WASHINGTON — Members on both sides of the aisle expressed their concern and frustration with the process of considering the $66 billion budget reconciliation bill in the House Agriculture Committee on Friday.
The measure also called the Build Back Better Act, is closer to $94 billion once the conservation titles are included.
One area of concern was voiced by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) who wanted to know how “rural” is defined in the legislation and how the forestry portion of the bill would be allocated.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) asked how the Committee could consider a bill that had not even been written yet, referring to $28 billion in spending for conservation that has yet to be written. He also expressed concern on how the close to $90 billion in deficit spending will be financed – “if $89.1 billion of the $94 billion is deficit (spending), how much of that will be financed through the Bank of China”
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) expressed concern about the markup process and asked that the subcommittee she chairs, the Forestry Committee, have the opportunity to follow regular orders.
Numerous members also stood up for protecting tax provisions like stepped-up basis in agriculture, which Chairman David Scott (D-GA) says would be “devastating not just to our farmers but to families, beginning farmers (and) others… and this is why it is not in this bill.”
Despite that, the Chair ruled that any amendments addressing tax proposals would be ruled as non-germane and therefore not up for consideration.
After more than eight hours of debate on Friday, the Committee gaveled back in virtually on Monday morning to approve the measure along party lines.
(SOURCE: All Ag News)