U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding the Senate Finance Committee's hearing on tax breaks for "Big Oil" companies.
"Today's hearing showed why the Senate seems incapable of producing serious solutions to our debt crisis. As a member of the President's Fiscal Commission, I voted to put all tax expenditures on the table, including those for the oil and gas industry. The American people don't need another round of partisan hearings. They need real solutions. It's time for the Senate Finance Committee, and the entire Senate, to drop the partisan theatrics and get to work," Dr. Coburn said.
"Doing the hard work of addressing our debt crisis is the best thing we can do for our economy and gas prices. The high price of crude oil, which drives gas prices, is the result of the weak value of the dollar. The dollar is weak because Congress refuses to live within its means and prefers to hold dog and pony show hearings instead of cutting spending and reforming the tax code," Dr. Coburn said.
"If the Senate wants to debate oil and gas subsidies, Senate Majority Leader Reid should bring to the floor real legislation that addresses our tax code and our energy policy. I've offered bi-partisan legislation along with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to eliminate the tax earmark and tariff for ethanol. I intend to force a vote on that bill at the earliest opportunity, preferably in the context of comprehensive tax reform and energy legislation. Other Senators have offered serious tax reform and energy policy proposals," Dr. Coburn said.
"Congress can also help drive down gas prices by increasing access to our domestic natural resources. However, picking out one industry for ridicule might impress partisan campaign consultants but it tells the American people and the international financial community we aren't serious about addressing our urgent fiscal problems. It's time for this body to end its partisan games and get to work," Dr. Coburn said.