Senate Democrats are moving to quintuple the tax that oil companies pay into an oil spill liability fund.
The move would raise $15 billion over the coming decade as Congress seeks to shore up the fund in the wake of the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But it's also being used to ease a tax hike passed by the House on investment fund managers.
The new legislation would raise the tax on oil produced offshore from 8 cents to 41 cents per barrel. That's nine cents higher than legislation that passed the House last month.
The tax changes are being made as the Senate again takes up grab-bag legislation extending unemployment benefits and a variety of expired tax breaks enjoyed by both individuals and businesses.
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