American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to congressional leadership expressing deep concerns about the reconciliation package the House will begin considering this month. AFBF urged lawmakers to avoid tax increases on America’s farmers and ranchers and ensure transparency and stakeholder involvement throughout the legislative process.
Congress is considering another massive partisan bill through reconciliation, which would be paid for by steep tax hikes on farmers and ranchers. “Despite all claims to the contrary, these tax increases will have a disproportionate impact on American family farms, stifle economic growth and rural prosperity and could lead to further consolidation across the agricultural sector, putting multi-generational family farms in jeopardy,” wrote Duvall.
While the reconciliation package may include opportunities to increase funding for conservation programs, agriculture research and other important farm policy programs, AFBF is calling on Congress to be transparent and work in a bipartisan manner when drafting legislation. “Impacts to existing farm bill programs could be profound if the proper process is not followed: Public hearings should be held to identify future challenges for the next farm bill,” President Duvall continued. “The agriculture industry and the committees of jurisdiction have held to a long tradition of bipartisanship. Farm Bureau believes that widespread support and significant input from a variety of stakeholders strengthens any legislation.”
Many of the proposals, if implemented, could set back American agriculture for generations to come. As the country and economy begin to regain their footing, lawmakers should not undermine the long-term risk management tools agriculture depends on or raise taxes on the backs of the farmers and ranchers who grow the safe, sustainable food supply we all rely on.