House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi upped the ante Tuesday evening over tax breaks for oil companies, calling on House Republicans to schedule a vote next week on the issue.
The California Democrat wrote to Speaker John Boehner saying that the Ohio Republican’s acknowledgement Monday that oil companies should pay their “fair share” should be regarded as a call to action.
Boehner had told ABC News that oil and gas companies are “gonna pay their fair share in taxes — and they should.” President Barack Obama has urged Congress to eliminate $4 billion in oil and gas tax subsidies.
“Listen, everybody ... wants to go after the oil companies. And frankly, they’ve got some part of this to blame,” Boehner told ABC News.
He later said, “I don’t think the big oil companies need to have the oil depletion allowances. But for small, independent oil and gas producers, if they didn’t have this there’d be even less exploration in America than there is today.”
Pelosi used Boehner’s comments to further House Democrats’ position that the tax incentives should be repealed.
“House Democrats have long advocated eliminating outdated and costly taxpayer subsidies that provide billions of dollars to highly profitable oil companies,” Pelosi wrote. “It makes little sense for American consumers — who are now paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline in most parts of the United states — to have billions of their taxpayer dollars subsidizing oil companies that are making record profits.”
Pelosi’s missive follows a call by President Barack Obama for Congressional leaders “to take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.”
This is the third letter Pelosi has sent to Boehner over the current recess, which began April 18. The first two letters regarded the hiring of an outside attorney by the House to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in pending court cases.