A top Senate Democrat is blasting Burger King's plan to buy Canadian coffee and doughnut firm Tim Hortons.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, has been a leading critic of so-called tax inversions, in which a U.S.-based company buys a foreign firm for the new country's lower corporate tax rate.
On Tuesday, Durbin raised questions about the fast-food company's patriotism.
"With every new corporate inversion, the tax burden increases on the rest of us to pay what these corporations don't," he said in a statement. "I'm disappointed in Burger King's decision to renounce their American citizenship. I call on companies currently mulling this tax dodge to reconsider, and on Congress to protect U.S. taxpayers from more of these schemes."
Burger King said it based its decision on international growth opportunities, the Associated Press reported. But, in a sign that Burger King was losing control of the narrative surrounding the acquisition, many reports about the deal centered on the tax inversion.
This is not the first time has Durbin waged a PR campaign against companies weighing tax inversions. Earlier this summer, Durbin praised Illinois-based pharmacy Walgreens for choosing not to invert. That decision came after Durbin repeatedly and publicly called for the company to keep its corporate headquarters in the U.S.
Many in Congress want to pursue legislation to address tax-inverting companies, but no consensus measures have emerged. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon said earlier this month he's working with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, and ranking member Orrin Hatch of Utah, on a bipartisan bill, but details are sketchy.
"This issue demands a resolution in the near term and I hope to have bipartisan legislation in place come September," Wyden said in a statement.