prime money laundering concern or that significantly impede US tax enforcement.

Proponent's argument for bill: (by Jubilee USA Network, a religious antipoverty organization):

"The religious community couldn't be more pleased with this vital legislation that protects poor people inside and outside our borders. This legislation means that corporations can't rob billions of dollars from poor people across the globe. A critical piece of the legislation is country-by-country reporting of corporate payments to governments. Reporting at this level sheds light on the tax dodging that hurts all of us."

Source: H.R.1554 / S.268 13-H1554 on Apr 15, 2013

Deregulating banks encourages discriminatory practices.

Van Hollen voted NAY Banking Bill

Congressional Summary:

Supporting press release from Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6): This legislation will foster economic growth by providing relief to Main Street, tailor regulations for better efficacy, and most importantly it will empower individual Americans and give them more opportunity.

Opposing statement on ProPublica.org from Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5): The bill includes many provisions I support: minority-owned banks and credit unions in underserved communities have legitimate regulatory burden concerns. Unfortunately, exempting mortgage disclosures enacted to detect discriminatory practices will only assist the Trump Administration in its overall effort to curtail important civil rights regulations. I simply cannot vote for any proposal that would help this Administration chip away at laws that I and my colleagues worked so hard to enact and preserve.

Legislative outcome: Passed House 258-159-10 on May 22, 2018(Roll call 216); Passed Senate 67-31-2 on March 14, 2018(Roll call 54); Signed by President Trump. May 24, 2018

Source: Congressional vote 16-S2155 on Mar 14, 2018

Reducing tax rates balloons federal deficit & cuts programs.

Van Hollen voted NAY Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Summary by GovTrack.US: (Nov 16, 2017)

Case for voting YES by Heritage Foundation (12/19/17):This is the most sweeping update to the US tax code in more than 30 years. The bill would lower taxes on businesses and individuals and unleash higher wages, more jobs, and untold opportunity through a larger and more dynamic economy. The bill includes many pro-growth features, including a deep reduction in the corporate tax rate, a scaled-back state and local tax deduction, full expensing for five years, and lower individual tax rates.

Case for voting NO by Sierra Club (11/16/17): Republicans have passed a deeply regressive tax plan that will result in painful cuts to core domestic programs, to give billionaires and corporate polluters tax cuts while making American families pay the price. Among the worst provisions:

  • This plan balloons the federal deficit by over $1.5 trillion. Cutting taxes for the rich now means cuts to the federal budget and entitlements later.
  • The bill hampers the booming clean energy economy by ending tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and for wind and solar energy.
  • The bill opens up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, a thinly veiled giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.

    Legislative outcome: Passed House, 224-201-7, roll call #699 on 12/20; passed Senate 51-48-1, roll call #323 on 12/20; signed by Pres. Trump on 12/22.

    Source: Congressional vote 17-HR1 on Nov 16, 2017

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