Levin to GOP: Get involved in inversion negotiations

The House’s top Democratic tax writer is calling on his GOP colleagues to intensify their interest in corporations that shift their address offshore for tax reasons.

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Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) told House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp that the offshore tax deals, known as inversions, are “an issue of immediate urgency, requiring a bipartisan effort to address it.”

In the same letter, Levin, the top Democrat on that panel, suggested to Camp that House Republicans were essentially alone in not being open to a short-term solution to the inversion problem.

“It is vital that House Republicans join in bipartisan discussions to stop the flood of corporate inversions,” Levin wrote.

“The wave of corporate inversions threatens to undermine the U.S. tax base and our economy, to the long-term detriment of all of the companies that do business here,” Levin added.

The Obama administration stepped up its efforts on inversions last week, calling for a legislative crackdown retroactive to May.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Finance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (D-Ore.) also sounds more interested targeted legislation, after previously saying he wanted to deal with the matter in tax reform.

And Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFinance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea Week ahead in finance: Clock ticking for GOP on tax reform MORE (Utah), the Finance Committee’s top Republican, also said he could be open to a short-term inversions measure, though he also told Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewBipartisan bill would force Treasury to put Tubman on bill Top conservative rails against ‘clean’ debt limit increase Trump mocked Obama for three chiefs of staff in three years MORE that he was no fan of the current Democratic proposals.

Camp, along with other Republicans, has said that any targeted fix won’t get at the underlying problem – the U.S.’s 35 percent corporate tax rate.

He’s also expressed frustration that the Obama administration hasn’t put out a more detailed tax reform plan that would tackle inversions, even as President Obama has for years shown an interest in corporate tax reform.

Levin and his brother, Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinPresident Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Republicans can learn from John McCain’s heroism Trump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate MORE (D-Mich.), both have released legislation that would essentially stop U.S. corporations from merging with smaller foreign counterparts to escape U.S. taxation.

A host of big-time American corporations – including, most recently, the pharmaceutical company AbbVie – have moved toward those sorts of cross-border deals in recent months.