WASHINGTON, November 16, 2021 – The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives today stating its opposition to the Build Back Better Act, also known as the reconciliation package. President Zippy Duvall commented on the Build Back Better Act.
“Inflation is driving up costs across the economy, and greatly increased federal spending is a contributing factor. Federal policy choices have raised energy prices, leading to higher costs for everything from food to used cars. And yet this legislation will further exasperate that pain through a methane tax on oil and gas.
"The legislation also seeks to raise revenue by increasing fines and penalties as much as ten times their current amount for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. The missteps of farmers and ranchers when navigating complex, oftentimes onerous regulations and laws should not serve as a funding mechanism. While Farm Bureau does not condone bad actors when it comes to appropriately managing safety, the seasonal workforce, and employee pay on the farm, fines associated with OSHA, FLSA, or MSPA violations should not be determined based on their ability to serve as a pay-for in a partisan legislative process. If enacted, these provisions could put well-meaning farmers and ranchers out of business.
"After watching months of contentious, partisan debate surrounding the Build Back Better Act, AFBF stands in opposition to the legislation.
“While some elements of the reconciliation package would benefit agriculture, the massive amount of spending and tax increases required to pay for the plan outweigh the gains we would see in rural America. We appreciate House efforts to protect farmers and ranchers by leaving key tax provisions untouched. Thousands of small businesses, however, would still be affected by tax increases, forcing them to pass increased costs to families across the nation.
“The economy is still recovering from the pandemic, supply chains are stressed, and inflation is putting pressure on America’s pocketbooks. Now is not the time to put an additional burden on families struggling to make ends meet. We urge lawmakers to find common ground and work in a bipartisan manner to address the challenges facing our nation.”
Those interested can read the full letter sent to the U.S. House of Representatives HERE.