Obama: Slash oil industry tax breaks as part of debt deal

President Obama pressed lawmakers Wednesday to cut a slew of oil industry tax breaks as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, arguing that the alternative is to slash funding for education, medical research and food safety.

The repeal of certain oil industry tax breaks is one of a number of provisions Obama and Democrats in Congress want included in the debt-limit package. But Republicans have blasted the proposals.

Here’s what Obama said Wednesday during a White House press conference:

“If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, that means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research, that means that food safety may be compromised, that means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden.”

Obama's comments come as policymakers face the Treasury Department's Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.