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Senate blocks proposal to end tax breaks for Big Oil

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By Doug Powers  •  March 29, 2012 02:05 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s just a matter of time until Jay Carney claims Republicans are now responsible for high gas prices because they refused to raise taxes on Big Oil so the government could spend that revenue fast-tracking algae research and funding more Solyndras.

From The Hill:

The Senate on Thursday thwarted Democratic plans to strip billions of dollars in tax breaks from the largest oil companies, just an hour or so after President Obama urged the chamber to kill off the deductions.

Lawmakers voted 51-47 to block Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) bill. Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure.

Two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine — crossed party lines and voted to repeal the tax breaks. Four Democrats — Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) — voted against the bill.

It sounds as if Democrats could have gotten their dream of ending Big Oil tax breaks if they’d have accepted a Republican deal sweetener, but Harry Reid made a quick kick-save to keep it out of the net:

The vote Thursday followed several days of tactical maneuvering on both sides of the aisle. Republicans oppose the Menendez plan but unexpectedly voted Monday to allow debate on the bill, saying they welcomed the chance to pit their energy plans against those of Democrats.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cut debate on the bill short, blocking consideration of a handful of GOP amendments, including a proposal to dramatically expand offshore oil-and-gas leasing.

Why would Reid have a problem with expanding offshore leasing considering his friend in the White House recently vowed to drill wherever we can?

Update: Jay Carney can’t explain why Obama voted for oil company tax breaks in 2005.

**Written by Doug Powers

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