Long Island's congressional Democrats Thursday called for an end to tax breaks and subsidies for oil companies as quarterly profits and consumer gasoline prices both continued to climb.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has encouraged the Senate leadership to hold a vote to rescind the oil subsidies as soon as next week, her spokeswoman said. But such a vote in the GOP-controlled House is not likely.
"The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create millions of American jobs," said Michael Steel, the spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). "Raising taxes will increase gas prices and make it harder to create jobs."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) echoed that opinion. He accused Democrats of engaging in "class warfare" and said the way to lower gas prices is to expand oil drilling to places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
"Why attack people for profits?" King said. "Who do we go after next?"
"People pocketing that amount of money is an obscenity," Ackerman said. "People can't heat their homes or cool their homes this summer. I'm angry."
"These subsidies are a just a form of financial aid to the most profitable oil companies on Earth," he said. "The profits are proof that the subsidies aren't necessary."