WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said this week that he would support elimination of a federal ethanol subsidy, The Hill reports, adding that such a statement could impact "his state€™s important presidential caucus."
King commented on CNN€™s Eliot Spitzer that Iowa€™s ethanol industry has indicated to him it may accept a gradual repeal of the blenders tax credit.
"I think they are ready to go there and the timing and the sequence of it is still open to debate. And yes, I will support that," he said, adding, "It looks to me like the industry is ready to accept that. And over a very short period of time, I think the industry can stand on its own two feet."
Ethanol has emerged as "a salient issue" on the campaign trail, notes the news source.
Tea Party activists and fiscal conservatives have voiced support for ending federal ethanol subsidies, while supporters say the subsidies "provide a jolt" to Iowa€™s economy.
Coming out against the subsidies so far are former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), meanwhile, supports keeping the subsidies in place.