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Linda Qiu
By Linda Qiu December 7, 2016

Jobs tax credit idea dead upon legislative arrival

Legislation to bring jobs back to U.S. soil fizzled in both chambers of Congress during President Barack Obama's second term.

After Obama brought up the idea in his budget for the 2015 fiscal year, Congressional Democrats introduced several bills aimed at incentivizing reshoring jobs to the United State.

The Bring Jobs Home Act, introduced in the Senate in early July 2014, granted a tax credit of up to 20 percent of expenses for companies that insource jobs. It also would have denied deductions businesses take for moving expenses if the business relocated overseas.

The bill died in the Senate, with just one Republican voting for it. Republicans and some tax experts characterized the bill as political posturing intended to help elect Democrats. (Democrats aired attack ads against Republicans using the vote.)

Senate and House Democrats introduced similar legislation again in 2014 and 2015, and Obama's budgets for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 included the idea. Nothing happened with any of those measures.

We rate this Promise Broken.

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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson March 6, 2014

Budget proposal shows Obama is still fighting for it, despite lack of interest in Congress

During the 2012 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised to "create a new tax credit for companies that bring jobs home."

He has proposed this idea before -- to no effect in Congress -- most recently in a speech on overhauling the tax code in Chattanooga on July 30, 2013. But he's not giving up the ghost yet.

With the March 4, 2014, release of Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, the idea is officially back.

In its budget document, the administration proposes "tax incentives for locating jobs and business activity in the United States." These tax incentives, combined with the end of "tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas" (a promise we are rating separately) would, on balance, cost $212 million over 10 years, according to the administration.

Congress has shown no inclination to cooperate with Obama on this effort, and the one broad tax overhaul plan to emerge in Congress -- released in February 2014 by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. -- focuses its efforts on eliminating exemptions and incentives for businesses, which is pretty much the opposite approach. (Camp's proposal is also widely expected to be going nowhere in an election year.)

We don't expect Obama's tax credit proposal to become law in 2014, if ever, but its inclusion in the fiscal 2015 budget makes clear that the president is still fighting for it. So we rate it In the Works.

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