* R&D credit, overseas tax loopholes part of six-measure
* Further consideration of legislation pending by U.S.
* Democrats slam measures for lack of funding offsets
(Adds details of committee action, lawmaker comments)
WASHINGTON, April 29 Six temporary tax breaks
for corporations that would cost U.S. taxpayers $310 billion
over a decade would be made permanent under measures approved by
a Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives committee
The federal research and development tax credit for
businesses was among provisions approved by the House Ways and
Means Committee. That and the five other measures have a long
road ahead before they could become law.
"By making these six bipartisan policies permanent,
businesses small and large will have the ability to plan for the
future," Representative Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of
the committee, said in a statement.
Consideration by the full House and the Senate are still
needed and members of both chambers are increasingly preoccupied
with getting re-elected in November, suggesting meaningful tax
policy decisions may not come soon.
But corporate lobbyists, who have pushed lawmakers for weeks
to support the legislation, were certain to take note of the
committee's action, which drew criticism from Democrats who said
the tax breaks lacked revenue sources to pay for them.
When Congress hands out tax breaks, the government gives up
future tax revenue, which increases the federal deficit.
Sometimes lawmakers from both parties insist tax breaks be
offset by new tax revenue measures; sometimes they do not.
"Today, the committee gave partisan approval for six
unfunded corporate tax breaks," Democratic Representative Lloyd
Doggett said after the committee voted.
In addition to voting in favor of renewing the R&D tax
break, Camp's committee voted to expand the break to 20 percent
from 14 percent of qualifying business expenses.
Other measures in the package included tax breaks known as
the "active financing exception" and the "look-through rule."
Both are used by many multinational businesses to avoid U.S.
taxes by sheltering foreign profits overseas and shifting
profits from unit to unit worldwide.
Each of the tax breaks voted on were among temporary U.S.
tax laws that are routinely renewed. For instance, the R&D
credit has been extended 15 times since it was enacted in 1981.
It technically expired at the end of 2013, along with several
other so-called tax "extenders."
The 10-year, $310 billion cost of the package was estimated
by Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.
Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the panel,
called Republicans' votes for the package "fiscally
irresponsible and fundamentally hypocritical."
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh
and Dan Grebler)