By Ben Geman - 02/10/11 08:47 PM EST
Several senior House Democrats ramped up calls Thursday to yank tax incentives from large oil companies, alleging they are especially inappropriate amid GOP plans for deep spending cuts.
Lawmakers including Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to end roughly $40 billion over five years worth of tax breaks.
The bill stands little chance of passage but provides Democrats a political counterweight to GOP calls to begin curbing the deficit by slashing an array of federal programs.
“The biggest companies no longer need 100 year-old subsidies to sell $100 dollar per barrel oil to make nearly $100 billion a year,” said Markey in a statement. “We shouldn’t be trying to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors and struggling middle-class families while oil company executives continue to line their pockets with tax breaks.”
The bill would end several incentives, such as large oil companies’ ability to claim a lucrative domestic manufacturing tax deduction.