- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Senate GOP sets stage for energy debate
To consider Democratic plan
Eager for a debate they believe will highlight rising gas prices on President Obama’s watch, Senate Republicans on Monday gave the green light to debating Democrats’ plan to end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies.
The move was unexpected. Democrats thought the GOP would block the measure outright — and Republicans said they can still do that later. But for now, they said the chance to talk about gas prices was too good.
“Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to illustrate how completely out of touch they are on this issue,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republicans’ floor leader.
It’s the first major debate on oil this year, and it comes as prices consumers are paying at the pump have leapt in recent weeks, with the national average price rising 23 cents in the past month, according to GasBuddy.com.
Democrats, who control the Senate, want to eliminate the average $2.4 billion a year in tax benefits that will be paid to the top oil companies for the next decade.
“As we all pay more at the pump, Big Oil rakes in more money,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and sponsor of the legislation.
Monday’s 92-4 vote was only to begin consideration of the bill. Republicans said they still have time to defeat it later in the process.
And of the four opposing votes, three were Democrats — signaling at least some opposition within their party’s own ranks to trying to strip the tax benefits from oil companies.
Across the Capitol, meanwhile, Republicans who control the House were struggling to find the same kind of unanimity as they try to head off the impending halt of all federally sponsored highway building, which is looming at the end of this week.
House Republicans are trying to pass a 90-day stopgap extension of road-building authority, but Democrats balked, saying the chamber should instead pass a bipartisan Senate version of the bill that gives the program two full years’ authority and siphons money from the treasury to keep up with construction plans.
The GOP had scheduled a vote on its short-term bill for Monday night but pulled it from the schedule after Democrats made clear they wouldn’t go along.
“We are in the midst of bipartisan conversations about a short-term extension of the highway bill,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner. “To facilitate those conversations, the House vote on an extension will occur later this week rather than tonight.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said last week he was “not inclined” to accept a short-term bill. But on Monday he said he would be open to that as long as Republicans agreed to a path to consider the Senate’s bill in the near future.
“The American people will know who to blame if chaos in the House Republican caucus costs us almost 3 million jobs,” he said.
He and his fellow Democrats also said they’ll push for votes on two small business tax-cut provisions Mr. Obama called for in his budget.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Red-state Democrats blast latest Keystone delay
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador's visa, but says law is 'advisory'
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office
Latest Blog Entries
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Vulnerable Democrats must 'run their own race'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
- WILLIAMS: Bill Maher, comedian or bigot?
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- NYT's David Brooks: Obama has 'manhood problem' in Middle East
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.