Sen. Tom Coburn is pulling out all the procedural stops to finally force a vote on ending a $6-billion-a-year tax break for ethanol.
The Oklahoma Republican offered his provision, which Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) blocked earlier this year, as an amendment to the economic development bill Thursday. He also maneuvered to force a procedural vote Tuesday in an attempt to avert a filibuster.
Coburn made his motion after another long-delayed amendment failed. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s provision requiring reviews of regulations and their effect on small businesses failed on a 53-46 vote, shy of the 60 votes needed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shelved a small-business bill this year rather than vote on the Maine Republican’s amendment, but he relented Thursday. Snowe told reporters that she was happy that she got a vote and that a majority of Senators supported her amendment.
Reid had repeatedly blamed her amendment for bringing down the small-business bill, and he has repeatedly accused Republicans of blocking the jobs legislation.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.