The Truth Behind Oil Windfall Profits Tax Vote Failure
Yesterday, all day, the news services were broadcasting and printing the following headline:
Republicans block Democrats' attempt to
impose windfall profits tax on oil companies
In several respects, this is not a clear picture of what really happened.
Sure, the Republican members of the Senate began debate on the Democrat proposal to impose a 25% tax upon the subjective “UNREASONABLE” profits of the five largest United States based oil companies – and the Democrats could not raise enough votes to stop the debate.
The truth behind the failure begins with the Democrats who hold a voting majority if all of the Senators showed up to vote, had seven additional Republican Senators willing to vote to stop debate.
One prominent Democrat that was not in attendance to vote with the majority was Barack Obama.
Senator Obama, the presumptive Democrat Party nominee for President issued a statement after all action on the bill was ended and one wonders, WHY? If one does not show up to participate and vote, do they really have anything constructive and informed by the process of failure to communicate?
Blah, Blah, Blah!
The Senate has 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one Independent that votes Democrat, giving the Democrats the leadership of the Senate. If ALL Democrats had showed up to vote and all voting Democrats and 1 Independent voted for the bill, added to the 7 Republicans that crossed party lines and against the wishes of the Republican leadership … the vote would have been 57 Yes and (who cares) No … still not the 60 votes needed for the bill to pass – REGARDLESS.
This excerpted and edited from Associated Press -
Republicans block Democrats' attempt to impose windfall profits tax on oil companies
The Associated Press - Published: June 11, 2008
Republicans, however, have said the bill would do nothing to ease soaring gasoline prices in the United States.
The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster — a procedural tactic to delay debate on a bill — and bring the energy package up for consideration.
The defeat affords Democrats another opportunity, going into the November congressional and presidential elections, to try to cast Republicans as siding with the oil companies at a time of record gasoline prices.
But Republican leaders said the Democrats' plan would do harm rather than good — and they kept the legislation from being brought up for debate and amendments.
At the Capitol, Democratic leaders needed 60 votes and they got only 51 senators' support, including seven Republicans who bucked their party leaders.
Republican opponents argued that little was to be gained by imposing new taxes on the five U.S. oil giants: Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Shell Oil Co., BP America Inc. and Conoco-Philips Co.
While these companies may be huge, they do not set world oil prices and raising their taxes would discourage domestic oil production, the Republicans said of the Democrats' plan.
"In the middle of what some are calling the biggest energy shock in a generation ... they proposed as a solution, of all things, a windfall profits tax," Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky chided the Democrats. He called their proposal "a gimmick" that would not lower gasoline prices and only hold back domestic oil production.
Neither Republican presidential candidate John McCain nor his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, were in Washington to cast votes on the energy issue on Tuesday.
Obama, in a statement, said Republicans had "turned a blind eye to the plight of America's working families" by refusing to take up the energy legislation. Obama has supported additional taxes on the oil companies [and did not attend the debate]. McCain is opposed to such taxes and has proposed across-the-aboard tax reductions for industry as a way to help the economy [and did not attend the debate].
Election-year politics hung over the debate. Democrats know their energy package has no chance of becoming law. Even it were to overcome a Senate Republican filibuster — a longshot at best — and the House acted, President George W. Bush has made clear he would veto it.
In addition to the proposed windfall profits tax, the Democrats' bill also would have rescinded tax breaks that are expected to save the oil companies $17 billion over the next 10 years. The money would have been used to provide tax incentives for producers of wind, solar and other alternative energy sources as well as for energy conservation.
After Tuesday's defeat, Democrats did not rule out pushing the issue again.
"This was politics at its worst," complained Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. "This was a refusal to debate the biggest problem confronting the American people. ... That takes nerve."
The "real politics at its worst" (as stated by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill) on this subject is the irrational support for the NO NUKES for power stance the environmentalists hold and the Democrats (and leftists) back without debate.
Let us, here at MAXINE, not mention the refusal to allow oil field exploration, drilling, extraction, transportation, refinement, and sale of any NEW OIL here in the United States ... for the last four decades.
If only we could restrict the world's oil supply and reproduce long lines at the gas pumps, then we could all experience what Barack Obama and the Democrat Party would bring to the country if elected ... Carter's Second Term.