Dems hit GOP Senate hopefuls for protecting oil tax breaks

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) are all targets. So are Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who are both seeking seats in the upper chamber.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Big Oil companies are raking in soaring profits and Republican Senate candidates still want to continue shoveling taxpayer money into industry coffers,” said DSCC spokesman Matt Canter.  “Republicans have long been in the pockets of their Big Oil campaign contributors, fighting at every turn to protect the industry’s taxpayer funded subsidies, even trying to cut benefits for seniors and dismantle Medicare to pay for tax breaks for big oil."

Republicans lashed back, calling it hypocritical for Democrats to hit them on oil subsidies after Senate Democrats removed an element from President Obama's jobs plan in early October that would have ended the subsidies.

"Perhaps someone should ask [Louisiana's] Mary Landrieu and other Senate Democrats who oppose tax hikes on energy producers how they feel about their own party strategists accusing them of being 'in the pocket of Big Oil,'" said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Democrats said at the time that the provision was stripped to make the plan more politically palatable and to peel off enough conservative Democrats to secure passage.

"Look at the overarching record, and look at everything they've done over the course of the past years," a Democratic strategist Wednesday, rejecting the charge of hypocrisy. "Every single time this has come up, Republicans have voted to protect tax breaks for oil companies. "

More in Presidential races

‘16 GOP hopefuls try to break into the top

Read more »