After failing to secure a vote on their infrastructure plan last week, Washington seems to be at an impasse. Moderate and progressive Democrats are at odds over how much to spend and which bill to move first—their Build Back Better Act with $3.5 trillion in progressive priorities or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with $1 trillion in hard infrastructure spending that the Senate already passed.
The good news is that spending in the Build Back Better Act will likely have to be cut down if it is to pass. That should help relieve some of the tax burdens on ag producers that were initially expected. We continue to monitor the situation closely and work diligently to protect you from higher taxes because of the bill.
Speaking of taxes, though, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing Thursday on the state of the livestock industry. Though most of the conversation focused on market issues and the disparity between producer and packer revenues, taxes were not forgotten. Sec. Vilsack, who leads USDA for the Biden administration, doubled down on assertions that eliminating the stepped-up basis and tax proposals in the Build Back Better plan wouldn’t hurt most producers. We greatly appreciate Congressman Cloud’s questions to NCBA Vice President Todd Wilkinson later in the day, who reiterated that Vilsack’s analysis was simply untrue and refuted by other studies.
For more on the hearing, check out this Drovers article.
Here in Austin, the redistricting process continues to move forward. Want to know what district you’re proposed to be in? The Texas House plan can be viewed here, the Texas Senate here, and the U.S House here.
Despite the somewhat slower pace of law-making in Austin and Washington this week, our team has stayed busy with meetings and events around the state.
Tuesday, we were all in Fredericksburg for the annual ranch gathering there. Kaleb McLaurin provided a policy update. We had the opportunity to talk to many of the local members about current issues of concern. On Wednesday, Peyton Schumann was at the Annual Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board District Director meeting for a stakeholder meeting on the new On the Ground Conservation Plan. He was in Lubbock on Thursday to provide a policy update at TSCRA’s Lubbock educational meeting while I hosted the Madisonville FFA Ag Issues team at our Austin office.
Be sure to check out the events tab at www.tscra.org to see what’s happening in your area. Hopefully, we will see y’all at a future ranch gathering.
I’ll stop there for today, but more next time!
Jeremy Fuchs is the director of policy communications and government relations for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.