AgricultureNews

House Ag Committee Markup Concludes With No Progress on Tax Hikes on Local Family Farmers

During today’s Agriculture Committee markup on the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax and spend legislation, Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) proposed an amendment to protect family farmers from harmful tax hikes.

President Biden has repeatedly promised that he won’t raise taxes on people making less than $400,000, claiming that these individuals “won’t see one single penny in additional federal tax,” but these protections have yet to be disclosed. Feenstra’s proposal freezes all funding in this bill until the Secretary of Agriculture certifies that no farmer with an income below $400,000 will face a higher tax burden.

Democrats on the Ag Committee blocked this proposal, refusing to ensure family farmers will not face tax hikes.

“It is unacceptable and concerning that Democrats have shown such indifference towards raising taxes on family farmers,” said Rep. Feenstra. “Our farmers are the breadbasket to the world and the economic engine of our nation. They should not have to foot the bill for this $3.5 trillion Socialist Spending Spree, but the Biden administration has turned a blind eye to the devastating effects this would have on our agriculture community. Although the Ag Committee has a long history of finding common ground, I am disappointed that today they blocked a critical opportunity to take the target off the backs of family farmers.”

U. S. Representative Randy Feenstra

As the former Chair of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee, Feenstra has raised concerns about proposed tax changes — including to stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges — and the adverse impact they would have on family farmers. He started warning about changes to stepped-up basis in April, and in early August, he led nearly 90 of his colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden on like-kind exchanges.

Late Friday night, the committee decided to postpone votes on the remaining amendments. They reconvened this morning. Feenstra’s other three amendments were voted on at this time, and Ag Committee Democrats also blocked all three of these proposals:

  • Amendment to Update Infrastructure for E15 Year-Round: This amendment provides additional details on the uses of the biofuel infrastructure funding and gives clearer direction on the future of the industry. The proposal comes after recent court cases have proven that loosely defined renewable fuels legislation have resulted in unnecessary uncertainty for the biofuels industry.
  • Amendment to Add Biofuel Conversion Research: This amendment simply makes the study of biofuel conversion eligible for funding under biomass research.
  • Amendment to Research Contagious Animal Pathogens, like African Swine Fever: This amendment makes contagious animal pathogens, including Swine Fever and Avian Influenza, eligible for Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research funding.

“I am disappointed that Democrats blocked these reasonable proposals, putting partisan politics over biofuel producers and farmers concerned about contagious animal pathogens like African Swine Fever,” stated Feenstra. “I will continue fighting for biofuels and to ensure livestock producers have the resources they need to prevent and prepare for animal diseases.”

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