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Sens. Warren and Wyden speak to reporters

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speak to reporters about a corporate minimum tax plan on October 26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

'Tax Them All': Warren, Wyden Lead Push for Minimum Corporate Tax in Build Back Better Act

"Giant corporations have been exploiting tax loopholes for too long, and it's about time they pay their fair share to help run this country, just like everyone else," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Julia Conley

Sen. Elizabeth Warren indicated late Tuesday that her proposal for a corporate minimum tax as a way of generating revenue to fund social supports in the Build Back Better Act has the support it needs in the U.S. Senate, sparking hope among progressives that the measure will allow for investments in child care, paid leave, and other provisions to help working people while helping to reduce wealth inequality.

"The Corporate Profits Minimum Tax would end corporate double-dealing...so that we can raise essential revenue needed to invest in families and our economy."

 
The Massachusetts Democrat joined Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) in introducing the Corporate Profits Minimum Tax, which they said would prevent wealthy corporations from paying nothing—or even less than nothing—in taxes despite their exploding profits, as 40% of large U.S. companies have in recent years.
 
Under the proposal, corporations would be required to pay at least a 15% tax rate if they report over $1 billion in profits to shareholders, as about 200 U.S. companies do. The measure would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue over a decade, according to Warren.
 
"While these companies report billions in profits, they often pay no income tax to the IRS and leave hardworking families holding the bag," said Warren. "Giant corporations have been exploiting tax loopholes for too long, and it's about time they pay their fair share to help run this country, just like everyone else. The Corporate Profits Minimum Tax would end corporate double-dealing...so that we can raise essential revenue needed to invest in families and our economy."
 
The White House and Democrats in Congress have been working in recent weeks to convince right-wing Democratic lawmakers including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to stop obstructing the Build Back Better Act, which would invest $3.5 trillion in clean energy, paid family leave, an expansion of Medicare, and other provisions for lower- and middle-class Americans.
 
 
Sinema released a statement late Tuesday saying the Corporate Profits Minimum Tax is "a commonsense step toward ensuring that highly profitable corporations... pay a reasonable corporate minimum tax on their profits, just as Arizonans and Arizona small business do."
 
An aide to Manchin told Politico the senator aide has "been supportive of this type of proposal but wants to see the bill text," while Warren told the outlet, "Manchin has been behind this for a long time."
 
"Elizabeth Warren gets results," People First Future executive director Sawyer Hackett said of the progressive senator.
 
On social media, Warren named e-commerce giant Amazon as one of the top companies that would finally be forced to contribute to federal revenues for the benefit of working Americans.
 
 
"Over the last three years, Amazon reported $45 billion in profits, including a record $20 billion last year as families struggled through the pandemic," said Warren. "But the effective tax rate it paid on those profits was just 4.3%—well below the 21% corporate tax rate. In fact, in 2018, Amazon didn't pay any federal income tax at all."
 
"Tax them all," tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
 
Economic justice group Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) called the proposal, and reports that it has the support it needs to be included in the Build Back Better Act, "a huge deal."
 
"Tax the rich means corporations, too," said Patriotic Millionaires, the coalition of wealthy Americans pushing for fair taxation of corporations and rich households.
 
 
The two organizations have also been supportive of a separate proposal from Wyden, the Billionaires' Income Tax, which would tax unrealized capital gains and would apply to just 700 taxpayers with assets valued at more than $1 billion or income over $100 million for three years in a row. The senator released the text of the proposal on Wednesday.

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