Will Big Oil Keep Its Subsidies in a Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Democrats and Republicans are duking it out in Washington over a deal to avert the slew of spending cuts and tax increases—the so-called “fiscal cliff” you’ve heard so much about—that will take start to effect on January 1. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have argued that “everything should be on the table” in negotiations toward a deal that trims the nation’s debt and avoids the “cliff.” Yet notably absent from the debate over what to cut and what to spare in a deal are the tens of billions of dollars in subsidies, tax breaks, and other perks for the hugely profitable oil industry.
That silence begs the question: Will Big Oil’s subsidies go untouched in the fight over a “fiscal cliff” deal?
In news stories and public remarks by leading Democrats and Republicans, there’s been scant discussion of oil subsidies as a potential source of revenue. The proposals floated by the White House and by congressional Republicans have not delved into enough detail to know whether subsidies would be included in their proposed changes. And multiple aides to Senate Democrats say that, while they believe the subsidies are on the table, there hasn’t been much of a push behind the scenes to include them in a fiscal cliff deal.