* 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 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
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
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
(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki