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While 0% of the Republicans in the House of Reps voted against extending multi-billion dollar subsidies for the nation's largest oil companies, 74% of Americans wish they hadn't. Remember, the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that a vast majority of Americans want to stop government handouts to the most profitable companies in the world. Keep that in mind as negotiations to strip tax breaks for Big Oil continue in the Senate. The Hill reports that the Obama administration, despite being all for expanded offshore drilling, backs the move to eliminate the subsidies:
The Obama administration on Tuesday said it "strongly supports" a Senate bill that would increase taxes on oil companies, which the Senate was debating Tuesday afternoon but was expected to reject in a vote Tuesday evening ... the White House said it has put forward a plan to cut U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025 and increase domestic production. "It is also clear that there are much more responsible ways to utilize the billions in taxpayer dollars provided to oil and gas companies through unwarranted tax breaks," it said.Now, if the bill fails in the Senate, as it probably will (in case you haven't been paying attention, nothing much gets through the Senate these days), Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll look to strike a deal during the debt ceiling negotiations.
But bear in mind that all of this bickering is largely symbolic, and is over a few drops in the proverbial oil well -- the proposed tax breaks would shave just a few billion dollars off the tens of billions in annual subsidies oil companies receive. However, the fewer federal dollars sucked down by Big Oil the better. It is, at the very least, a step in the right direction.