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U.S. Funds For U.S. Firms

Only U.S. companies should get government contracts, House committee says.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee last week approved an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that would prohibit Accenture, which is based in Bermuda, from building the Homeland Security Department's US-Visit system because the services firm isn't based in the United States. Accenture says it pays U.S. taxes and therefore shouldn't be stripped of its $10 billion contract to build the high-tech border-control system.

"Accenture and companies like it have used loopholes in the tax system to shirk their duties to the United States," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a co-sponsor of the amendment, in a statement on her Web site. The amendment stipulates that the government can't award contracts to foreign-based shell corporations or their subsidiaries.

Cindy Shaw, an analyst at Schwab Soundview Capital Markets, says concerns that Accenture will lose the US-Visit contract are "overblown," noting that the amendment must be approved by both houses of Congress.

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