Showing themselves as Senators who will play hardball against Big Corn and the ethanol lobby, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz put a hold on the confirmation of Bill Northey to a top USDA spot.

The confirmation, according to Politico’s Morning Edition, was supposed to go smoothly, but…

Payback at work? Northey’s name had moved out of the Senate Agriculture Committee by voice vote, but multiple sources in the refining industry told ME that the holdup was a “reaction” to the way Iowa Republican Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley intensely pressured EPA into protecting Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements. “It’s about time someone stood up to the kind of extortion we have seen coming from some of the Midwestern senators when the RFS is at issue,” said one refining industry source.

Lee had removed his hold as of last night, though Cruz’s seems to still be in place.

While some folks will label this nothing more than grandstanding with little real effect, it is incredibly important for conservatism in general.

The ethanol lobby’s hold over midwestern politicians is ridiculous, and Iowa politicians, in particular, are more than willing to bow to them for the purpose of keeping their power.

Cruz was expected to take a lot of heat in the 2016 primaries for openly attacking corn subsidies in Iowa, but ended up surging and winning the Iowa caucuses, showing that the voters in that state are more open to the idea of reform than Big Corn and its subservient politicians.

Both Cruz and Lee realize that this is a fight we need to have, and it’s time we start actually having it. Kudos to both of them, and I hope they keep the fight going.