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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.