WASHINGTON -- Democrats are taking a cheeky shot at Republicans pegged to the pending regal nuptials in England, popping up a new website that dubs the GOP's relationship the with petroleum industry the "R-Oil Wedding."
House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) recent flirtation with ending oil company tax breaks notwithstanding -- he told ABC News this week that Congress "oughta take a look at ending those subsidies before spokesman Michael Steel pulled him back -- Democrats see the coupling as a natural fit.
Indeed, the Republican Party's acceptance of campaign contributions from big oil vastly exceeds that of Democrats. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the GOP regularly takes in about three times the amount Democrats get from the industry -- $21.8 million for the GOP in the last election, compared to the Dems' $6.5 million.
Information provided by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee highlights the gas and oil haul of several top Republicans, including career totals of $346,700 for Boehner, $295,550 for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and $677,164 for National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
Republicans have repeatedly blocked attempts to roll back subsidies for oil companies, which are expected to announce record profits Thursday.
“For this wedding, in lieu of gifts, the happy couple would surely prefer more Big Oil tax breaks,” quipped the DCCC's Jesse Ferguson. ”After House Republicans had a decade-long relationship of protecting Big Oil taxpayer giveaways, speculations and price gouging, this wedding seems like the next step. In their relationship for richer or really richer, we wish the happy couple all the best.”
UPDATE 10:40 a.m.
Boehner's office and the National Republican Congressional Committee did not respond to requests for comment, but the NRCC countered by releasing a new round of TV ads and robocalls aimed at 23 Democrats in swing districts, both reinforcing the GOP message that Democrats want to tax and spend. Republicans cast ending oil subsidies as a tax hike.
They especially targeted New York Rep. Bill Owens, a Democrat in a district that leans Republican.
"Bill Owens is making it worse," the ad charges, noting that Owens opposed the GOP's Medicare-slashing budget proposal and backed the Democratic alternative. By voting for the alternative that didn't pass, Owens -- and the other targeted Democrats -- are "putting America at the mercy of the People's Republic of China," the ad says, in a reference to the quickly growing national debt.