In 2013, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations probed Apple’s tax avoidance schemes, finding that the technology company paid little to no corporate taxes on over $74 billion in income over a four year period.
As the accusations mounted, Apple paid Mark Isakowitz, a Washington lobbyist, to work on corporate tax and international tax structure issues in the Senate.
The tables have turned as Isakowitz was hired in January of this year to become the chief of staff to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the new chief of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker and Richard Rubin, the subcommittee under Portman is “shifting its focus” away from digging into inappropriate corporate behavior.
Under previous chairs, including Democrat Carl Levin and Republicans Susan Collins and Norm Coleman, the committee “probed powerful institutions, often spurring legislative changes and criminal indictments,” Bloomberg notes. The committee made headlines for its relentless pursuit of big business, investigating multinational financial firms UBS and Goldman Sachs.
Rather than investigating corporate misdeeds, the committee under Portman will host hearings on policy reform and will reportedly probe government programs, such as the alleged mismanagement of programs related to the Affordable Care Act.
Portman also appointed Brian Callanan as the staff director for the committee. Callanan previously worked on the government affairs team of King & Spalding, a firm that represents major corporate interests such as the Carlyle Group.
Photo of Apple CEO Tim Cook (center) at a 2013 Senate hearing.