Blumenthal was referring to BP, Chevron, ConocopPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell, which several Democrats have highlighted over the past several weeks as huge companies that benefit from what some have called "tax subsidies."

He said voters have "had enough of the tax breaks and the special giveaways and the sweetheart deals that go to the special interests, and have driven our deficit to sky-high, intolerable levels."

Blumenthal cited ethanol subsidies as another program that should disappear, and said up to $2.5 billion a year could be saved. He noted that commercial jets currently can be depreciated more quickly, which he said "adds to the debt and the deficit."

"If we are serious about debt reduction and addressing the deficit, we should eliminate that loophole," he said. "It is about making the tax code fair."

Blumenthal's comments are just the latest sign of the ongoing split between the two parties about how to reduce the annual budget deficit. Republicans have continued to insist that raising taxes during a fragile economic recovery would be ruinous, and instead are pushing for spending cuts.

As of Thursday, the Senate had agreed to return to work next week, but there were no outward signs that the two parties were any closer to a deal on the debt or the debt ceiling.