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Sens. Lindsey Graham (left) and Mike Braun. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Some key Republican senators won't rule out raising additional revenue from corporations, and told Axios they may be willing to close loopholes that allow big businesses to eliminate their overall tax bill.

Why it matters: While President Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to pay for his infrastructure plan has been met with near-uniform GOP opposition, there’s some appetite to ensure corporations pay more.

  • “I'm willing to do some things on the revenue front if they can do some things on the-way-the-government-works front,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
  • “The way you do that is you sort of put some limit on write-offs,” Graham added.
  • “I believe everybody should pay their fair share,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). “I come from the world of small business. So, I scratch my head when big corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) used the occasion to lobby for a flat tax.

  • “I think the tax code is filled with loopholes and subsidies that aren't fair," he said. "The answer isn't to eliminate every exemption and keep rates high — that's a massive tax increase. The answer is to eliminate the exemptions and lower rates."
  • Some of the comments came the same day Senate Republicans introduced their own infrastructure plan that included “protecting against any corporate or international tax increases.”

Driving the news: The president has highlighted a study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy showing 55 corporations actually received $3.5 billion in tax rebates, instead of paying approximately $8.5 billion in taxes on some $40.5 billion in income.

  • "It's just not fair. It's not fair to the rest of the American taxpayers," Biden said when he unveiled his corporate tax proposal on April 7.

Go deeper: The president has proposed raising an additional $2 trillion from corporations by focusing on three areas.

  • He wants to raise their basic tax rate from 21% to 28%.
  • For U.S. multinationals, he plans to increase taxes on their foreign earnings from 10.5% to 21%.
  • He has also proposed a 15% minimum tax he wants to apply to all corporations — a catchall to prevent companies from lowering their tax payments to zero.

Be smart: While the president favors a 28% rate, Senate Democrats already appear to be settling on a 25% rate, as Axios reported this week.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Dems' tricky climate infrastructure message

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

We now know more about the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan — and Democrats' tactical approach to the advancing package that has a suite of climate-related provisions.

Catch up fast: The Senate voted 67-32 to move the $1.2 trillion plan toward debate last night. Per a White House release it includes...

Ex-Theranos CEO describes alleged abuse by former boyfriend and company exec

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

On her fourth day of trial testimony, ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes described her 10-year romantic relationship with former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani as controlling, and said he would sometimes "force me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to."

Why it matters: While Balwani has also been similarly charged with fraud, the two are being tried separately, in part because some of Holmes' defense hinges on blaming him.

Amazon ordered to redo union vote in Alabama

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

A U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official on Monday called for a re-vote in a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Why it matters: The move could set the stage for another organizing drive at the e-commerce giant, which has, so far, fought off unionizing efforts in the U.S.