“The campaign by U.S. multinationals to sell Congress on a corporate tax break for their overseas profits has looked so far like tilting at windmills,” Tory Newmyer reports for Fortune. “Even backers of the so-called repatriation tax holiday have quietly acknowledged it’s a political stinker that faces long odds in the Senate.”

“That may be about to change. Senate sources tell Fortune that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber and a one-time opponent of the holiday, is testing his colleagues’ interest in marrying the proposal to a new infrastructure program,” Newmyer reports. “The idea is to encourage corporations keeping a collective total of more than $1 trillion parked abroad to bring it home by temporarily lowering the tax rate to about 5% from 35%. The tax receipts from that holiday then would be dedicated to an infrastructure bank that would help fund new building projects.”

“While the repatriation holiday alone is a non-starter for most Democrats, pairing it with an infrastructure program could marshal labor support,” Newmyer reports. “It’s an approach backed by former Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern, who’s emerged as the most vocal proponent of the tax holiday on the left.”

Newmyer reports, “The team of corporate heavyweights behind the lobbying push for the holiday — including Apple, Cisco, Duke Energy, Google, Kodak, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Oracle — has shown some success softening up Democratic opposition recently. Last week, the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way hosted a breakfast on the topic that featured Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). ‘A repatriation holiday can encourage economic activity at a fraction of the cost of recent fiscal policy,’ Hagan said in her prepared remarks.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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U.S. companies push for tax break on foreign cash – June 20, 2011