Dems eyeing 'inversion' tax language in CR

Greg Nash

House Democrats are hoping an end-of-the-year spending package will include provisions discouraging companies from moving overseas to avoid taxes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday.

Several House-passed appropriations bills include language to rein in the "inversion" practice, in which companies move their headquarters abroad to capitalize on lower tax rates. 

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But with GOP leaders planning to move a continuing resolution (CR) package in lieu of those individual spending bills, Pelosi said Democrats will try to shift the inversion provisions onto the CR.

"This is a very big issue," she told reporters Wednesday on a conference call. "We'll see what happens with the CR, but we would hope that that would provide another opportunity for us to address it."

With dozens of companies having already shifted their operations overseas in search of lower taxes — and dozens of similar arrangements reportedly in the pipeline — both the Obama administration and congressional leaders are searching for ways to rein in the increasingly popular practice.

On the stump last month, Obama blasted the companies taking advantage of the loophole as "corporate deserters," and the Treasury Department is considering steps to discourage the trend.

"I don’t care if it’s legal — it’s wrong," Obama said.

With the support of dozens of Republicans, House Democrats have successfully attached amendments to several appropriations bills that attempt to address the issue. One such provision, for instance, would bar companies that move operations to Bermuda or the Cayman Islands from getting federal contracts.

Pelosi on Wednesday said the process remains fluid, but she's hoping the Treasury Department's moves will guide what Congress does next.

"Hopefully, we'll see something come from the White House to work with them to send a clear message that fair is fair and we want everyone to pay their fair share of taxes," she said.

"There's a sense of economic patriotism that we'd like to see prevail."

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