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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PETERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Representative Doggett's motion to instruct conferees on H.R. 4348.

This is a commonsense measure that would direct the surface transportation bill conferees to preserve an amendment offered by Senator Carl Levin and agreed to by a voice vote. This provision is pulled from the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act legislation which I'm very proud to have cosponsored and strongly support. The amendment will give the Treasury the power to go after tax cheats by taking action against foreign governments or banks that significantly impede U.S. tax enforcement.

Michigan's working families and small businesses already pay their fair share in taxes, and they deserve a more just Tax Code. That starts with making sure that we close the tax gap and crack down on tax cheats.

It's estimated that corporations and the wealthiest Americans avoid paying $100 billion per year by exploiting offshore tax shelters, and it's time that we closed these loopholes. When multinational corporations and the very wealthy abuse the Tax Code to shelter their funds overseas, hardworking Americans and small business owners are left to pick up the tab. These same multinational companies and wealthy individuals enjoy taking advantage of American infrastructure and markets, but they don't come close to paying their fair share in taxes.

Senator Levin's amendment and Representative Doggett's motion to instruct represent a significant step in the right direction. This measure has real teeth. And by enabling the Treasury to bar U.S. banks from honoring credit cards issued by institutions harboring tax cheats, we can gain leverage over these institutions and tax havens.

Based on the $100 billion tax gap that we see every year, the average tax filer in Michigan is now paying over $300 in additional taxes each and every year, and the average small Michigan business is paying over $1,500 in additional taxes. This is simply unacceptable, and it must be stopped.

I'm committed to continuing the fight for tax policies that put middle class and working Americans first, and I urge my colleagues to support the Doggett motion to instruct.


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