Speaking on the floor before the Democrats’ bill fell far short of the needed 60 votes, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wondered, “Is this the best we have to offer folks who are staring at $4 a gallon gasoline? A bill that even Democrats admit won’t do anything to lower the price of gas? And a process that blocks any other idea from even coming to the floor for a vote? Does anybody think the Senate’s really done its job on this issue?”
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) blasted the exercise earlier this week, telling reporters, “We should have a real energy debate, not this show and tell for campaigning purposes.” He explained, “[W]e will have wasted 2½ days doing nothing on real energy policy in this country, and people are still going to be paying higher gasoline prices.”
A recent Gallup poll shows 65% of Americans say they personally worry “a great deal” about gas prices and 67% say they’ve cause financial hardship in their household. Eighty-five percent would like to see “immediate” action by the president and Congress on gas prices.
But all Senate Democrats have shown Americans is a retread of a bill they’ve introduced before: a tax increase on American energy companies. No one can explain how raising taxes is supposed to lower gas prices. Democrats never even tried, admitting, “This was never intended to talk about lowering prices,” as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “You know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. That’s not the issue. I don’t see that as an issue at all.” Disgusted, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) took to the Senate floor the last time her fellow Democrats were pushing this plan to declare, “It will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.”
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