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Obama: Americans getting hit twice over gas price _ at pump and with tax subsidies to big oil
WASHINGTON (AP) ' President Barack Obama pressured Congress on Thursday to end $4 billion in tax subsidies to oil companies, but within moments of his plea, the Democratic-controlled Senate rebuffed efforts to move ahead on a bill to repeal the tax breaks.
Obama used a White House Rose Garden appearance to argue that Americans are getting hit twice ' once at the gas pump, and once more by sending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies.
But the Senate, on a 51-47 procedural vote, failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote to proceed to the measure ending the subsidies.
Obama says oil companies are pulling in record profits and shouldn't get taxpayer help when that money could be used on alternative energy. Obama, up for re-election, has sought to align himself with people frustrated by high gas prices.
Many congressional Republicans say cutting the tax breaks would lead to higher fuel prices, raising costs on oil companies and affecting their spending on exploration. Obama couldn't end the subsidies when Democrats controlled Congress earlier in his term.
Obama spoke before a crowd in the Rose Garden that included representatives from energy, business and environmental groups, as well as people who wrote on social media sites about how rising gas costs affected their finances.