Daschle has championed ethanol both in the Senate and in his close election battle against former House member John Thune (R) in corn-producing South Dakota. Although he lost the vote on his proposal, it enabled him to blame Republicans for its failure. And he was quick to do so, accusing GOP senators of squandering an opportunity to boost the rural American economy and "send a powerful message to the Persian Gulf oil producers who are intent on driving up American gasoline prices."
The effort to add the energy proposals to the Internet bill came as a surprise Wednesday when Daschle offered the ethanol provisions and Domenici responded with his separate bid to add the entire energy bill.
That's what Daschle has been reduced to--political posturing for effect as part of the DC blame game, when he knows he could have passed the ethanol bill last fall but, for political effect, let the bill die. Also note that the political ploy was a "surprise," i.e. many ethanol industry insiders didn't know he was going to try this stunt and they're furious Daschle screwed up legislation which is critical to their future.