Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) are introducing a transportation funding bill they say could bring back up to $2 trillion in corporate tax revenue currently in foreign banks to help pay for U.S. infrastructure projects.
They said the measure would also extend federal transportation programs that are currently scheduled to expire in May. Paul and Boxer said the tax reforms, known as repatriation, are the most viable way to pay for a long-term transportation funding bill this year.
“All across the country, bridges and roads are deficient and in need of replacement,” Paul said. “We can help fund new construction and repair by lowering the repatriation rate and bringing money held by U.S. companies back home. This would mean no new taxes, but more revenue, and it is a solution that should win support from both political parties.”
Boxer, who is retiring at the end of 2016, also said the plan to use revenue from taxing oversees corporate profits was a more politically viable alternative to boost federal infrastructure funding than increasing the nation’s 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax. She added, “The bipartisan repatriation proposal is a win-win for our economy and our country.”
Republicans leaders like Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have signaled that they are opposed to asking drivers to pay more at the pump to finance transportation projects, although some GOP senators have said they would be open to discussing an increase in a broader discussion about taxes and infrastructure spending.