House Republicans are planning on voting this afternoon to rev up offshore oil drilling again, and Democrats are taking the opportunity to prove that Republican's hatred of national deficits cannot outweigh their love for oil companies.
Right now, oil companies get billions of dollars in tax breaks under a domestic manufacturing provision in the tax code. But, Democrats are arguing, given the price of gas lately, oil companies don't really need any additional incentives to do business in the U.S. So why not repeal those subsides and get, oh, $12.8 billion in additional revenue? Oil companies can certainly afford it right now, and just last month, Republicans were going on and on about how the country was spending more than it could afford.
Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop is planning on using one of those complicated procedural moves to force Republicans to vote on repealing tax subsidies to the oil industry, as part of the vote on offshore drilling. No one actually expects Republicans to vote against the subsidies, because if there's one thing they hate more than deficits, it's asking huge corporations to pay taxes. But they don't exactly like saying that out loud.