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Beef Buzz News


Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Holds Keys for Cattle Industry Success

Tue, 07 Dec 2021 11:52:06 CST

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Holds Keys for Cattle Industry Success This fall, the U.S. Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, turning it into the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Now that National Cattlemen’s Beef Association leadership has had time to read the fine print, they are chalking the new law up to a big win for the beef cattle industry.

Ethan Lane, vice president of Government Affairs for the NCBA, told Ron Hays, senior director for Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, there are many measures included in the law that the NCBA has been working on for a very long time.

“First and foremost, the backend 150 air-mile exemption on livestock hauls is a big win,” Lane said. “That took a lot of work. Allison Riviera in my office has been working tirelessly on that, as have lobbyists from (a) coalition of groups.”

He said the NCBA was just one group pushing for the livestock hauling exemption and credited group effort for getting it passed.

“The right place for it is in this infrastructure bill,” Lane said. “This has become kind of a political football on Capitol Hill. We are hearing about Republicans villainizing the 13 moderate Republicans (who) voted for passage of that bill. The fact is this is a lot of the same language we were working on (with) the Trump administration and the Obama administration before that.”

Lane said infrastructure is one of those issues that has traditionally been bipartisan and much of what is in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is long overdue.

“Rural broadband - there is not a producer in the country that can tell me we do not need work on rural broadband,” Lane said. “We need road improvements; we need to make sure our bridge and highway system is working properly. We need to be able to get our cattle safely to where they need to go. We need to be able to use that 150 air-mile exemption.”

Lane said de-coupling the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Build Back Better Framework helped the “once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness” pass while calling the latter, “a social-spending mess.”

Despite the positives of all this legislation, the budget that comes with it is a hard pill to swallow. So far, Lane said a top priority of NCBA leadership is keeping the cattle industry out of the taxation crosshairs when it comes to funding the Build Back Better Framework.

“The latest drafts we are seeing do that,” Lane said. “There are no changes to stepped-up basis; there is no acceleration of the tax-exemption rate that we secured in 2017; there are no substantial increases in capital gains. We are pretty pleased with the lack of targets aimed at the cattle industry, and agriculture in general, in this bill.”

At the same time, Lane said the Build Back Better Framework is about as fluid as a bill can get.

“Every time you look at this thing, something has been added,” Lane said. “(Democrats) are trying to do this bill with no Republicans - that is a bad way to do business.”

Lane said the NCBA is watching everything coming out of Capitol Hill closely, making sure the beef cattle industry doesn’t become a funding target.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Ethan Lane as they talk about the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Build Back Better Framework and trade numbers.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

   
   

Listen to Ron's conversation with Ethan here.
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