By Andrew Restuccia - 05/05/11 03:06 PM EDT
“We need to take back those tax breaks and use them — use them for things that are important, but not for oil companies,” Rep. Edward Markey (Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said on the floor Thursday before the vote.
Democrats also cast the oil industry tax break repeal proposal as a deficit-reduction measure Thursday. The proposal would result in $12 billion in revenue over the next decade, Bishop’s office said.
“We have an opportunity here today to see where Democrats and Republicans stand on deficit reduction,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said on the floor.
But Republicans blasted the effort by Democrats as political posturing.
“We’re in this situation because of this administration’s policies that have shut off energy supply,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on the floor before the vote.
Scalise argued that the oil industry would pass on their extra costs to consumers if their tax subsidies were repealed.
Lawmakers will vote on a bill authored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) later Thursday that would set a timeline for Gulf of Mexico lease sales and mandate the sale of leases off the Virginia coast.
The legislation is part of a three-bill, domestic oil-and-gas drilling package that has been fast-tracked by House Republican leadership. The other two bills are expected to come up for a House vote next week.