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Senator Roberts: Tax Reform Critical for Farmers and Ranchers

Ag Held Harmless in FY 2018 Budget Resolution

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today said the Budget Committee’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution is the start of much needed tax reform for farmers and ranchers and was pleased the Agriculture Committee will not need to authorize a reduction in current spending.

“I am pleased that our Committee will not receive reconciliation instructions to bring our spending in line with the resolution under consideration,” Roberts said. “I appreciate Chairman Enzi’s efforts to provide budget certainty for the Committee to craft a new Farm Bill that works for producers across the country. I will continue to work with Chairman Enzi to ensure that the Farm Bill baseline remains intact.”

Chairman Roberts is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction on taxes. In June, Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch appointed Senator Roberts to lead the committee’s examination of agriculture tax issues.

“There is widespread, bipartisan agreement on the need for tax reform,” Roberts said. “We ought to put aside partisan obstructionism, and take action on something in which a majority of Americans agree: Our tax code is burdensome, confusing and outdated. The framework proposed by House and Senate leadership targets tax relief to hardworking Americans. In addition to this relief, farmers and ranchers will benefit from elimination of the death tax and improvements to expensing requirements.”

The House and Senate will each need to approve Budget Resolutions initiating the Budget reconciliation process to allow the Senate to consider tax reform with a 51-vote threshold. Once the Budget Resolutions are approved, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee will begin writing and marking-up the actual tax reform language.