Yesterday, Republicans reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the subsidies enjoyed by Big Oil even as these companies raked in over $30 billion in profits in just the first three months of 2011. Despite gaining a majority of votes, a bill that would have eliminating the subsidies could not gain the necessary 60 votes yesterday to break a filibuster. 44 Republicans were joined by three Democrats and one Independent in voting against it.
Yesterday was the third failed attempt to end Big Oil’s tax breaks this year. It followed a May 12 hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, in which the top Republican on the committee — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — played a tag-team defense of the subsidies with Big Oil’s major CEOs, employing talking points echoed by the oil execs. Watch it: