The Senate on Thursday voted to repeal billions in ethanol tax credits, after an identical proposal failed just two days earlier.
In a bipartisan 73-27 vote, the Senate stripped about $6 billion a year in credits from the industry. The same proposal from Republican Sen. Tom Coburn failed on Tuesday, but only because Democrats were peeved at him for forcing a vote on his amendment. When an identical amendment by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein came up Thursday, Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly supported it.
The amendment would repeal the credits and dedicate them to deficit reduction.
At the same time, the Senate rejected an effort to eliminate a government program that supports the distribution of ethanol. The two votes sent mixed signals about federal support for a Farm Belt industry that is in danger of becoming a casualty of budget cutting efforts.
The measure that was defeated would have eliminated government funding for ethanol blender pumps and storage facilities, which are the infrastructure the industry says it needs to get its product to consumers. The House passed a similar measure Thursday and added it to an agriculture spending bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.