Americans for Tax Reform today announced it will keyvote against cloture on S. 782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011. There are many amendments still pending on this bill which deserve a fair up or down vote. Among the most important of these is Senator DeMint’s SA 460, a measure which would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (ethanol mandate) and kill the death tax. When paired with SA 476 (the Feinstein/Coburn amendment repealing the ethanol tax credit and import tariff) the pair of amendments kills the government’s preference regime for ethanol without raising net taxes.
The ethanol mandate is the true impetus spurring non-free market ethanol consumption, since it alone is responsible for most government-induced production of ethanol. Any consideration of ethanol policy without a vote to kill the ethanol mandate is at best nibbling at the edges of the government’s ethanol regime.
S. 782 would almost double the funding for what has become a permanent “stimulus” office; the Economic Development Agency doles out hundreds of millions each year to politically well-connected localities and organizations under the guise of federal economic assistance.
Senators should have the opportunity to vote on killing all the government’s policies that prop-up the ethanol industry. Furthermore, they should have the opportunity to do so in a way that does not result in more tax dollars going to the Appropriation Committees which fund Obama’s supersized government. This is only possible if a vote is permitted on Senator DeMint’s amendment.
A vote for SA 476 (Feinstein/Coburn) combined with a vote for cloture on S. 782, is a vote in favor of protecting the ethanol mandate and proceeding to a vote on a net tax increase.
Senators that voted for Feinstein/Coburn and for cloture today will violate their Taxpayer Protection Pledge. A vote for cloture is a vote against consideration of the DeMint amendment (which would make S. 782 tax revenue neutral).
To keep faith with taxpayers in their state, Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers who supported the Feinstein/Coburn amendment must vote against cloture today to indicate an intent to vote for the DeMint amendment prior to final consideration of S. 782, and thereby keep their Pledge.