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White House targets oil-and-gas tax breaks as part of plan to replace sequester

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The White House took jabs at oil-and-gas subsidies Wednesday, calling for an end to the incentives as part of a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts from sequestration.

“The idea that you need to subsidize an industry that has enjoyed record profits — that taxpayers have to subsidize it — just doesn’t make sense in a time when we have to make choices about how best to use our resources,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Unless Congress acts to stop sequestration, federal spending will be slashed by about $110 billion on March 1, with half the total coming from the Pentagon.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made similar comments about the subsidies. The remarks indicate Democrats plan to take another stab at axing the subsidies, this time as part of an effort to dodge the automatic spending cuts, after legislative efforts failed last Congress.

“There are many low-hanging pieces of fruit out there that Republicans have said they agreed on previously. I’m not going to go into detail, but one of them, of course, is deal with oil companies,” Reid said Tuesday.

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