Ag Republicans Angered by Democrats' Insertion of Tax Increase
Today, House Agriculture Committee Republicans learned that the funding promised to the Committee to offset nutrition spending would be paid for by a tax increase, despite prior promises by the Democratic Leadership to the contrary. While the Committee approved bipartisan farm bill language last week, the tax provisions were added to the bill after Committee action without consideration or input from Republicans. With consideration of the farm bill anticipated on the House floor tomorrow, Committee Republicans feel deceived by the Democratic Leadership.
"After the Agriculture Committee passed a bipartisan bill, the bill was hijacked by forces outside of our control and the tax increase proposals were introduced without any input from the Republican members of the Committee. Despite repeated assurances that the $4 billion in offsets would not come from tax increases, here we are looking at tax increases as the "funding mechanism" of choice employed by the Democratic Leadership. The House Agriculture Committee Republicans are united in our outrage at the inclusion of these tax provisions in what should be a bipartisan bill and the underhanded tactics employed by the Democratic Leadership to bypass this Committee and include these provisions in the bill. Earlier this week, my Republican colleagues were prepared to support the farm bill because we understand it needs bipartisan support; however, today, the farm bill has taken a very different form and is no longer about American agriculture but something far more political. Due to the inclusion of the tax increases, we are prepared to vote against this bill," said Ranking Member Goodlatte.
The tax provisions included would raise taxes on companies with U.S. subsidiaries. These companies are responsible for the employment of more than 5.1 million Americans. By raising taxes on foreign companies located in the U.S., these provisions could make the U.S. a less hospitable place to do business and drive jobs abroad.
"We can get to where we need to be without raising taxes and discouraging investment in America, but this is not the way to do it. Because the Democratic Leadership won't invest in American agriculture, they're calling on foreign companies to pick up the tab to fund our domestic priorities by increasing taxes on companies that provide millions of Americans with good jobs and reinvest in their U.S. operations. It is regrettable and unfortunate that the Democrats have chosen partisan politics over the welfare of rural America. This is partisan politics in its rawest form and Agriculture Committee Republicans will stand against it," said Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte.