Dems want Obama to act on offshore tax deals

A group of congressional Democrats is urging President Obama to take executive action to keep companies from shifting their legal address offshore.

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The six Democrats back legislation introduced this summer that would meet that goal. But with progress on that measure unlikely, they called on Obama to act “to the maximum extent possible.”

“Every day that we fail to act will result in more harm to the U.S. corporate base,” the Democrats wrote. “While we recognize that Congress can, and should, eliminate the loophole in current law, we also believe that we cannot afford to wait for tax reform to stop these companies from renouncing their citizenship.”

Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) signed the letter, as did Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.) and Jack Reed (R.I.).

The influx of companies reincorporating abroad, known as inversions, has become a major political issue this midterm election year, with Obama hammering corporations that leave as “deserters.”

Former Treasury officials have suggested that Obama has administrative methods to make inversions less attractive to corporations. But the Democratic letter offered no suggestions on what tools the president might have to limit those companies from getting federal contracts.