Treasury Secretary Jack LewJack LewOvernight Finance: House GOP plans short-term spending bill | Senate Republicans not happy | Yellen intends to finish term Lew: Don't paint Wall Street execs with 'broad brushstroke' Dumping Obama’s faux foreign tax legislation should be high on Trump's to-do list MORE has intensified the pressure on Congress to act on certain offshore tax deals, saying in a new op-ed that it’s become “increasingly urgent” to act on so-called inversions.
The Obama administration has been increasingly calling on Congress to act on inversions since the middle of this month. But Stephen Shay, a former senior Treasury official for administrations of both parties, said this weekend that President Obama had some power to act unilaterally to limit inversions.
Lew’s op-ed said that an overhaul of the tax code was the best method for dealing with inversions, but that a targeted measure could help bridge the gap until tax reform.
“Even if we cut our tax rates and broaden the tax base, we would still need to enact anti-inversion provisions because companies always would find countries with near-zero rates to which they could relocate,” Lew wrote in The Washington Post.
Lew’s op-ed comes less than two weeks after he pressed lawmakers on the cross-border deals, saying that the U.S. needs a “new sense of economic patriotism.”
President Obama himself weighed in last week, deriding companies that shift their legal address abroad for tax reasons as “corporate deserters.”
Democrats on Capitol Hill have been pushing for legislation, but most Republicans say that a targeted proposal wouldn’t change the underlying problem of the U.S.’s 35 percent corporate tax rate.