UPDATE 1-Republicans block ending offshore jobs US tax breaks

Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:28pm EDT

* Democrats vow to make vote a campaign issue

* Republicans, business groups call bill a political stunt (Adds some Democrats sided with Republicans, details on bill)

By Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill on Tuesday to end tax deductions enjoyed by companies that close their U.S. plants and move overseas.

With a largely party-line vote of 53-45, Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes needed to clear a Republican procedural hurdle against the measure, which would also give employers a tax break to hire new U.S. workers.

Five members of the Senate Democratic caucus broke party ranks and opposed the bill, including Max Baucus, chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee.

While most Democrats back ending tax preferences for multinational companies moving overseas, several have opposed tightening the rules, arguing they need to be examined within a broad overhaul of the tax code.

Democratic backers vow to make the vote a campaign issue in the Nov. 2 congressional election. They contend Republicans have undermined their efforts to create jobs, a top voter concern, and that the tax system favors corporations.

"Why in the world would millions of Americans who are losing their jobs be subsidizing operations that are closed up, and the cost of doing that, and sending jobs overseas?" Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow said.

Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress in the Nov. 2 elections.

Republicans and business groups dismissed the bill as a political stunt that would increase taxes on companies and undermine job growth.

The parties are fighting to prove they are making the best effort to create jobs. Nearly 15 million Americans are out of work and unemployment has been stuck near 10 percent for more than a year.

"The companies this bill targets, by and large, aren't opening overseas subsidiaries to make products for Americans," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said. "They're moving overseas to serve foreign markets, in addition to the markets they already have in place here, and that creates jobs here in the United States."

The bill also takes on a hot tax topic known as "deferral," the ability of companies to defer taxes on income earned abroad.

President Barack Obama's budget aims to sharply curtail that practice. The bill would repeal deferral for companies that close or cut a business in the U.S. and start or expand overseas with the intention of importing goods for sale in the United States. (Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki Allen)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (12)
JamieSamans wrote:
Gee, maybe this is something that should have made the February 2009 agenda, back when everyone was busy putting together a wish-list “stimulus.” Or how about over the ten months thereafter, when the President was focused solely on passing a healthcare bill?

*shakes head* Bad decisions, weak players, and now we get to endure another two years of Republicans marching us off a cliff, bankrupting the country while shoveling public dollars into the pockets of the top 1% using a folded American flag for a shovel…

Sep 28, 2010 2:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jjclarinet wrote:
GOP’s are not interested in YOUR well-being. They are only interested in themselves and their careers. They are all in bed with corporations and were paid off handsomely long ago to block a measure like this. Why else would they vote for something so un-American? They’ve done nothing but work hard to try to make Obama fail. They conveniently dismiss that government was never so large or spent so much as it did under Bush. I’ll also never understand how they tout themselves as having some kind of moral high-ground. Real Christians are taught to love their neighbors as themselves and look after the poor and sick. Our GOP friends do the opposite of that. The party of “I’m rich, so F.U! Every-man-for-himself!”

Sep 28, 2010 3:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jimbobka wrote:
Both parties are not doing anything out of concern for the country, but out of what might make the best sound bite in the next election. The dems have lots all credibility with me with the bribing, demagoguing, class warfare, and nanny state. Time to retire them all and make a new party.

Sep 28, 2010 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.