WirePOLITICS: Fitzpatrick: Repair tax code, fix infrastructure

By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick was among four lawmakers who wrote to President Barack Obama, urging him to rebuild America’s infrastructure and fix what they see as a “broken” international tax code.

The letter was signed by Fitzpatrick, Maryland Democratic Rep. John K. Delaney, Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

The group believes there is a consensus in both parties that roads, bridges, dams and overall infrastructure need an upgrade, and that tax reform is the way to get it done.

In 2013, Fitzpatrick and Delaney introduced the Partnership to Build America Act. Bennet and Blunt are the lead sponsors of the legislation in the Senate.

The letter reads, in part:

“The country wants us to work together constructively and there is consensus in both parties that our roads, bridges, dams, and overall infrastructure need an upgrade and that tax reform is the way to get it done.

“We believe that international tax reform can provide a needed funding source for our nation’s infrastructure needs. Specifically, we can use overseas earnings through a deemed repatriation to provide a revenue source for both the highway trust fund and for an independent infrastructure bank. This should be part of a broader, forward looking international tax reform plan that increases our competitiveness and creates jobs.

“By working together on a bipartisan infrastructure solution, we can boost our economy, create jobs, and position American businesses, small and large, to succeed in the global market. In their most recent report, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our nation’s infrastructure a D+ grade. America’s inadequate infrastructure has created a drag on economic growth, is a significant public safety risk and has impacted the quality of life of millions. Our flawed tax code has created a similar and interrelated economic drag, driving down growth and slowing domestic investment.

“Over the last two years, we have worked in both chambers of Congress, with Democrats and Republicans, to build support for an innovative approach that combines international corporate tax reform and new infrastructure investment. In the House and Senate, 45 Democrats and 46 Republicans have joined together to sponsor the Partnership to Build America Act. We are working to expand this idea to ensure a reliable funding source for both an infrastructure bank and the highway trust fund as part of a broader international tax reform effort. This approach is pro-growth, fiscally-responsible, and will create a huge number of good-paying jobs.”

Fitzpatrick is serving his fourth and final term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County.