Fiscal watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense said Tuesday that a proposal by Democrats to eliminate a series of tax breaks for the five largest oil companies doesn’t go far enough.
“Congress needs to go further," Taxpayers for Common Sense Vice President Steve Ellis said. "We cannot afford to just look at a few subsidies for a handful of companies. We need to eliminate all of these subsidies as part of an effort to deal with our nation’s fiscal crisis.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will hold a test vote Tuesday night on the bill to eliminate some tax breaks for Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and Chevron.
The bill is not expected to get the 60 votes necessary for passage. But debate on the legislation has ignited a firestorm in Washington over tax breaks and deficit reduction.
Democrats say their bill will save $21 billion over 10 years and the savings will go toward deficit reduction.
But Republicans and some Democrats say the legislation is akin to raising taxes on the oil industry and singling out profitable companies for unfair treatment.
Americans for Tax Reform warned senators Tuesday that a vote in favor of the bill would break a pledge signed by most Republicans to oppose tax hikes.
Taxpayers for Common Sense released a report Tuesday that says the oil-and-gas industry will enjoy more than $78 billion in tax breaks over the next five years.
In a time of jaw-dropping deficits, taxpayers are being forced to line the pockets of Big Oil while they rake in massive profits,” Ellis said. “Oil-and-gas companies should pay their fair share.”
Ellis said Taxpayers for Common Sense is in favor of eliminating tax breaks for a range of energy industries including the wind and solar industries. "Right now, oil and gas is a good place to start," he said.