“The Senate blocked a bill Tuesday that would repeal about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House negotiate a deal later this year to increase the government’s ability to borrow.
The bill was defeated on a procedural vote. But Democrats hope to build their case to include the measure in a deficit-reduction package being negotiated by key lawmakers and the Obama administration. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding deficit reduction as part of deal to increase the government’s ability to borrow and avoid an unprecedented default on U.S. Treasury bonds.
“This bill says that even the most rich and powerful among us must do their fair share to help us reduce the deficit,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the bill’s sponsor. “Their high-priced lobbyists cannot stop us from doing what is fair and what is right.”
Republicans and some Democrats opposed the tax increase, saying it would hurt domestic drilling while doing nothing to reduce gas prices. The vote was 52-48 in favor of the measure, short of the 60 votes needed to advance it. Three Democrats — Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Begich of Alaska — joined with nearly all Republicans in opposing the measure. Two Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, voted for it.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called the tax increases “misguided, unwarranted and ultimately counterproductive.”
The measure would have affected Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP America and Chevron Corp.
“This is not an energy strategy, this is a public relations strategy, this is a ‘how do I get re-elected’ strategy,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. “It does not solve the problem or the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump.”
- Source: Associated Press
This issue disturbs me on both sides of the aisle. Whenever I see one political party blocking bills related to money, I always suspect they are the party who is being funded by that industry that the opposing political party is trying to blockade. When going along with this logic, that would mean The Republicans are being funded by lobbyist dollars from big oil companies.
This is bad, but what is also bad is when the Democrats make up fictitious claims to prove a point. I agree with Sen. John Cornyn. This is a Democratic strategy to get re-elected… Not to mention get media attention for something that sounds good.
There’s so much corruption involved in this issue that I’d rather not even form an opinion. I would be interested in knowing your opinion though.
Let me know by commenting below.
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