Democrats are committed to fiscal responsibility and to ensuring that government lives within its means. With Big Oil raking in record profits, House Democrats offered a Motion to Recommit to the House Republican short-term spending bill this afternoon making a responsible cut to the budget: putting an end to taxpayer-funded subsidies to large oil companies. Repealing these subsidies would save taxpayers tens of billions over the next decade and even ex-Shell CEO John Hofmeister agrees saying “with high oil prices, such subsidies are not necessary.”
Rep. William Keating (D-MA) offered the motion on the House floor saying “let’s stop sending taxpayers’ money to the most profitable companies in the world”:
On this first day of March, oil prices came in like a lion, but when it comes to taking away oil company tax breaks and cutting the federal deficit, Republicans act like docile lambs. Today a grand total of zero Republicans were brave enough to say the biggest oil companies don’t need 100 year-old tax breaks to sell $100 per barrel oil to make more than $100 billion per year in profits.
This vote mirrors a similar amendment to the longer term Republican “So Be It” spending bill last month by Reps. Markey (D-MA), Hinchey (D-NY), Miller (D-CA) and Capps (D-CA) to close another oil company loophole and recover up to $53 billion in taxpayer funds from oil companies. While the Markey amendment was voted down 251-174, House Republicans passed several amendments benefiting Big Oil that have nothing to do with cutting spending like exempting arctic offshore drilling from Clean Air protections and blocking information on sources of carbon pollution.
There are no more critical challenges facing this Congress than creating jobs, restoring fiscal discipline, and strengthening the middle class but the reckless Republican “So Be It” spending cuts only destroy jobs, threaten our economy, and weaken our middle class. Today, House Republicans once again chose Big Oil over the middle class.
Text of the Motion to Recommit:
Mr. Keating moves to recommit the joint resolution H. J. Res. 44 to the Committee on Appropriations with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with the following amendments:
Page 18, line 21, strike the quotation marks and final period.
Page 18, after line 21, insert the following:
“SEC. 227. For the period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Further Continuing Appropriations
3 Amendments, 2011 and ending on the date specified in section 106(3) of this Act, no major integrated oil company (as defined in section 167(h)(5)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) shall be eligible for any tax benefit or relief under the following provisions of such Code to the extent attributable to such period:
“(1) Section 43.
“(2) Section 45I.
“(3) Section 469 with respect to working interests in oil and gas property.
“(4) Sections 613 and 613A, with respect to percentage depletion for oil and gas.
“(5) Section 199 with respect to income derived from the production of oil and gas.
For purposes of this section, the amount of any tax benefit or relief for any taxable year shall be treated as attributable to the period described in the preceding sentence in the same ratio that the portion of such period which is part of such taxable year bears to the entire taxable year.”.