By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that if the U.S. Congress does not act to close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and corporations, she will ask the Treasury Department to take up the issue if she is elected president.
"Let's make sure that Wall Street, corporations and the super rich pay their fair share of taxes," Clinton said in Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital.
The former U.S. secretary of state used her campaign stop to offer her vision for bolstering the economy after using a speech on the topic on Tuesday to attack presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, predicting a "Trump recession" if he becomes president.
Trump delivered his own speech attacking Clinton on Wednesday, saying she is part of a political establishment that has cheated American workers through bad trade deals.
In her speech on Wednesday, Clinton said, "I think it's an understatement to say Americans face a choice in November. "I'm here today to offer an alternative.
"When people say the game is rigged, the best evidence is the (U.S.) tax code. It is riddled with scams, loopholes and other special breaks," added Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
She said that if the Republican-controlled Congress does not enact reforms to end tax breaks for the wealthy, she would use her presidential authority to direct the Treasury Department to do so.
Democratic President Barack Obama has faced criticism for using executive action. In one example, he used executive power to shield certain groups from the threat of deportation when immigration legislation stalled in Congress.
Clinton said modifying the tax code is one prong in a five-part plan the federal government would follow to jump-start the American economy if she is elected on Nov. 8:
- Large-scale investment in rebuilding infrastructure to create well-paying jobs;
- Enabling debt-free college educations;
- Giving companies incentives to share profits with employees;
- Creating national family-friendly policies such as paid family leave.
In a nod to populists within the Democratic Party who may have supported U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic Primary, Clinton also said she would aim to raise the federal minimum wage, strengthen labor unions and reject international trade deals that do not benefit U.S. workers.
"As I said during the primary, I am a progressive who likes to get things done, and we can do this," Clinton said.
(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)