Oil Tax Increase Mulled; More Hearings on Spill

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House may vote today on a massive package of tax cuts and spending that includes a big jump in the tax on oil.

The roughly 200 billion dollar package would extend jobless benefits and health insurance subsidies for those out of work. It would also extend some popular tax breaks that expired at the end of last year.

And with frustration growing over the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the measure includes a quadrupling of the tax on oil, from 8 cents a barrel to 32 cents. It would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade to be used to pay for cleaning up spills.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill today, hearings on the oil spill focus on the government's response, as well as liability and financial responsibility for what's expected to be a massive environmental impact.


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