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Agricultural News

Congressman Frank Lucas Calms the Waters on Sec. 199, Optimistic Over Farm Bill Proceedings

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:58:23 CST

Congressman Frank Lucas Calms the Waters on Sec. 199, Optimistic Over Farm Bill Proceedings Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma’s 3rd District addressed grain sorghum producers during the Enid Farm Show, Friday. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays joined other members of the ag media to interview the Congressman on several topics including concerns related to the unintended consequences of the new tax reform bill recently passed and his expectations for the upcoming Farm Bill. Listen to Lucas’ remarks on these subjects and more, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

Hays began the discussion, enquiring about the changes to the Section 199 provision that was a part of this recent tax package passed by Congress. In the days leading up to the bill’s ratification, several farm organizations raised concerns that changing this provision in the tax code could potentially negatively impact the marketplace. Lucas offered an optimistic view on the course of action being undertaken in Washington to rectify the situation at hand.

“199 is a situation where the House Ways & Means Committee perhaps undid the traditional balance. The Senate responded by attempting to address that by going too far and now it’s created a situation where in its present form, it will be a dramatic drain on the US Treasury and it will bring to debate the tax status of all coop organized entities,” Lucas said. “What I expect, is a technical correction. I would say we’ll be restored to what things were before December 31.”

Lucas advised farmers not to revise or reorganize any of their business models, just yet, reassuring that unlike state governments, Congress can enact retroactive laws.

Regarding the Farm Bill, the Congressman seemed confident that his colleague Mike Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, is committed to begin the process of drafting this heavy legislative task during the first quarter. Based on Conaway’s comments, while it is unlikely there will be no new money available, Lucas believes there will be sufficient funding for the bill as he anticipates no new cuts to the budget either. If that is the case, he says the House will have what it needs to do its part in finishing the Farm Bill.

“We have the capacity, I believe, and the will both on the Republican and Democratic side in the United States House to pass the Farm Bill on time in a regular fashion,” he said, and noted the priorities coming from his subcommittee on the conservation title. “I’m a proponent of continuing the resource stream for the upstream flood control dam program, that matches state and federal dollars to extend the life of structures we built in the past. I’m trying very hard to bring a rational structure to the new dam construction programs because we still build new upstream dam programs.”

From there, he says questions of how many CRP and CSP acres that can be afforded, “are all up in the air,” at this time. He says much of it comes down to a money equation - how much money is available; how do you allocate the resources to maximize the return.



Hear Congressman Frank Lucas answer questions from Ron Hays and others in the ag media, below.
right-click to download mp3


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