- Business groups are stepping up efforts to crush Democrats’ planned business tax hikes.
- The Post reported that the Chamber of Commerce and major companies are organizing a lobbying effort.
- Companies want to preserve the tax rules they locked in under Trump’s 2017 tax law.
Prominent business groups are unleashing a massive lobbying effort to squash parts of the Democratic $3.5 trillion spending plan that include planned tax corporate hikes, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The effort encompasses organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the RATE Coalition, The Post reported.
Companies among their ranks include Disney, part of RATE; Apple, part of Business Roundtable; and ExxonMobil, counted among the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Post reported that the Chamber of Commerce is in the early stages of marshaling a campaign that includes advertisements aimed at Democrats and traditional lobbying in Congress, the newspaper said, citing three people familiar with the matter who remained anonymous to share internal decision-making.
The party-line spending plan, which Democrats are drafting, would expand Medicare, set up a national program for paid family and medical leave, and include tuition-free community college, a child allowance, and initiatives to address the climate crisis, among other provisions.
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Democrats intend to approve it through reconciliation, a path to bypass staunch GOP opposition and secure its passage with a simple majority. In order for that process to work, Democrats must be in lockstep in the 50-50 Senate.
A sustained campaign organized by business groups could magnify Democratic divides over how much to ramp up taxes on the largest firms. Corporations are largely balking at Democrats’ push to roll back the tax treatment they locked in under President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, which reduced corporate taxes to 21% from 35% and included exemptions on taxing overseas profits.
Former Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln told The Post that the suite of corporate tax hikes could set back the US economy in its competition against China and “carry devastating consequences for American workers.” Lincoln serves as the main advisor to the RATE Coalition.
Democrats are on board with stepping up corporate taxes, but they sharply disagree on how much it should climb. President Joe Biden unveiled a two-part infrastructure plan in the spring that sought to increase corporate taxes to 28% from 21%, amounting to a partial rollback of the Republican tax law.
“I’m not trying to punish anybody, but damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced,” Biden said in an April 28 speech.
Yet some Democrats have already expressed reluctance to increase taxes to that level, warning it could damage the ability of American companies to compete. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia both favor a smaller corporate tax hike, with Manchin backing a 25% rate instead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized the early signs of the campaign on Tuesday. “The rich and large corporations get richer, and their lobbyists do everything possible to protect their wealth and greed,” he wrote on Twitter. “Not this time.”
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