Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Berry to Offer Amendment That Prioritizes American Companies for Government Contracts

During today's full committee mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2007 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, I intend to join my colleague Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in offering an amendment that would make sure the U.S. government prioritizes American companies in the contracting process. Our amendment would specifically prevent the federal government from contracting with companies that locate overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In America we play by the rules and should not reward those who renounce their citizenship for private gain. It is simply un-American to reward companies with billions of dollars in contracts who put up a mailbox overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. This policy not only rewards dishonest business practices, but puts American companies at a disadvantage for government contracts.

Under the current tax code, some U.S. corporations have established subsidiaries in tax haven countries like Bermuda to avoid tax liability. This loophole gives foreign subsidiaries a cost advantage in the competitive bidding process for government contracts. Delauro and I secured legislation last Congress that prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from issuing future contracts to companies headquartered offshore for the purpose of avoiding tax liability. Today’s amendment would extend that ban to future contracts within key agencies including the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.