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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a member of the Senate energy committee, issued the following statement today after the Senate blocked a bill to rescind $2 billion in annual taxpayer handouts to the five biggest U.S. oil companies:
“I voted to end oil company subsidies because we have a $14 trillion national debt, because some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world don’t need tax breaks, because some oil companies pay no federal income taxes, and because we desperately need to end our dependence on fossil fuels.
“Congress cannot balance the budget on the backs of middle-class working families without asking the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations for shared sacrifice.”
Sanders last year called for the repeal of $35 billion in oil and gas industry tax breaks over the next decade. His proposal would have devoted $25 billion to deficit reduction and put $10 billion over 10 years into an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Program. The vote last June 15 on Sanders' amendment was 35 to 61. At that time, 22 Democrats bucked the wishes of the White House and voted against the repeal.