Grassley: Funding Key to Bill with Biodiesel Measure

John Davis

The bill that would renew the $1-a-gallon federal biodiesel tax incentive could pass right… if Democrats would just fund the entire bill. That’s according to a key Republican senator trying to renew the tax break.

This article from the Minnesota Independent says U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) believes the jobs bill, which has an extension of unemployment benefits that is weighing down the entire measure, could pass with the right funding:

“Ninety percent of the bill isn’t controversial,” Grassley said, concluding that the big problem is that he and many other lawmakers don’t want to add to the federal deficit. He chided Democrats for refusing to fully pay for the legislation with offsetting savings, revenue increases or using the money left in the federal stimulus.

Even though Democrats repeatedly cut the bill in an effort to win Republican backing, the latest version would have added $55 billion to the nation’s $1.4 trillion deficit over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Grassley said he’s heard from his constituents that they are tired of the government running up huge debt, and that the message is starting to get through to Democrats as well.

“It wasn’t just Republicans who voted against the bill in the U.S. House,” he said. “There were plenty of Blue Dog Democrats who don’t agree with this type of spending either.”

Grassley pointed out that he Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) put together a fully funded unemployment and biodiesel package back in February that would have easily passed… until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid killed the measure.

Biodiesel, Government