The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on the Democrats' controversial bill that would cut the tax breaks received by the big five oil companies.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) filed cloture Monday night on the legislation, which means it would come to a vote at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Opposition among Republicans to the plan is strong and even some Democrats, such as Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist MORE (D-La.), also oppose it. It is unlikely the legislation will garner enough votes to reach cloture.
Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Dem senator accuses Trump of 'dangerous tilt towards authoritarianism' Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule MORE (D-Ore.) said Monday night that Reid was forced to file cloture on the bill as Republicans had threatened to conduct a “silent-filibuster” if he attempted to bring it to the floor.
Several Democratic senators, including Merkley, came to the Senate floor Monday to voice their support of the bill.
Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerA Justice Gorsuch will defend religious Americans from persecution Dem to Trump: 'You truly are an evil man' Dem senator: GOP controls all of gov't, so success or failure is on them MORE (D-N.Y.) described a scenario in which the U.S. was writing a $4 billion check to the big five oil companies each year -- entities he said are among the most profitable on the planet.
"We are writing out a check of $4 billion to the big oil companies,” said Schumer. "Does that make sense?"
Schumer added that in order to conjure a "more ridiculous scenario" than one in which profitable oil companies were being subsidized by tax-payers already beleaguered by high gas prices one would need "the imagination of Lewis Carroll who wrote Alice in Wonderland."
In particular the bill would require oil companies to pay taxes for drilling on federal land and remove tax deductions for companies that drill in foreign countries.
Republicans argue the legislation would not lower gas prices and is a distraction in that debate.
The Senate adjourned at 7:10 p.m. on Monday night and is slated to return at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.