Dem asks banks how they plan to help US workers following passage of tax law

Dem asks banks how they plan to help US workers following passage of tax law
© Greg Nash

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownMnuchin says he and Pelosi have agreed to restart coronavirus stimulus talks Harris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Remote work poses state tax challenges MORE (D-Ohio) is asking big banks to detail how they plan to help American workers following the enactment of the GOP tax-cut law.

Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee and a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, requested in letters sent this week that the banks come up with public plans "to invest a far greater share of [their] resources in American jobs."

“Rather than use their massive tax windfalls to invest in American workers, big banks are instead using their tax cuts to line the pockets of top executives and shareholders after shipping US jobs overseas and laying off American workers," Brown said in a statement. "These banks need to provide Congress and the American people with detailed strategies on how their companies plan to reinvest in U.S. workers and their communities.”

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The tax law, which no Democrat voted for, cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The Associated Press estimated that six big banks saved $3.6 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Brown, who is seeking reelection this year in a state that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE carried in 2016, expressed concerns that the banks have laid off workers and outsourced jobs in recent years, while also having large executive compensation packages and stock buybacks.

Some of the banks have announced bonuses and wage increases since the tax bill was enacted, but Brown said the benefits to workers appear to be small compared to those being given to shareholders. He also argued that the banks would benefit from the Trump administration's efforts to roll back financial regulations.

"Eventually, the unraveling of protections for which banks advocate will contribute to another downturn in the economy, and your workers will be the first to suffer the consequences with layoffs and cuts to their pay, healthcare and retirement benefits," he wrote to the banks.

The banks Brown sent letters to are: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.