GOP Representatives Pander To Constituents, Then Vote To Protect Big Oil

After voting to maintain subsidies to Big Oil twice this year, many Republican congressmen got an earful from their constituents when they went home for the recess. When asked if they supported ending subsidies to oil companies reporting over $30 billion in profits in just the first three months of this year, some signaled they’d consider it. But when faced with an opportunity to follow through and stand up for their constituents, they voted today to do exactly the opposite:

House Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats Thursday to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on a bill to repeal a key oil industry tax break. Democrats sought to defeat a procedural motion to move forward on two GOP-backed offshore drilling bills. If the motion had been defeated, Democrats would have brought up a bill authored by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) to repeal the Section 199 domestic manufacturing tax deduction for the largest oil companies.

Think Progress captured Congressmen Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Joe Walsh (R-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Tom Graves (R-GA), and Dan Webster (R-FL) telling their constituents they’d consider ending these subsidies. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) called for ending them in a March congressional hearing. And National Journal reported this morning that Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Tom Marino (R-PA), and Michael Grimm (R-NY) “signaled flexibility” on ending the subsidies.

Instead of listening to the 74 percent of Americans who support ending taxpayer handouts to Big Oil, Republicans in the House stood strong with these companies. All of these members voted to block consideration of the bill. Not surprisingly, all of them raked in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry:


OIL ABOVE ALL: MEMBERS WHO CLAIM THEY OPPOSE OIL SUBSIDIES, BUT VOTE TO PROTECT THEMMember Campaign Contributions from Oil CompaniesDenny Rehberg $300,651Paul Ryan $209,650Tom Graves $29,000Mick Mulvaney $18,650Randy Hultgren $15,000Michael Grimm $21,650Dan Webster $16,500Joe Walsh $5,000Raul Labrador $4,500Tom Marino $3,750Sources:, Federal Elections Commission disclosure database. These oil subsidies are wasteful, unaffordable and unfair. Each vote to protect them makes it ever more clear who stands with Big Oil instead of American families.