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Feenstra a no on ag-related elements of House Democrats’ infrastructure bill

Randy Feenstra

WASHINGTON — Fourth District Congressman Randy Feenstra of Hull has joined his Republican colleagues on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee in voting “no” on ag-related elements of the infrastructure package House Democrats are proposing.

“We have real issues that we need to deal with. We have anti-competitive behavior in the cattle market. We have the remaining competition with China. We have to develop stronger export markets. We need to prepare for the upcoming Farm Bill,” Feenstra said during committee deliberations. “Instead, we’re here considering a bill that will solely benefit families in the east and west coast, leaving the families in the heartland of America behind.”

The panel began reviewing amendments Friday. Democrats defeated the four that Feenstra offered. One dealt with taxes and could have partially blocked a proposal to change the way inherited property, like farmland, is taxed.

“Democrat leaders are turning a blind eye to the negative effects of all of these taxes and these men and women who feed the world,” Feenstra said. “They should not have to foot the bill for this reckless spending.”

The Biden Administration proposes taxing inherited property as if it were a sale, with an exemption for the first $1 million of inherited property for an individual. Feenstra proposed freezing all spending outlined in the bill until the U.S. Ag Secretary confirms no farming operation with an annual income below $400,000 would see its taxes raised under the plan.

The House Ag Committee took a vote on the package this morning and it passed on a party-line vote. “The bill, I regret to say it, but it’s a debacle,” Feenstra said. “We have no idea of the tax increases.”

The $3.5 trillion infrastructure package House Democrats are proposing includes about $90 billion in agriculture related spending. Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, is also on the House Ag Committee. She voted “yes” on the ag committee’s portion of the infrastructure plan, citing the $1 billion included for biofuels infrastructure and the $18 billion for U.S.D.A. Rural Development.


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