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Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, this is an amendment that repeals the Biorefinery Assistance Program. This is a program that primarily provides loan guarantees to cellulosic ethanol plants.

The fact is the taxpayers are already subsidizing ethanol plants in many ways. The Federal Government already provides a tax credit of $1 a gallon to ethanol. The Federal Government creates a mandate that forces consumers to buy this product whether they want to or not, thereby creating a market for ethanol.

We provide grants for ethanol. Do taxpayers also have to risk their money by guaranteeing loans to subsidize this activity? I do not think that is a good idea. This is the same idea that got us into trouble in so many ways. A similar loan program was the source of hundreds of millions of dollars of losses to Solyndra. And just this year, this very program cost $40 million with the bankruptcy of Range Fuels.

I urge my colleagues to vote for a modest reform here. Repeal this one narrow program, the Biorefinery Assistance Program. I urge a ``yes'' vote on the amendment.

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Mr. TOOMEY. I thank the Senator from New Hampshire. Let me point out that this amendment is such a modest reform. It lowers the price support on raw sugar, for instance, from 18.75 cents per pound all the way down to 18 cents per pound.

This is an amendment that will save consumers money, save taxpayers money and, most importantly, it will save jobs. As the Department of Commerce pointed out, for every job saved by the sugar program, three jobs are lost. It is a modest amendment that simply restores us to the policy prior to 2008.

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