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Idea of the Day: Baucus Tax Reform Cuts Billions of Dollars in Oil Breaks

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On November 21, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled adiscussion draft of tax reform legislation that focuses on cost recovery and accounting rules as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code. This draft package includes the elimination of some longstanding tax breaks for Big Oil companies. The discussion draft proposes to eliminate as much as an estimated $46 billion in unnecessary tax breaks for hugely profitable Big Oil companies over the next decade.

The White House just announced that Sen. Baucus will be nominated to become the next U.S. ambassador to China. If he is confirmed, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to replace Sen. Baucus as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Wyden introduced legislation in previous Congresses that would have eliminated several big oil tax breaks. As chair, Sen. Wyden would have an opportunity to build on Sen. Baucus’s proposal to make the tax code fairer by proposing to repeal additional special oil tax breaks, as proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).

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