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 Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately MORE (Ill.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedNegotiators kick off defense bill talks amid border wall, Iran debates Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Senate Democrats introduce legislation to limit foreign interference in elections MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Warren avoids attacks while building momentum Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (Mass.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court 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.