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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Senate Votes: Tonight On Dems' "Laughable" Oil Company Tax Hike

Update: The Senate rejected S.940 (52-48). Three Democrats – Sens. Mark Begich (AK), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Ben Nelson (NE),joined nearly all but two Republican in voting against the measure. The two Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voted with the Democrats.
Today in Washington, D.C. - May 17, 2011:
The Senate reconvened today and quickly confirmed ( 71-28) Susan L. Carney to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Then in the began consideration of S. 940, the Democrat bill to raise taxes on American energy companies. ; Around 6:15 PM, the Senate will vote on the motion to proceed to S. 940, which will require 60 votes.

Tomorrow, the Senate will take up the Republican bill to increase domestic energy production, S. 953, with a vote on the motion to proceed to the bill scheduled for 2:30 PM.

As The Hill reports today, the Senate is scheduled to vote tonight on Democrats’ bill (S. 940) to raise taxes on American energy producers, which many Democrats admit will do nothing to lower the high gas prices Americans are struggling with each day.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a member of Democrat Senate leadership, admitted to CNN’s Dana Bash, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared yesterday, “[T]his is a question of fairness and a question of priorities. Certainly a question of economics. But it is not a question of gas prices.” At a Senate Finance Committee hearing last week, Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That’s not the issue.  I don’t see that as an issue at all.”

And during floor speeches where they criticized their own party’s proposal last week, Democrat senators from energy producing states also emphasized the bill will do nothing to lower gas prices. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said, “[I]t will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.” She also added, “It will actually hurt job production in the United States.” And Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) called the bill “a gimmick,” explaining, “It won't decrease prices at the pump.”

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained just how detached from reality Senate Democrats’ response to high gas prices has been. “Instead of actually doing something about high gas prices,” Leader McConnell said, “our Democratic friends staged what one of my Republicans colleagues accurately described as a dog and pony show. They rounded up what they believed were a few unsympathetic villains who they could blame for high gas prices, hoping nobody would notice they don’t have a plan of their own to deal with them. That’s been their strategy from the beginning. Blame this crisis on somebody else — and then see if they can’t raise taxes while they’re at it. They’ve been so shameless, in fact, that they haven’t even pretended they’re doing anything to lower gas prices, readily admitting the bill we’ll vote on today won’t lower gas prices by a penny.”

In contrast to Democrats, Leader McConnell said, “Well, I would submit that for most Americans high gas prices is, in fact, the issue.” Which is why Republicans introduced The Offshore Production & Safety Act Of 2011 (S.953), which is scheduled for a vote tomorrow.

The Hill reports, “Under a unanimous consent agreement, Senate leadership also agreed to hold a vote Wednesday on a Republican offshore drilling bill that mirrors legislation passed by House Republicans in recent weeks. The bill, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia coast; would set a timeline for review of pending offshore permit applications; and would extend leases in the Gulf for one year, among other things.”

Leader McConnell described the GOP plan this morning: “Our bill would return American offshore production to where it was before this administration locked it up, require federal bureaucrats to process permits -- to make a decision one way or the other -- rather than sitting on them. And it would improve offshore safety. Our plan not only acknowledges the importance of increasing domestic production — it does something about it, while ensuring environmental safety.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell backed the GOP plan in a statement today, saying, “I urge the Congress to pass this bill with strong bipartisan support, and I encourage Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner to back this measure, which will be a great benefit to the Commonwealth and the nation. Virginia has a vision to become the energy capital of the East Coast, but we cannot achieve that goal, nor can we help foster energy independence and national security if we are reticent to set the prudent and needed policies that can impact the future of our nation and the livelihood of every American.”

As Leader McConnell concluded today, “If President Obama and his party are really serious about lowering gas prices, making us less dependent on foreign oil, and creating the thousands of jobs that American exploration is proven to produce, they would embrace our plan and stop pretending to care about a crisis they have done so much to create and, their latest public relations efforts notwithstanding, continue to ignore.”

No wonder Sen. Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat, said of her party’s bill, “You ask me can I vote for a bill like this. No. Not only can I not vote for it, it’s laughable.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., U.S. Senate, energy tax, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:58 PM - Post Link


Anonymous bettered said...

Carter raised taxes on oil companies too. He called it windfall profits tax, some of us called it windfall taxes. The oil companies added it to their prices and laughed all the way to the bank. Most consumers had no idea it was they who were paying the added taxes. The govt scam in action robbing citizens blind.

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