U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow relaunched proposed legislation Monday aimed at encouraging businesses to bring jobs to America, with the hope that it will resonate with President Donald Trump’s platforms.
“I’ve introduced it (to Congress) every year for the last five years. Unfortunately in previous years, Republican colleagues have filibustered it,” Stabenow, D-Lansing, said of her Bring Jobs Home act. “I’m hopeful that this is something that will reach the attention of our new president and he will embrace it.”
Stabenow’s legislation, first proposed in 2012, would provide tax incentives to companies moving jobs back to the U.S. and eliminate tax breaks for companies moving jobs abroad. The Democrat from Lansing discussed her bill Monday at IT firm GalaxE.Solutions, alongside chairman and CEO Tim Bryan.
“(We need to) close the tax loophole that actually rewards companies for taking jobs overseas,” Stabenow said of companies claiming tax deductions after moving their workforce overseas. “You and I, as American taxpayers, pay for the move. They write it off on their taxes.
“This is very simple. We’re going to take (that deduction) away,” Stabenow continued. “You want to move (your business) away from the United States, you’re on your own. We’re not going to pay for it.”
The cost of moving staff typically is considered a business expense that qualifies for a tax deduction. The proposed legislation would eliminate that tax break for companies shifting their jobs abroad.
Meanwhile, companies that move jobs into the country would still qualify for the deduction, Stabenow said. In addition, they would be eligible for a new tax credit equal to 20 percent of the cost associated with moving the workforce.
Stabenow said former President Barack Obama supported her legislation, which was repeatedly filibustered by Senate Republicans.
“I’m hoping the new president will turn to his own party and say this is something he wants to get done,” Stabenow said. “They decide what comes up (to a vote), and I’m very hopeful they’ll see this as a priority.”
In a statement prior to Monday’s press conference, Stabenow called on Trump and Republicans to use her legislation to follow through on their pledge to bring jobs home.
“We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” Stabenow said in the statement. “If President Trump and Republicans in Congress are serious about bringing jobs back home, they should work with me to pass my legislation right now.”
The senator made her announcement at GalaxE.Solutions, which also served as host when Stabenow first introduced her bill in 2012. The global IT custom systems developer opened a downtown Detroit office in 2010 with the motto: “Outsource to Detroit.”
“When we came here, we were looking to build a tech center somewhere in the world. And we could have put it anywhere in the world, in Sweden or Istanbul,” said Bryan, the company’s CEO. “We decided to come to Detroit and participate in making it an IT hub.”
Bryan said his company arrived to a city “reeling from the economic crises” in 2010.
“Our mission was to make Detroit an alternative to moving jobs offshore,” Bryan said. “We have a unique opportunity at this point in time because there’s been an enormous amount of discussion about bringing jobs back to the United States, and the senator has been a leader in that as long as I’ve known her. (She’s been) the biggest advocate for employment in the United States and Michigan.”