May 18, 2011
The Senate blocked a bill Tuesday that would repeal about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House negotiate a deal later this year to increase the government’s ability to borrow.
The bill was defeated on a procedural vote. But Democrats hope to build their case to include the measure in a deficit-reduction package being negotiated by key lawmakers and the Obama administration. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding deficit reduction as part of deal to increase the government’s ability to borrow and avoid an unprecedented default on U.S. Treasury bonds.
“This bill says that even the most rich and powerful among us must do their fair share to help us reduce the deficit,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the bill’s sponsor. “Their high-priced lobbyists cannot stop us from doing what is fair and what is right.”