Several tax reform bills which would have a direct benefit to farming operations are being considered by the current lame duck session of Congress. Bills that did not see action prior to the election may see action during the current lame duck session of Congress. But Bob Stallman, President of the AFBF, a veteran observer of many such sessions, is not optimistic that a lot will be accomplished in the end, “Hope springs eternal for lame duck sessions, but they seldom live up to hopes and expectations.”
An issue that is likely to see action is a tax reform bill that is very important to farmers, “Especially section 179 and bonus deprecation will make a major impact on farming operations.” Farm Bureau has joined a coalition of farm and business organizations calling on Congress to take action on the tax reform legislation. Stallman said Congress is likely to act on tax issues to avoid angering voters, “It is an issue that is appropriate and possible in the lame duck session.”
Some have suggested that even immigration could see action during this session. Stallman says that issue will likely have to wait until next year and a new Congress. “We will see what Republicans will do next year when they have control of the Senate. Perhaps they will craft reform that their members can pass and the President will sign.” Stallman said immigration reform is vital for American agriculture, especially a guest worker program.