In a 51-47 vote, the U.S. Senate nixed a Democratic proposal to confiscate billions of dollars in tax breaks from some of the largest oil companies. Sixty votes were needed to push through Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) bill, which would have stripped billions in tax deductions from the "big five" oil companies, which includes BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhilips.
President Obama hailed the legislation, contending that oil companies are generating record profits and that taxpayers are getting hit from two sides, once at the gas pump and once more through billions of dollars in tax "subsidies" to the oil industry.
"I think it's time they got by without more help from taxpayers who are already having a tough enough time paying the bills and filling up their gas tank," the President said Thursday in a speech at the Rose Garden. "And I think it's curious that some folks in Congress, who are the first to belittle investments in new sources of energy, are the ones that are fighting the hardest to maintain these giveaways for the oil companies." He later added, "Wind and solar power… energy-efficient cars. That’s the future."
Following the Senate’s thumbs-down vote, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attested that Obama would remain persistent in his fight to repeal the so-called oil "subsidies." "That was an unfortunate vote," Carney lamented late Thursday, but Obama "won’t stop calling for this. It makes zero sense to have the American taxpayer subsidize oil and gas companies who are enjoying record profits."
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