Yesterday, Senate Republicans along with four Conservadems, voted against ending subsidies for big oil. They did this in spite of the fact that the president made a very passionate plea for them to repeal the subsidies only an hour or so prior to the vote. Maddow Blog via Bob Cesca, emphasis mine:
The Senate on Thursday thwarted Democratic plans to strip billions of dollars in tax breaks from the largest oil companies, just an hour or so after President Obama urged the chamber to kill off the deductions.
Lawmakers voted 51-47 to block Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) bill. Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure.
Two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, both from Maine — crossed party lines and voted to repeal the tax breaks. Four Democrats — Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) — voted against the bill.
Today, we found out that the 47 senators who voted against the bill have received almost $24 million in contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators who voted to repeal the big oil subsidies received only $5+ million.
In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
A Think Progress Green analysis shows how oil and gas companies have funneled cash to the same senators who protected its handouts:
– The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
– The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.
– Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.
– Since 2011, Senate Republicans have voted seven times for pro-Big Oil interests and against clean energy three times.
Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke ranks and voted to cut the tax breaks. Two senators, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) didn’t vote.
Republicans have taken an overwhelming 88 percent of oil and gas contributions this election cycle. While showering politicans with cash, the oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.
Although 55 percent of Americans want to see Big Oil welfare end, the GOP once again largely acted in-line with their Big Oil donors.
For a full list of names and dollar amounts of oil and gas contributions to the Senate, visit Think Progress.