Boehner Rejects Oil-Subsidy Vote
As the country's largest oil companies report near-record profits, the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected on Thursday Democratic calls to consider legislation eliminating billions of dollars in tax breaks for the same corporations.
“The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create millions of American jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email. "Raising taxes will not do that."
Boehner said on Monday that oil companies should pay their fair share of taxes and that the industry did not need at least one of the subsidies Democrats want to terminate. But he started walking those comments back in the same interview, and his spokesman’s statement continued the rearguard action.
Steel’s comments came in response to a letter from 28 House Democrats urging Boehner to stage an up-or-down vote on legislation ending roughly $8 billion in oil subsidies annually. President Obama is pushing to eliminate $4 billion in tax breaks each year.
"With gas prices on the rise, we would welcome the opportunity to show our constituents that Congress is ready to stop wastefully subsidizing some of the most profitable businesses in the world and instead use that money to reduce the deficit and invest in real relief from high gas prices," the Democrats wrote to Boehner in the April 28 letter, which was spearheaded by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)...