Biden ally floats 21% surtax on oil prices to blunt inflation

The proposal by Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who chairs the tax-writing Finance Committee, would mean oil companies face federal taxes of as much as 42% on profits considered excessive — the 21% US corporate tax plus a new 21% surtax, according to two people briefed on the proposal.

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Wyden has yet to release his plan publicly, and he’d likely need all 50 Senate Democrats to support it in order to pass the surtax over Republican opposition. He’s among several Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Peter DeFazio, who have discussed targeting what they consider excessive oil company profits.

The idea has caught the attention of top Biden aides in recent weeks, as they search for any and all ideas to tackle rising energy costs.

“We’re not ruling that out of consideration. We’ve made that clear,” Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, told Bloomberg TV’s “Balance of Power with David Westin.”

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