Senate Dems Target $21 Billion in Tax Giveways to Big Five Oil Companies

May 9, 2011

(ChattahBox Political News)—On Thursday, House Republicans, once again, voted unanimously to preserve billions in tax giveaways to Big Oil, at a time when oil companies are posting record profits and gas prices have soared to over $4.00 a gallon. But Democrats, having the majority in the Senate, are prepared to force Republicans to go on the record supporting the continuation of nearly $21 billion in tax breaks to the biggest oil companies, at a time when the GOP is portraying the federal deficit as the biggest threat to mankind. Last month, Obama devoted his weekly address to eliminating federal oil subsidies. “When oil companies are making huge profits and you’re struggling at the pump, and we’re scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren’t right. They aren’t smart. And we need to end them,” said Obama.

Republicans are more than willing to end Medicare for seniors, slash Medicaid benefits for the poor and disabled and nutrition programs for hungry children and poor pregnant women, but when it comes to ending tax giveaways to Big Oil companies that fill their campaign coffers, there’s a different standard.

The New York Times reports that Senate Democrats are crafting a bill to end tax subsidies for the big five oil companies and using the savings to lower the deficit. Republican deficit hawks, voting against such a measure, would have to explain their vote to angry constituents in their home districts.

“Linking two of the politically volatile issues of the moment, Senate Democrats say they will move forward this week with a plan that would eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies and divert the savings to offset the deficit.”

“With high gas prices and rising federal deficits in the political spotlight, senior Democrats believe that tying the two together will put pressure on Senate Republicans to support the measure or face a difficult time explaining their opposition to voters whose family budgets are being strained by fuel prices.”

The bill would end subsidies for BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips.

Exxon Mobil Corp. posted a $10.7 billion profit for the first quarter, which is a whopping a 69 percent increase from last year.


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