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Legislation Cosponsored By Sen. Toomey To End Ethanol Subsidies Passes By Wide Bipartisan Margin

"I am proud that many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined together today to put taxpayers first."

Thursday, Jun 16

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to end ethanol subsidies passed the U.S. Senate this afternoon by a wide bipartisan margin, 73-27.

The Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act (S. 871) will repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, a subsidy companies receive to blend ethanol with gasoline. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) offered this bipartisan legislation as an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act (S. 782) currently being considered in the Senate.

"Today's vote is a victory for American taxpayers, and I am pleased to have joined this bipartisan effort," Sen. Toomey said. "Ethanol subsidies are another example of government overreach and excess. They unfairly drive up the cost of corn at a time when many families, farmers and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. I am proud that many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined together today to put taxpayers first."

in Pennsylvania, many companies and consumers support the repeal of ethanol subsidies. The subsidy unfairly drives up the cost of corn, which in turn, drives up the costs of many end products, from sausages and cheese steaks to dairy products. The subsidy also harms many of Pennsylvania's farmers who have to pay more for livestock feed.

"Ethanol subsidies cost the federal government more than $6 billion dollars a year. Our costs at Herr's have risen dramatically over the past two years. Pennsylvania employs thousands of people in the snack food industry. I applaud Sen. Toomey for standing up for these jobs and our company," said Jim Herr, chief executive officer and chairman of Herr's Food Inc. in Lancaster.

"I thank Sen. Toomey for his leadership on this issue," said Sergei Szortyka, president of Quaker Maid Meats in Reading. "Raw material costs at our facility in Berks County have risen 39 percent, and that entire increase I can attribute to the feed costs of the cattle which in turn is directly related to the ethanol subsidies. Ethanol subsidies are putting severe constraints on our ability to expand and hire. It is time for this misguided policy to end."

"Lebanon bologna is a staple of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Unfortunately, ethanol subsidies are driving up the costs of production here at our facility in Palmyra. I thank Sen. Toomey for co-sponsoring this important measure," said Ron Fouche, spokesman for Palmyra Bologna Company in Lebanon County.

"The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit is a failed and wasteful policy that unnecessarily causes price inflation in food. The policy has strained consumers who now must balance economic choices between purchasing fuel to drive to work or purchasing food to feed their families. For those reasons, we at the Philadelphia Cooked Steak Company support Sen. Toomey in the full and clean repeal of this policy," said Andreas Kalisperis, chief operating officer for Philadelphia Cooked Steak Company.

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