Senate Republicans blocked a final vote Wednesday on a bill aimed at preventing tax breaks for companies that relocate abroad.
The Bring Jobs Home Act, co-authored by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., was designed to end a tax break that allows companies to deduct moving expenses when they relocate jobs abroad, while maintaining the deduction for those bringing jobs back to the U.S. In addition, the bill would provide a 20 percent tax credit to help companies with the cost of bringing jobs back to America.
Last week, a bipartisan majority of 93 senators voted to move forward on the Bring Jobs Home Act (see Democrats’ Narrow Overseas Tax Break Bill Advances in Senate). But Wednesday, Senate Republicans filibustered the legislation for the second time since 2012.
The bill is a more limited one than another aimed at stemming the tide of corporate inversions, in which a U.S. corporation acquires another company in a low tax-tax address and relocates there to lower its tax rate. A bill sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014, aims to curb that practice.
“We need action, not excuses,” Stabenow said in a statement Wednesday. “Today, Senators had a choice between fighting for American workers and communities or fighting to protect a tax giveaway to companies that ship jobs overseas, and Senate Republicans voted against American jobs. It's outrageous that, right now, American workers are paying through the tax code to ship their own jobs overseas. We need to close this indefensible loophole and instead start rewarding the companies that are doing the right thing and bringing jobs back to America. In order to have a strong, growing economy that lasts, we need to make things here in America. It's time for my Republican colleagues to start focusing on exporting our products, not our jobs.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., countered that the bill was designed for campaign rhetoric and failure, not to create jobs here in the U.S.,’’ according to the Associated Press. Republicans dismissed the bill as an election-year stunt and noted that the 2012 legislation was also introduced before the previous congressional elections. They also complained that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would not allow amendments to the bill.
Over the past decade, Stabenow noted, 2.4 million American jobs have been shipped overseas, and approximately 21.5 million more jobs are at risk being moved overseas today.
Michigan alone could lose an additional 737,000 jobs to offshoring. The Bring Jobs Home Act would strengthen manufacturing and other industrial sectors by encouraging companies to support American workers and move jobs back to Michigan and states across the country.