CQ Today notes that on subsidies to Big Oil, the Bush budget proposal actually inches towards the recently passed House bill, which takes back $14 billion in giveaways and invests it in renewable energy.
In a nod to Democrats seeking to end subsidies for the oil industry, the administration also proposed repealing provisions in the 2005 energy law (PL 109-58) that expanded royalty relief for deep-water oil and gas operations. The House passed a bill (HR 6) last month that would go further.
That’s a sign of weakness on the part of the White House, a sign that they don’t relish the propsect of vetoing a tough bill, and would prefer a watered down version they can stomach.
This is notable because Senate leaders have yet to say what they will do with the House bill: push it as is, or draft a less ambitious version.
While the Senate should be putting strong legislation on Bush’s desk regardless of his posture, this flinch of Bush’s should embolden those Senate leaders who appear reluctant to draw vetoes — and force Bush to deal with a bill the fully reverses Big Oil’s undeserved handouts.