Republicans on Thursday unanimously voted down a motion from Democrats to consider legislation to end subsidies to oil companies.
Democrats sought to attach the measure, which failed in a 241-171 vote that saw seven Democrats defect, to a bill that would allow oil companies to more easily secure drilling permits off the Gulf Coast. That bill passed.
Speaker Boehner suggested in an interview with ABC last month that he was open to ending oil subsidies, prompting calls from the White House on down to quickly pass legislation doing so.
A number of Republicans, such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), have suggested that oil subsidies and other corporate tax breaks could be eliminated as part of a broader tax reform package but there has been less appetite for a standalone bill targeting the industry.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.