The Senate blocked a bill Tuesday that would cancel about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five major oil companies, a Democratic retort to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House discuss a deal afterward this year to add to the government's ability to have a loan of.
The bill was beaten on a procedural vote. But Democrats hope to erect their case to contain the measure in a deficit-reduction package being negotiated by key lawmakers and the Obama administration. Lawmakers from both parties are challenging deficit reduction as part of deal to boost the government's capacity to borrow and avoid a record default on U.S. Treasury bonds.
"This bill says that yet the most rich and powerful between us must do their fair share to help us reduce the shortfall," said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the bill's sponsor. "Their high-priced lobbyists cannot stop us from doing what is fair and what is right."