House lawmakers are usually in the habit of demanding offsets when funding programs that benefit most Americans, but this week they refused to do so when they voted to make corporate tax breaks permanent, adding $300 billion to the deficit over 10 years. These are the same people who voted against extending unemployment insurance benefits to millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.
"To say [their] action today is hypocritical is a serious understatement," said ranking member Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas suggested that his colleagues were pressured to vote for the tax breaks from corporate donors and lobbyists.
Among the expired tax breaks approved by the House Ways and Means Committee are two big tax loopholes that would cost the Treasury $79 billion over 10 years: the active financing exception and the controlled foreign corporation look through rule. The first tax loophole allows companies to avoid paying taxes on overseas profits. The second one allows companies to launder income earned in the U.S. through a low-tax or no-tax country.
AFGE is one of the 53 organizations that sent a letter to Congress urging them to reject the bills. We’re waiting to see if House leaders will bring the bills to the floors next week.