- - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SENATE

Bill would pull plug on Big Oil subsidies

A group of Senate Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday that calls for an end to taxpayer-funded subsidies to the five biggest oil companies.

“At a time when families are feeling the pain at the pump and our deficit keeps growing at an alarming rate, we simply can’t afford to keep giving away billions in taxpayer handouts to oil companies that are doing nothing to help lower prices,” said Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Another sponsor, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, said that if Congress is to get serious about reducing the national debt, “We can no longer afford to keep giving away taxpayers’ money to the most profitable companies in the world.”

Other sponsors of the measure are Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana.

The Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act would repeal or revise several tax rules that allow oil companies to deduct a portion of their costs for such endeavors as oil exploration and drilling. The savings would be used to help reduce the deficit.

HOUSE

Hoyer opposes Obama’s proposal for donor disclosures

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, opposes a White House proposal to require anyone seeking government business to disclose political contributions.

Mr. Hoyer said government contractors should be chosen on the merits of their applications, their bids and their capabilities.

“It’s not a requirement now. I don’t think it ought to be a requirement,” he told reporters Tuesday. “So I’m not in agreement with the administration on that issue.”

President Obama’s proposed executive order was drafted April 13 but has not been issued. It would require a contractor to disclose political contributions and expenditures made within two years of submitting a bid.

MONTANA

Deal will ease backlog of imperiled species

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