Democrats largely embrace Obama tax framework

Still, the Democratic praise came as many Republicans on Capitol Hill and around Washington viewed the new tax ideas with suspicion.

GOP lawmakers criticized the plan for, among other things, being light on details and only concentrating on the corporate tax code.

Top Republican tax-writers such as Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah are among those that have said the corporate and individual codes should be revamped together, given that many small businesses are taxed on the individual side.

Some Republicans also said that the administration plan was a tax hike and took issue with the idea of forcing U.S. corporations with offshore operations to pay a “basic minimum tax.”

Republicans and many business groups instead want to shift the United States to a system that would shield most foreign profits from American taxation.

But for the most part, Democratic lawmakers backed the ideas outlined by the White House.

“The administration has put the focus of corporate tax reform where it needs to be: on promoting investment, job creation and especially manufacturing in the United States, not overseas,” Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement.

For his part, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, applauded the administration for saying it wanted to reform the tax code without adding to the deficit and said Obama’s framework would encourage manufacturers to create jobs in the United States.

“The test of any business tax reform proposal is whether it makes America more competitive, whether it makes our tax code more efficient, and whether it is achievable in a fiscally responsible manner,” Van Hollen said in a statement.  “President Obama’s recently announced framework meets all of those tests.”

But other Democrats were less effusive in their praise. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, for instance, called on the president to push for an overhaul of both the corporate and individual codes, saying that had proven to generate investment and job creation.

“Reforming the tax code is a must,” said Wyden, who has introduced a tax reform plan with Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.). “Taking a piecemeal approach instead of a comprehensive reform of both codes at the same time will dampen the economic effect that comprehensive tax reform has been shown to produce.”