Senate Democrats make argument for cutting subsidies to oil companies

"We believe that the question before us is not whether we should do any cutting, but what exactly should be cut," the senators wrote. "So, as you consider spending-cut ideas for the remainder of this fiscal year, we ask that you focus on cutting programs that are wasteful and inefficient, as opposed to those that help create jobs and spur economic growth."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) argued that oil companies are posting record profits with Exxon reporting a 53 percent increase, "making it the company’s best quarter in years" and Chevron’s seeing a 72 percent increase in fourth-quarter income.

"The days of big oil companies making billions in record breaking profits while receiving billions in taxpayer-financed subsidies must end," the wrote. "It defies common sense to cut programs that are creating jobs, helping jumpstart our manufacturing sector and strengthening the middle class while protecting taxpayer-funded handouts to big oil companies that add little to our economic or energy security."

"The fact is, oil and gas companies are doing just fine while many Americans are still struggling to find work and support their families," they wrote.