SHAHEEN-SUPPORTED REPEAL OF ETHANOL SUBSIDY PASSES SENATE

Shaheen cosponsored proposal to end wasteful tax break and reduce deficit

June 16, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) –The U.S. Senate today voted to roll back a long-standing tax break for corn-based ethanol, a wasteful subsidy that U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen has fought to end.

“We need to reduce our long-term deficits and debt, and one of the first places we should be looking at is wasteful subsidies,” Shaheen said. “These ethanol subsidies are a giveaway to large agriculture companies, and they’re an example of the spending hidden in our tax code that needs to be eliminated if we want to control our debt.”

The Senate approved the measure 73-27 as an amendment to the Economic Development Act, currently under debate in the Senate. The amendment was based on the bipartisan Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act (S. 871), which Shaheen cosponsored. The measure eliminates both the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) and the tariff on imported ethanol.

The VEETC costs taxpayers about $6 billion annually, and the amendment calls for all savings to go directly to deficit reduction. The ethanol subsidy is particularly wasteful because it is not needed to encourage ethanol production. Other federal policies continue to mandate the use of biofuels like ethanol, reducing dependence on foreign oil and increasing America’s energy independence without spending taxpayer dollars.

Shaheen has been a strong advocate for reducing wasteful spending through elimination of outdated programs. She has introduced bills to phase out unnecessary federal price supports for U.S. sugar growers and eliminate double subsidies for gold and silver mining. She was an outspoken supporter of the Senate bill to end subsidies for large oil companies.

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