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Will Walsh Continue to Support Billions in Government Handouts to Big Oil While Illinois Families Suffer at the Pump?

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or April 29, 2011  

ILLINOIS - With gas prices rising and oil companies expected to report massive first quarter profits this week, Rep. Joe Walsh is finding himself in a tough spot defending his votes to maintain billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies [House Vote #153, 3/1/11]. Feeling the heat, even Speaker Boehner suggested Big Oil companies didn’t need these government handouts, stating oil companies are "gonna pay their fair share in taxes and they should," Boehner told ABC News Monday night, adding that, “frankly, they've got some part of this to blame."

Although the House leadership admits that the richest oil companies in the nation don’t need billions in government subsidies, they have voted to continue these obscene handouts. LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Navin Nayak released the following statement questioning whose side Rep. Walsh is on, Big Oil or Illinois families:

“In the past three months alone, Congressman Walsh has taken thousands in campaign cash from Big Oil and in return has kept doling out taxpayer dollars to the most profitable companies in the U.S. while Illinois families suffer under sky high prices at the pump. With oil companies poised to announce record profits during these tough economic times it couldn’t be clearer that these companies are the least deserving of taxpayer money and government handouts. It’s past time for Rep. Walsh whose hands are covered in oil to end his support for this obscene corporate welfare and start standing up for the people of Illinois.”

Rep. Walsh received $5,000 Exxon in the first quarter of 2011. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 74 percent of voters support eliminating tax breaks to oil companies. [NBC/WSJ Poll, February 2011]

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