The presidential campaign last week was dominated by President Obama’s public endorsement of same-sex marriage. But a day before the pronouncement, Obama spoke at the State University of New York at Albany and reiterated his support for tax incentives for businesses to bring jobs back to the United States.
Obama urged Congress to pass legislation giving companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving jobs back from overseas, and a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses that hire workers and increase wages. He has supported both measures before, but framed them as part of a five-point “to-do list” he said Congress should prioritize.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced identical bills last week in their respective chambers, The Bring Jobs Home Act, to cut taxes for U.S. companies that move jobs and operations to the United States from another country, The Hill reported. The proposal would also end tax loopholes that reward companies that move jobs overseas.
“Congress should help small-business owners by giving them a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages,” Obama said. “We believe small businesses are the engine of economic growth in this country. We should not hold them to a situation where they may end up having to pay higher taxes just by hiring more workers. We should make it easier for them to succeed.”
A spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign did not return a request for comment.
In his remarks, the president also pressed Congress to prevent federally subsidized student loan interest rates from rising this summer — a move Democrats last month proposed funding by closing a tax loophole for some privately owned businesses. Senate Republicans blocked the passage of that bill Tuesday. Lawmakers in both parties agree that the interest rate, which is set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, should stay low, but are at odds over how to pay for it. The House in late April passed a Republican proposal to take money from a $17 billion fund created by Obama’s health care reform act for immunization campaigns, health screenings and other preventive practices.