Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Oil Tax Breaks Vote Fails in Senate Oil Tax Breaks Vote Fails in Senate

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Energy / ENERGY

Oil Tax Breaks Vote Fails in Senate

photo of Olga Belogolova
May 17, 2011

A motion to advance a measure aimed at cutting tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies failed on the Senate floor on Tuesday evening, as it was unable to garner the 60 votes necessary to proceed.

Three Democrats voted against the motion, including Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mark Begich of Alaska, while two Republicans from Maine, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, stood by it.

Nevertheless, the motion was withdrawn as only 52 senators voted in favor of it.

 

As numerous reports and experts noted that an effort to cut the tax breaks would do nothing to deal with high gas prices, Democrats saw the measure as a way of signaling to their constituents and fellow lawmakers that they are deficit hawks. By framing the bill as something that will cut the deficit, Democrats hoped to put their colleagues on the record voting on the issue.

Though the bill failed to proceed, it put several Democrats and a majority of Republicans on the spot when voting against advancing it.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated on Tuesday afternoon the fight won’t end here, as he expects the proposal will be a part of final budget negotiations.

“There is no justification for giving these companies that are making so much money, and their own executives said these subsidies are unnecessary,” Reid said. “I am confident that before we finish our budget negotiations here in anticipation of raising the debt ceiling that that will be part of it.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said on Tuesday that the measure and any efforts to eliminate the tax breaks is simply a "dog and pony show,” echoing his colleague Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

McConnell argued that “a better approach to this crisis is the Republican alternative that we’ll get a vote on [Wednesday].”

That measure, which mirrors House legislation passed in the last two weeks, would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. In addition, the measure would set a timeline for Interior’s approval of offshore permit applications and extend leases in the Gulf for another year.

McConnell’s bill is set for a vote on Wednesday, but it is also expected to fall short of the 60 votes it needs to advance.

 

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Energy Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of energy coverage.

Sign up form for Energy Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus