(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) rebuked Republican members of the Senate who blocked debate on the Consumer First-Energy Act of 2008. The bill, which Senator Murray co-sponsored, includes a windfall profits tax on oil companies, a roll back of tax breaks for oil companies, and consumer protections from price gouging. The bill failed in the Senate by a vote of 51-43. The bill required 60 votes to move forward.
"Gas prices in Washington state have shot through the roof and it's having a huge impact on every single consumer. With prices well over four dollars a gallon, residents are wondering how they are going to afford groceries, support their businesses, and afford their mortgage payments. They are looking for help, and they are looking to Congress for action.
"My colleagues and I have introduced legislation to reverse seven years of the Bush Administration’s big oil-friendly economic policies, address the underlying causes of high energy prices and begin the process of getting the federal government to back consumers in this energy crisis.
"Unfortunately, today Republicans chose to stick by big oil and tell us that they’re content with the status quo by blocking this legislation. By doing so, Republicans have once again shown that they will choose obstruction over progress, even when it comes to the most important issues Americans face.
"I have no doubt that the Republicans who blocked this bill today are hearing the same things in their home states that I'm hearing in mine - angst and anger from people who are working hard and still struggling to get by. It's time for them to listen to their constituents, join with us to address the problem, and end the politics of obstruction."