Reid primes Senate for controversial oil-tax bill

"We’ll continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our nation’s deficit," Reid said.

"We have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies who clearly don’t need taxpayer handouts," Reid said. "As gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each senator will soon have the opportunity to stand with millionaires or with the middle class."

Details are still emerging on when the bill might hit the floor. It represents the first controversial Senate-originated piece of legislation the upper chamber will take up this year. 

Since January the Senate has passed a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration and a bill to fund patent reform. A noncontroversial funding bill for the Small Business Administration failed last week after disagreement over a long, contentious amendment process.

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