Long journey to get aid to struggling biofuel producers
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the journey to get biofuel producers eligible for COVID-19 relief began with the March CARES Act.
During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Grassley said he’s been working with fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst and several other lawmakers on behalf of the struggling ethanol industry.
“In the March bill there was roughly $24 billion, and (Ag Secretary Perdue) kept telling us he didn’t have the authority to do it, and we said yes you do. But he didn’t agree. So this (bill) makes very clear he has the authority to do it.”
He says thanks to the latest coronavirus relief package, Ag Secretary Perdue now has the discretion to use some of the $13 billion in ag assistance to provide aid to ethanol plants.
“Does it guarantee that there will be any help? Maybe not under a Perdue, but I’ll bet there will be under a Vilsack.”
Grassley says he and Senator Ernst have been arguing with Secretary Perdue for the past six months about whether USDA had the authority to assist the biofuels industry.