Companies like Apple, Disney, and ExxonMobil are swarming Capitol Hill in a desperate attempt to squash Biden's tax plan to pay for free college and childcare


Prominent business groups are unleashing a massive lobbying effort to squash parts of the Democratic $3.5 trillion spending plan that include planned tax corporate hikes, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The effort encompasses organizations like the American Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the RATE Coalition, the Post reported.

Companies among their ranks include Disney, part of RATE; Apple, part of Business Roundtable; and ExxonMobil, counted among the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Post reported that the Chamber of Commerce is in the early stages of marshaling a campaign that includes advertisements aimed at Democrats and traditional lobbying in Congress, the newspaper said, citing three sources who remained anonymous to share internal decision making.

The party-line spending plan, which Democrats are currently drafting, would expand Medicare, set up a national program for paid family and medical leave, and include tuition-free community college, a child allowance, and initiatives to address the climate crisis, among other provisions.

Democrats intend to approve it through reconciliation, a path to bypass staunch GOP opposition and securing its passage with only a simple majority. In order for that process to work, Democrats must be in lockstep in the 50-50 Senate.

A sustained campaign organized by business groups could magnify Democratic divides over how much to ramp up taxes on the largest firms. Corporations are largely balking at Democrats' push to roll back the tax treatment they locked in under President Donald Trump's 2017 tax law, which reduced corporate taxes to 21% from 35% and included exemptions on taxing overseas profits.

Former Democratic senator Blanche Lincoln told the Post that the suite of corporate tax hikes could set back the US economy in its competition against China and "carry devastating consequences for American workers." Lincoln serves as the main adviser to the RATE Coalition.

Democrats are onboard with stepping up corporate taxes, but they sharply disagree on how much it should climb.  President Joe Biden unveiled a two-part infrastructure plan in the spring that sought increasing corporate taxes to 28% from 21%, amounting to a partial rollback of the Republican tax law.

"I'm not trying to punish anybody, but damn it, maybe it's because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, I'm sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced," Biden said in an April 28 speech.

Yet some Democrats have already expressed reluctance to increase taxes to that level, warning it could damage the  ability of American companies to compete. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia both favor a smaller corporate tax hike, with Manchin backing a 25% rate instead.

Sen. Bernie Sanders ripped into the early signs of the campaign on Tuesday. "The rich and large corporations get richer, and their lobbyists do everything possible to protect their wealth and greed," he wrote on Twitter. "Not this time."