National Farmers Union to Score Vote on Opposed Senate Tax Cut Bill, Alleging It Favors the RichThu, 30 Nov 2017 12:07:58 CST
Two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill that would provide tax cuts and breaks to corporations and wealthy Americans at an estimated cost of $1.5 trillion, the U.S. Senate is rushing to pass its own bill that would have similar consequences. National Farmers Union condemned the former, and is urging Senators to vote "no" on the latter. Both votes will be scored on the organization's federal representative scorecard.
In addition to contributing to the federal deficit, the bill includes a number of provisions that would negatively affect farmers, ranchers, rural communities, and middle-income Americans. As NFU has previously detailed, statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules require that deficit increases must be offset by cuts elsewhere, specifically across non-exempt mandatory programs. The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is the second largest non-exempt mandatory program, after Medicare. It funds farm program payments, including Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), and the Dairy Margin Protection Program. If either of these tax reform bills passed, the government would be required to cut eligible programs by $150 billion per year. But since the total available pool of funding amounts to somewhere between $85 billion to $90 billion per year, all of those programs would be subject to a full sequester.
If that weren't enough, the tax plan will likely cut into farmers' and ranchers' bottom line. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score released Sunday evening, the Senate tax plan would exacerbate wealth inequality by offering tax cuts and breaks to those making more than $100,000 a year, while eliminating tax credits, subsidies, and other government assistance for lower- and middle-income Americans. The main reason for this, per The Washington Post, is the bill's eradication of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which penalizes individuals without health insurance. This, in turn, would increase premiums substantially, causing 13 million Americans to lose coverage in the next decade.
On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee voted to pass the plan, which enables a full Senate vote later this week. Though some Senators have voiced their doubts, it is, as of yet, unclear what the ultimate outcome of such a vote will be.
In lieu of either the House or Senate tax plan, National Farmers Union is urging Congress to pass a simplified, progressive tax code that provides realistic solutions to our national deficit while protecting the programs on which our nation's farmers rely.
Source - National Farmers Union
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