U.S. Politics

Dem to reintroduce legislation to curb stock buybacks

Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinTrump mounts Rust Belt defense On The Money: Trump issues emergency order grounding Boeing 737 Max jets | Senate talks over emergency resolution collapse | Progressives seek defense freeze in budget talks Dems offer bill to end tax break for investment-fund managers MORE (D-Wis.) said that she is reintroducing her legislation to curb stock buybacks on Wednesday, as Democrats have criticized companies' share repurchases following the enactment of the GOP tax law.

Under the bill, corporations would no longer be able to repurchase their own shares on the open market.

Additionally, the bill would require public companies to have its workers' elect one-third of its board of directors.

"I believe that ending the corporate buyback binge and giving workers a seat at the table will ensure that workers share in the prosperity that they help to create," Baldwin said Tuesday.

Baldwin spoke about the reintroduction of her bill at an event Senate Democrats held Tuesday on stock buybacks.

Democrats have highlighted companies' stock buyback announcements after the passage of the GOP tax law to argue that the law is helping wealthy shareholders rather than workers.

"We're learning more every day that the Republican tax-scam giveaway was based on fraudulent claims," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has plans with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to offer legislation to prevent companies from buying back their own stock unless they invest in their workers, questioned how corporations could fulfill their pension obligations while also buying back their stock.

"Income distribution in America is skewed out of whack," Schumer said, adding that "we believe that not only government has a role to play, but corporate America has a role to play."

The Senate Democrats' event featured testimony from professors and workers at large companies who spoke in support of reining in stock buybacks and providing employee representation on corporate boards.

"I urge Congress to stop these malicious stock buybacks and help create jobs to benefit the community like mine," said Joe Olson, an AT&T technician and president of a local chapter of the Communications Workers of America.

Many conservatives and business groups have defended stock buybacks, arguing that they make capital investments more productive and benefit people saving for retirement. They also have said that both buybacks and business investment increased last year. 

 

 


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