The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased with Senate passage late yesterday of the corporate tax bill, S. 1637, which includes a $13 billion energy tax package and the small producer tax credit. That tax package was earlier stripped from the larger energy bill by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) in an effort to break the political blockage and secure its passage. NCGA is cautiously optimistic the House will follow suit.

The 92-5 Senate vote on final passage was preceded by a day of various amendment votes and the possibility that the energy tax incentives, which targets oil, gas, coal, nuclear, renewable and energy conservation programs may be stripped.

“We knew that these amendments were going to be offered but they were not successful,” said NCGA President Dee Vaughan. “This proves that legislation to incentivize domestic ethanol production in this country is something that can be supported when members of Congress are given the opportunity to vote on the substance of these issues, and not be bogged down by procedure.”

“It looks like we have finally won one battle,” said Vaughan. “Our focus now is directed to the House of Representatives, which we are encouraging to follow the Senate’s lead and pass the bill. Then it’s on to the comprehensive energy bill.”

Although the House bill has stalled, there is now a greater chance the bill will pass now that the Senate has okayed its bill. Whether the energy tax amendments will be attached to the House bill isn’t completely clear. Legislators are reporting the addition of the incentives may be difficult, especially with the Volumetric Ethanol Tax Credit (VEETC), included in both Senate and House highway transportation reauthorization bills.