With the November 6 election barely a month away, NCBA’s vice president for government affairs Colin Woodall this week outlined a few key issues and stressed the importance of getting out to vote.
The number-one priority for NCBA is to find some relief from the “death tax.” Woodall notes that if Congress fails to act by the end of this year, the exemption from federal estate tax will return to $1 million, with estate value above that level taxed at a rate of 55 percent. With the value of farm and ranch land today, Woodall points out, a family farm or ranch does not need to be large to exceed the $1 million threshold.
The next priority, Woodall says, is to secure passage of a farm bill, which will have to take place during the “lame-duck” session of Congress if it is going to pass this year.
Every election is important, Woodall says, but this one is especially so, as the results will not only determine the Presidency, but will define what happens during the lame-duck Congressional session during November and December and determine the priorities of the new Congress beginning in January.
Woodall stresses the importance of starting at the local level by supporting candidates for city, county and state offices who support agricultural interests. At the national level, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs, as are about one-third of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Critical and close Senate races in states such as Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Virginia will help determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years.
Most importantly, Woodall says, be prepared to vote on November 6. Register if you have not done so, and if you will be unable to vote in person, make arrangements for early or absentee voting . NCBA offers a “Political Action Map” on its BeefUSA.org website, which allows users to select their state to obtain information on how their representatives voted on NCBA priority issues, contact information and links for voter registration.