It's now or never. That's the sentiment of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association when it comes to doing something in Washington D.C. about ag policy. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says they plan to talk to Congressional leadership about a number of topics. He says NCBA feels there's an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality inside the Beltway.
The first topic NCBA intends to tackle according to Woodall is the issue of the estate tax.
"We are now about a year away from the expiration of the deal we currently have, the one we inked last December that was really helpful for us," Woodall said. "We've got to start planning those fees now to make sure that this time next year we get a permanent, long term fix. My concern is that with all these conversations about deficit reduction, with all these conversations that are pending with this Super Committee that somebody is going to come out there and say, well we've got to bring this death tax back and we've got to take it back to levels that we were expecting to generate revenue."
Woodall says it will be important to share a very specific message with members of Congress.
"This does not generate the kind of revenue that is going to make any changes in our federal deficit situation," Woodall said. "And on top of that it is double taxation anyway because you are taxing people on one, money that's tied up in assets, and two, you are taking away the opportunity for those assets to be passed on to the next generation."
Among the other legislative issues that NCBA is pushing for are S. 228, Defending America's Affordable Energy and Jobs Act, which prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases without first obtaining specific Congressional authorization; H.R. 1633 – Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011, which establishes a temporary prohibition against revising any national ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse particulate matter; and passage of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.