Dems urge more action on inversions

Democratic lawmakers urged the Obama administration to take a more aggressive stance toward the offshore tax deals known as inversions. 

Seven congressional Democrats in all called on Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE to take executive action against a technique known as earnings stripping that makes the offshore deals more attractive. 

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They also suggested that the administration essentially shame companies by publicly listing those that have reincorporated abroad to slash their tax bills, and to close loopholes that still allow inverted companies to get federal contracts.

"While we recognize that Congress can, and should, do more to strengthen our laws, we encourage you to take these executive actions to curb the manipulation of our laws and regulations and prevent the further erosion of our tax base," the lawmakers wrote.

Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) signed the letter, as did Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions MORE (Ill.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Shanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless Shanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Warren introduces universal child care legislation MORE (Mass.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe DNC's climate problems run deep The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? MORE (R.I.).

They specifically mentioned three companies – Terex, CF Industries Holdings and Coca Cola Enterprises – that recently inverted as proof that Treasury needed to take further action.

Lew announced executive actions almost a year ago to make the offshore deals less attractive, and said the department would consider further action. 

Lawmakers have long urged Treasury to take a look at earnings stripping, in which a foreign company can get tax breaks for heaping debt on American subsidiaries. Under U.S. law, companies can deduct the interest paid on debt.