The Hagstrom Report says congressional leaders have agreed on an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through September 30. It passed a House vote 256-167, and is expected to pass in the Senate before the weekend. There may still need to be a short-term continuing resolution if any senators object to the bill. The bill does contain a fix to Section 199A of the tax law that currently gives farmers an incentive to sell to cooperatives rather than privately owned companies.
The National Grain and Feed Association was happy with what they saw. NGFA President and CEO Randy Gordon says there is a huge sense of urgency in getting this issue fixed as producers continue to make marketing decisions, especially with the recent rally in corn and soybean prices. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the spending plan contains a number of USDA priorities. “Fixing the so-called ‘grain glitch’ problem is simply an issue of fairness and we should not be picking winners and losers through the federal tax code by favoring one side over another,” Perdue says.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association was pleased to see that the omnibus appropriations spending bill released on Wednesday night has what it called “two commonsense solutions to regulatory overreach in the Fiscal Year 2018.” The spending bill includes a one-year delay of the Electronic Logging Devices mandate for livestock haulers. It also excludes livestock producers from the reporting requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s livestock emissions reporting mandate.
Executive Vice President, Kelly Fogarty, says both of the victories in the bill offer commonsense solutions to over-regulation. “The USCA Transportation Committee will use the one-year delay to continue its work with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Congress to secure needed flexibility for livestock haulers in the restrictive Hours-of-Service rules,” says Fogarty. “USCA worked hard to avoid yet another EPA overreach on the industry and we will continue to work with the administration and Congress to secure successful outcomes on both of these issues.” USCA says they thank members of Congress for acknowledging and addressing regulatory overreach and its potential negative impact on the livestock industry.