Grassley Hopes to Avoid Vote on Ethanol Tax Credit

Cindy Zimmerman

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is hoping to avoid a vote in the Senate on the amendment introduced last week by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).

Grassley said today during his weekly agricultural media conference call that there are two ways the vote can be avoided. “Either talking him out of it, or denying unanimous consent to bring it up, and I think we can do the latter,” he said. Grassley say he is trying to “reason with” Coburn and urge him to take up the issue within the context of energy legislation so to “have ethanol be viewed as part of an overall energy program” instead of having it be part of the spending bill debate.

According to Grassley, Coburn says he has 55 votes. “He probably needs 60 votes. I think we can probably keep him from getting 60 votes. But, quite frankly, I don’t want anybody on record, if we can avoid it, on the ethanol issue until we get down to discussing it as part of the energy debate.”

Listen to Grassley’s comments in answer to a question by Dan Looker of Successful Farming. Sen. Grassley

Meanwhile, as the future of the VEETC remains unsure in Congress, ethanol interests are reportedly in negotiations on a proposal for moving beyond the VEETC. According to DTN/The Progressive Farmer, representatives from the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association and Renewable Fuels Association have been working on a compromise proposal this week, getting input from lawmakers in Washington.

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