McConnell: Oil tax break repeals off the table in deficit talks with Biden

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that Republicans won’t discuss nixing tax breaks for major oil companies as part of fiscal reform talks with Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenOvernight Tech: FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices | Biden scolds social media firms over transparency Medicaid funds shouldn't be used to subsidize state taxes on health care Biden hits social media firms over lack of transparency MORE

“That's not the kind of thing we're going to be dealing with here in connection with the serious talks that are going on with the Vice President's group,” McConnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Biden and a bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers are in talks aimed at striking a deal on deficit reduction. The discussions come ahead of a looming deadline this summer for an agreement between the Obama administration and Congress to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

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McConnell’s comments come as Democrats are pressing to repeal of billions of dollars worth of industry tax breaks and apply the savings to deficit reduction.

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case Menendez jury deadlocked, ordered to keep trying MORE (D-N.J.), who is the lead sponsor of the bill to repeal industry tax breaks, said last week that Democrats would seek to tether the bill to debt ceiling legislation or a budget package if it doesn’t pass as a stand-alone measure.

“I'm convinced we're going to do this, because whether this is done through my legislation or whether this is done as part of any debt-ceiling vote, which we’ll insist on, or whether it’s done as part of any budget vote, we are going to eliminate these subsidies,” Menendez said on MSNBC Thursday.

Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.) also said last week that the oil tax break repeal will be part of Democrats’ broader deficit reduction efforts if it doesn’t pass on its own.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama MORE (D-Nev.) is planning a test vote on the oil tax plan this week, but it is unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to advance. The plan would block an estimated $21 billion worth of incentives over a decade for Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

McConnell slammed the Democrats’ plan Sunday, alleging on CNN that it will “raise the price of gas at the pump, send jobs overseas and make us get even more oil from Hugo Chavez.”