Sen. Mark Warner’s “Gang of Six” plan would’ve repealed the CLASS Act, part of the 2010 health reform law designed to help seniors who need help with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing. Who does Sen. Warner think should not be asked to sacrifice? Wildly-profitable oil companies:
On Thursday, a handful of Senators wrote a letter (PDF) to President Obama that stated, “as you continue your negotiations, we urge you to remember the oil and gas industry is part of the solution.” Or, in other words, don’t single out big oil companies and their taxpayer subsidies as a way to reduce the deficit.
These nine Senators-six Republicans and three Democrats-have received $7.1 million in oil and gas industry cash during their career in Congress, according to our analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. […]
Ending oil subsidies didn’t make it into the tentative default deal reached over the weekend, but as Congress looks to create a commission to enact further deficit reduction measures, it’ll be important to watch what influence Big Oil and other industries will exert on the process.
Sen. Warner himself has received a smaller amount of oil & gas money relative to his oil state co-signers. But it’s interesting to note the letter he signed onto tries to pass off as fact the oil & gas industry’s claim to be “supporting over 9 million jobs.” Just 2 years ago, the oil & gas industry was only claiming to employ less than 1.8 million people & support 4 million more. So either the oil & gas industry’s share of jobs has shot up by more than a third in the midst of nationwide stagnant employment, or they now feel the need to fudge their numbers because clean energy employs more than 2.7 million Americans, 50% more than the oil & gas industry had claimed 2 years ago.
After his Gang of Six failed, Sen. Warner now wants a seat on the debt commission. Our Democratic leaders shouldn’t pick someone who’ll be fighting to protect Big Oil subsidies while trying to slash our social safety net.