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Agricultural News


Ag Groups- Including the NCBA- Are Cheering the Omnibus Spending Bill as the Vehicle to Fix Several Major Ag Problems

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:22:38 CDT

Ag Groups- Including the NCBA- Are Cheering the Omnibus Spending Bill as the Vehicle to Fix Several Major Ag Problems Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“The omnibus spending bill includes a number of positive developments for cattlemen and women, including language that would prevent 200,000 farms and ranches from being regulated like toxic waste sites, delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for livestock haulers for another six months, and provide a critical fix for wildfire funding that also provides expedited authority to implement much-needed vegetation management on federal lands. We are also glad to see refinements to the tax code that address the 199A issue. NCBA and our affiliates have been working closely with Congress to ensure the spending bill addresses issues of concern for U.S. ranchers and beef producers, and we are glad to see our policy priorities reflected in the legislation. We urge Congress to take the next step and vote ‘Yes’ when the bill comes up for a vote.”

Specifically- the Omnibus addresses three of the biggest issues facing US Agriculture where Congress can be of help:


CERCLA Reporting: A provision would relieve livestock producers of the emissions reporting requirements under CERCLA, protecting 200,000 farms and ranches around the country. NCBA has been urging affiliates and members to support stand-alone legislation in the House and Senate that would also exempt agricultural producers from CERCLA reporting requirements. Passage of the omnibus spending bill would achieve the same goal.


Electronic Logging Devices: The bill includes a provision that would grant livestock haulers an exemption from ELDs until September 30, 2018. A further delay will provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) more time to educate our livestock haulers on the ELDs while industry works on solutions to the current Hours of Service rules that do not currently work for those truckers driving livestock across this great nation. EPA most recently asked for and received a second ninety day waiver that currently extends to May of this year.


Section 199A Fix: The 199A fix included in the bill will equalize tax treatment of commodity sales to cooperatives and non-cooperatives, while also providing flow-through deduction from co-ops to their members similar to the old Section 199 deduction for domestic production activities.


GOP leaders hope to vote on the Omnibus in the House on Thursday, as lawmakers are ready to go home for a two-week break for Easter. The bill accounts for $1.3 trillion in spending and is a massive 2,232 pages in length. Agricultural issues are just a very small part of the proposal- which includes large hunks of money for the Border Wall as well as resources to battle the Opiod crisis.


If you care to read some or all of the bill- click or tap here.




   

 

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