Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today on a procedural motion to allow the consideration of H.R. 1689, the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act of 2011, which ends one of the most egregious tax breaks for Big Oil. Below are the Leader's remarks as prepared for delivery.
“Mr. Speaker, right now, across the country, families, workers, and small businesses are feeling the pain of the price at the pump.
“Yet today, Republicans have brought to the floor another ‘Drill Only' bill that will not bring down prices at the pump. It's a boon to Big Oil that would make another catastrophic oil spill more likely.
“Instead of more giveaways to Big Oil, this morning, Democrats are calling on Republicans to allow us to vote on bill that ends one of the most egregious tax breaks for Big Oil.
“I'd like to acknowledge the leadership of Congressman Tim Bishop in bringing this legislation to the floor.
“It's long past time to turn off the spigot of public funds flowing to Big Oil.
“Just last week, Exxon Mobil reported $10.7 billion in profits during the first quarter of 2011, a 69 percent jump from last year. In fact, this quarter marks some of the largest oil profits since 2008.
“So I rise to ask my colleagues today: should the American taxpayers continue to subsidize Big Oil's profits?
“Democrats say no. Let's take action today.
“Democrats are introducing comprehensive legislation to protect the pocketbooks of America's taxpayers and consumers. It will: eliminate tax breaks for the five largest oil companies - saving $31 billion over ten years; ensure oil companies are paying the royalties they owe to the American taxpayers; hold Big Oil and the industry accountable for price gouging; and use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase the oil supply and combat price hikes.
“We will also roll out measures to increase American energy production and invest in our clean energy future.
“Taken together, these measures will ease the pain at the pump, put consumers first, and strengthen our economic recovery.
“Today, we have an opportunity to take the first step by repealing some of the most egregious giveaways to Big Oil.
“Just last week, Speaker Boehner said that oil companies should pay their fair share. Democrats agree.
“Today, we all must decide: will we stand with the American people or will we continue to send taxpayer dollars to Big Oil?
“I urge all Members of Congress to join me in voting no on the previous question to get our government out of the business of subsidizing profit rich Big Oil.”