Republican congressional hopeful Bobby Schilling is trying to turn the tables on U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., who is running a television ad criticizing Schilling for backing tax breaks for companies that Hare says ship jobs overseas.
Schilling said Hare's votes for the 2009 stimulus package as well as the General Motors bailout also have sent American jobs to foreign countries.
In a news release Monday, Schilling's campaign pointed to a GM announcement last month that it is investing $500 million to upgrade one of its plants in Mexico. It also cited an ABC News report earlier this year that said stimulus spending on a federal wind energy program had gone to foreign companies.
"We're going to hold his feet to the fire on this," Schilling said.
"If they created one job in China, they've created more jobs than they've created in the United States," he added.
Democrats across the country have been hitting Republicans on the outsourcing issue. And Hare has run a television ad for weeks criticizing Schilling for his support of a tax provision critics say gives multinational companies an incentive to send jobs offshore.
Hare said Monday that Schilling's complaints show the ad is hitting home.
"The GM bailout he's opposed to actually saved American jobs," Hare said Monday.
He also said Schilling opposed a $26 billion package, signed into law by President Barack Obama, that will go to shore up state budgets.
Hare said it will save 161,000 teaching and public safety jobs.
Some of the money to pay for the law came from the tax provision going to multinational corporations.
Asked about GM, which said last month it is investing close to $500 million in one of its plants in northern Mexico, Hare said, "I can't tell a corporation what to do."
The issue of American jobs going overseas is especially important in older manufacturing areas of the 17th Congressional District.
The ad Hare is running centers on a part of the U.S. tax code that Democrats have criticized for years. They say it encourages companies to locate operations overseas.
However, Schilling's campaign has pointed to the nonpartisan FactCheck.org to rebut the ad.
In a 2004 article, the group said Democratic claims that the tax provisions were sending jobs overseas in great numbers were misleading. It cited a U.S. Department of Labor report saying the policies had a marginal impact.
Meanwhile, the stimulus provision Schilling spoke of also has been in dispute.
ABC News reported early this year most of the stimulus money for a wind energy program had gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.
Even some Democrats complained about a deal involving a Chinese firm.
The American Wind Energy Association, the chief advocate for wind energy producers, disputed the story, however. It said all the stimulus money went to projects in the United States.
One of the grants went to a Fort Madison, Iowa, plant owned by the German conglomerate Siemens. Obama visited the plant earlier this year to tout the grant.