Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Another major piece of legislation is matriculated through the House. H. R. 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, is now back in the Senate . The Bill was, originally passed by the House December 9th, Roll Call Vote 943. The Senate passed the bill with an amendment March 10th, Record Vote number 48. The bill returns to the Senate after last week's vote by the House to resolve differences, Roll Call Vote 325. Since there was an amendment the measure heads back to the Senate.

Ways & Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin

There is a lot to look at in this legislation. Today I want to focus on Section III (A) dealing with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. That is some quick work. It is a minor imposition on Big Oil however. Mr. Sander Levin, [D] Mi, asks for an increase of 2¢ per barrel for the Oil Industry Liability Trust fund. Now, I wonder if that counts all of the barrels of raw crude hemorrhaging into the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the oil that gets regularly counted.

Senator Robert Menendez
Over in the Senate New Jersey's Democratic Senator Robert Menendez has been pushing for more money in the Trust Fund since it appears that the damage in the Gulf will overwhelm the funds available. On May 4th Menendez introduced the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act of 2010. The measure has 22 cosponsors. Menendez wants to raise the limit on oil spill liability from $75 million to $10 billion.

A separate measure was introduced in the House, H. R. 5214 by another New Jersey Democrat, Rush D. Holt. Both versions require the oil polluters to pay the full costs of their oil spills.

Tucson, Arizona's Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva introduced a bill to repeal the limitation of liability of a responsible party for a discharge or substantial threat of a discharge of oil from an offshore oil facility. That is H.R. 5355.

Compromise is the essence of politics. That maxim is especially true of politics on Capitol Hill. Representative Levin, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee is in his 13th term in the Congress. He, may be able to get a result. Over in the Senate attempts to consider Senator Menendez's bill are being blocked by Big Oil fueled Republican Senators. Notably Alaska's Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Oklahoma's Republican Senator Jim Inhofe.

Senator Lisa Murkowski with fish

The Public Action Campaign Fund, see: , reports that Murkowski has received over $400,000 from Big Oil during her time in office. I guess it was time to pay the piper! If that's the case, she's cheap, I mean a real bargain. Inhofe, as of 2009, had taken more than $1.2 million from gas and oil companies during his career. You think he's representing Oklahoma? Oh No! My best guess is that he is fighting hard for Big Oil and letting his demagoguery put up a smoke screen.

Senator Jim Inhofe
H.R. 4213 started out trying to create and save jobs for Americans and to close loophole in the Tax Code. I'll talk about that more in days to come. It just seems to me that Sander Levin reminds us all that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

No comments:

Post a Comment