Senate advances bill to end tax breaks for outsourcing

The Senate voted 93-7 on Wednesday to advance a bill that would end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.

Only 60 votes were needed to advance S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act. 

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Sens. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced the bill, which would give companies incentives to bringing jobs back to the United States, including a tax write off for the relocating costs and an additional 20 percent credit.

“We’ve got to make sure the tax code reflects the right values and policies,” Stabenow said. “Why would anyone be opposed to giving everyone a fair shot?”

Currently U.S. companies can deduct from their corporate taxes some expenses of moving facilities overseas. Democrats said 2.4 million jobs have been outsourced in the past 10 years.

“The Bring Jobs Home Act would end senseless tax breaks for outsourcers,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. “It would end the absurd practice of American taxpayers bankrolling the outsourcing of their very own jobs.”

Earlier this week, Reid asked Republicans to come up with a finite list of amendments so that the Senate could pass the bill.

Some Republicans argue that if Democrats truly wanted to keep companies in the United States, they would work with Republicans to overhaul the tax code and reduce corporate tax rates.

“It’s a bill that’s designed for campaign rhetoric and failure — not to create jobs here in the U.S.,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday. “Everyone knows that the Democrats aren’t being serious here.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that although he doesn't agree with the way measure keeps jobs in the United States, he thought the topic deserved debate.

The legislation was part of Democrats’ “Fair Shot” campaign ahead of the midterm elections. They will likely use the vote against Republicans in November, saying Republicans support big business more than creating middle-class jobs.

Walsh is one of the most vulnerable incumbents this election cycle. His opponent, Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), ran Procter & Gamble factories in China. Walsh’s campaign has argued that Daines helped ship jobs overseas.

“It is outrageous that Americans are forced to subsidize corporate decisions to ship jobs overseas,” Walsh said. “This is a fundamentally wrong policy.”