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 LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system 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 DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (Ill.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedNew York Times: Trump mulling whether to replace Mattis after midterms Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her More Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren Trump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? MORE (Mass.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseKavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Dem vows to probe 'why the FBI stood down' on Kavanaugh Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh 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.