Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4297, Tax Extention Reconciliation Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES ON H.R. 4297, TAX RELIEF EXTENSION RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - May 03, 2006)

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of my Democratic colleagues to offer a motion to instruct the House conferees on the tax cut reconciliation conference committee.

This motion has two simple yet important provisions. First, it closes over $5 billion in unneeded tax loopholes and subsidies for oil companies. It eliminates the ``last in/first out,'' LIFO, accounting method for oil companies, which amounts to $4.3 billion over the next 10 years. It prohibits oil companies from writing off costs associated with oil and gas exploration, which is about $292 million over the next 10 years. It limits the foreign tax credit that companies receive for the taxes they pay to oil-producing countries.

This rollback amounts to, for oil companies, a mere $540 million a year and $135 million each quarter.

To put this in appropriate perspective, this represents approximately 1.6 percent of Exxon's first-quarter profits in 2006 alone. Second, it ends the extension of lower capital gains and dividends tax rates.

We offered this motion last week. The distinguished gentleman from Washington State put forward the amendment in the motion because of the way that Americans are being hit this time both at the gas pump and again because we hoped that the other side would join us in this effort. Unfortunately, only nine Republicans voted for the motion, and it failed 190-232.

We offer this again because the American people simply cannot understand why their government would hand billions in tax breaks and subsidies to an oil industry that by all measures is enjoying an unprecedented level of success. In fact, last week, President Bush discussed his plan to address the rising price of gas and oil.

During his remarks the President stated, ``Record oil prices and large cash flows also mean that Congress has got to understand that these energy companies do not need unnecessary tax breaks. I am looking forward to Congress to take about $2 billion of these tax breaks out of the budget over a 10-year period of time. Cash flows are up, taxpayers do not need to be paying for certain of these expenses on behalf of energy companies.''

Now, if the President of the United States can call for this, it just seems logical to those of us on this side of the aisle that Congress ought to be able to join with the other body. This body ought to embrace what the Senate has already done and concluded, and be in harmony with the Senate and the President of the United States.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I certainly think that the President of the United States understands the laws of supply and demand and has prevailed upon this Congress to take action with regard to this.

More importantly, back in my hometown, John Mitchell, the former Republican mayor of South Windsor, Connecticut, and past president of the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Dealers, says there is no correlation between what is going on in this country between the laws of supply and demand and what is happening with home heating oil and what is happening at our gas pumps. He says the only thing that is happening here is a matter of fear, speculation and greed.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I say to my distinguished colleague and good friend and learned man who everyone respects in this Chamber, it is the Republican-controlled Senate that passed these initiatives. It is the Republican President that has called for these rollbacks.

I said last week that the administration's policy seems to be ``leave no oilman behind.'' Or as Thomas Freeman has pointed out in the New York Times, from an international perspective, it seems like the policy is ``leave no mullah behind'' because of what we end up exporting abroad and how that money in turn is used against us.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

And to my distinguished colleague from Texas, apparently, pigs have taken flight in the United States Senate because the Republican-controlled Senate has sponsored this very straightforward legislation that calls for these rollbacks.

And no one less than the President of the United States, and I will reiterate again, said ``record oil prices and large cash flows also mean that Congress has got to understand that these energy companies don't need unnecessary tax breaks.''

``I am looking forward to Congress to take about $2 billion of these tax breaks out of the budget over the next 10-year period. Cash flows are up. Taxpayers do not need to be paying for certain of these expenses on behalf of energy companies,'' the President of the United States.

But, you know, the real test here, I like to call it the Augie & Ray's test. Augie & Ray's is a little diner in my hometown of East Hartford. I go there frequently, and I have an opportunity to meet with people that are baffled by what is going on here in the United States Congress but surely astounded by the greed that exists in corporate America, especially as it relates to energy prices.

These are people, regular people, in the Northeast who have seen their moneys cut for low energy assistance to heat their homes. These are people that are paying huge prices at the gas pump that is chewing up all of the profits that a small businessman makes, and they are wondering aloud what the United States Congress is going to do about it. So the President of the United States, a Republican, and the Republican-controlled Senate call for this rollback that is modest at best; and yet our colleagues on the other side of the aisle persist in saying, oh, no, this is much-needed relief for oil companies that receive tax cuts on top of record-breaking profits, while we cut assistance to the poor.

People that have to make a decision between the food that they eat, heating and cooling their homes, and the prescription drugs that their doctors tell them to take want relief from their government. We have already made them refugees from their own health care system by sending them to Canada to get the kind of prices on their prescription drugs that they can afford, and now we are squeezing the middle class throughout the Northeast and senior citizens who have nowhere else to turn.

This is a modest, modest proposal that Mr. McDermott submitted last week and I submit this week, that the Republican-controlled Senate has already passed.

We implore you to embrace this straightforward rollback in a time when oil companies and their executives have made unprecedented profits so that we can provide basic relief to American citizens. I implore my colleagues to vote for this motion.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

http://thomas.loc.gov/

Skip to top
Back to top