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 WydenRon WydenWhat killing net neutrality means for the internet Overnight Tech: Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare | Zuckerberg visits Ford factory | Verizon shines light on cyber espionage Franken, top Dems blast FCC over net neutrality proposal 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 HatchWhen political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in Ginsburg pines for more collegial court confirmations Senate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' 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 LewJack LewWhite House divide may derail needed China trade reform 3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt One year later, the Iran nuclear deal is a success by any measure 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 LevinFor the sake of American taxpayers, companies must pay their fair share What the Iran-Contra investigation can teach us about Russia probe Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral 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.