Subsidies for ethanol are being put to the test again in the Senate as budget cutters try to demonstrate a growing appetite in Congress to end special interest tax breaks to help reduce government borrowing.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on two measures that would end subsidies for producing ethanol, a renewable, liquid fuel additive that comes mainly from corn in the U.S.
One measure would repeal a tax credit that provides 45 cents a gallon to oil refiners who mix ethanol with gasoline. The Senate rejected an identical measure Tuesday, 40-59. The other would eliminate federal funding for building ethanol blender pumps or storage facilities.
Critics say the subsidies are no longer needed. Supporters say ethanol helps reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.