ThinkProgress filed this report from a town hall meeting in Orlando, FL.
In March, the entire House Republican Caucus voted to protect oil subsidies, which total $40 billion over 10 years. Now, it appears that numerous Republicans are questioning the wisdom of those subsidies, especially with high gas prices and soaring profits for oil companies.
One such congressman is Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL). ThinkProgress spoke with Webster prior to his raucous town hall meeting yesterday and asked him about whether he’d like to see oil subsidies ended, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) initially called for and then later backtracked. Webster was unequivocal in his support for ending subsidies to oil companies, saying that further cutting “any kind of corporate welfare is on the table”:
KEYES: Yesterday, Speaker Boehner came out and said that oil companies ought to be paying their fair share in order to close down this debt. Is that something you would join him in? Would you like to see those subsidies ended?
WEBSTER: The Ryan plan includes tax reform and it includes lowering of corporate taxes, but also spreading out the base so those who are not paying are paying. So that’s already included in the plan. I think he was only saying in a specific manner what that plan already does.
KEYES: So you’d like to see those subsidies to oil companies ended?
WEBSTER: Yes, any kind of corporate welfare is on the table, right now. For sure.
As laudable as Webster’s call for an end to corporate welfare is, the fact remains that he joined every single House Republican in voting to protect subsidies for oil companies. Still, as oil companies rack up extraordinary profits, more GOPers like Webster might be reconsidering whether the government ought to continue doling out oil subsidies.