Click here to sign up
for the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA.

Share the EXTRA

American Angus Association

American Angus Tag Store

Angus Productions Inc

Click here to learn more about Angus Productions Inc. and the resources it offers.


Certified Angus Beef

Click here to
learn about the
brand that pays.


Angus e-list

Want daily industry news and Angus advertisements?
Sign up for
the Angus e-List.

Click here for a list of upcoming events


Topics of Interest

API Virtual Library

A comprehensive list of API and industry resources..

Feeding & Feedstuffs

Maximize pasture utilization and optimize feeding of harvested forages and supplements to
efficiently meet the nutritional needs
of your herd.

















Angus Productions Inc.


November 22, 2010

capitol with cowboy hat illustration

As 'Slurpee Summit' Got the Boot, Focus Turns to Estate Tax

From NCBA's "Cattlemen's Capitol Concerns" ....

Congress returned to Washington this week to begin the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. President Obama was scheduled to meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner to discuss the future of our nation's tax policy, including the current tax rates as well as the estate tax. Unfortunately, this meeting, dubbed the "slurpee summit," was postponed. However, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) did not let that deter them from continuing to urge Congress to pass estate tax relief during the lame-duck session.

NCBA supports legislation introduced in the Senate by Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and in the House by Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas) to increase the exemption level to $5 million and reduce the rate to 35%. The proposals also ensure that any relief related to the exemption is tied to inflation and that a stepped-up basis is included. While it remains unclear what proposal will be considered, NCBA continues to meet with House and Senate leadership to push for them to address the death tax as well as the expiring tax cuts before the end of this year.

"Congress has a lot of unfinished business to tackle before the end of the year, including passing legislation to fund the government and possibly considering food safety legislation," Kristina Butts, NCBA executive director of legislative affairs said. "But NCBA's priority is stopping the estate tax from returning to the devastating pre-2001 levels. Family farmers and ranchers need the assurance that on Jan. 1 they won't be hit with a massive estate tax. We will continue educating policy makers on Capitol Hill about the detrimental impact the estate tax has on our producer members and working to gain support for meaningful, permanent estate tax relief."

Legislative Watch

Based on policy established through its policy development process, NCBA takes the following stand on legislation currently under consideration:

Vote Yes ...
S.3664, Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010 — Summary: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) exclude from the value of a decedent's gross estate farmland used by the decedent or a member of the decedent's family for farming purposes for periods aggregating five years or more during the eight-year period ending on the date of the decedent's death; (2) impose a recapture tax on an heir who disposes of such farmland after the decedent's death or who ceases to use such farmland for farming purposes; and (3) increase the limitation on the estate tax exclusion for land subject to a qualified conservation easement to $5 million and the percentage of the value of such land that is excludable. NCBA opposes the provision regarding gross income limits. Sponsor: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

S.3705, Safe & Efficient Transportation Act — Summary: A bill to amend title 23, United States Code, with respect to vehicle weight limitations applicable to the Interstate System, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

H.R.5580, S.3660 National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act — Summary: The Act would require the Administration to seek Congressional approval before designating future National Monuments. This oversight is intended to ensure that the impacts on the local economy, ranching, national energy security, and other uses associated with the land, are taken into consideration before a designation takes effect. Primary Cosponsor HR.5580: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) Sponsor S.3660: Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

H.R.5475, Family Farm Estate Tax Relief Act of 2010 — Summary: To exempt working farm and ranch land from the estate tax. Primary Cosponsors: Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)

H.R.6028, S.3919, Returning Wolf Management to the States Act — Summary: The gray wolf has been on the ESA since 1972. Since then, wolf populations have not only recovered, but grown to such considerable sizes that they are threatening wildlife and livestock. In order to give states the authority to manage wolf populations, this legislation removes Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves. Sponsors: Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

H.R.5294, LEASE Act of 2010 — Summary: To prevent Federal agencies from regulating greenhouse gas emissions for purposes of addressing climate change without express and specific statutory authority. Primary Cosponsors: Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.)

H.RES.1406, Directs the Department of Interior to Disclose information on Monument Designations — Summary: Directs the Secretary of the Interior to transmit to the House of Representatives copies of all Department of Interior (DOI) documents, maps, records, communications, and other information dating from July 1, 2009, and later, concerning the potential designation of national monuments under the Antiquities Act. National Monument designations impact livestock grazing and multiple-use activities on public lands. As such, these designations should be done transparently and with input from local stakeholders and state congressional delegations. Primary Cosponsors: Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah)

H.R.4717 / S.3122, Open EAJA Act of 2010 — Summary: Currently, there is virtually no oversight of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). And while the Act was originally intended by Congress to help private citizens seek judicial redress from unreasonable government actions, it has been manipulated by environmental activist groups as a means to use taxpayer dollars to target federal-lands agencies, and ultimately the family-farmers and ranchers who use the lands. The Open EAJA Act would restore much-needed accountability in the use of these funds. Primary Cosponsors: Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah) / Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)

S.RES.452 / H.RES.1196, Resolution supporting increased market access for U.S. beef exports to Japan — Summary: The resolution urges the Obama Administration to insist on increased market access for U.S. beef to Japan. Japan's unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef imports results in approximately $1 billion in lost exports annually for the American beef industry. Primary Cosponsors: Senators Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) / Rep Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

H.R.5016, to prohibit DOI from impeding border security on public lands — Summary: H.R. 5016 would increase U.S. border security by prohibiting the Department of the Interior from using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol from securing our border on federal lands. Primary Cosponsors: Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas)

Vote No ...

H.R.5088, America's Commitment to Clean Water Act — Summary: The Act would grant the federal government unprecedented regulatory authority over all waters regardless of whether or not they have any environmental significance. It would infringe on state and private property rights and lead to endless litigation and bureaucratic red tape, which would actually hamper our nation's ability to maintain clean waters. Primary Cosponsor: Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.)

H.R.1549, Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) — Summary: H.R. 1549 would stop veterinarians and producers from preventing disease in livestock, which would ultimately harm animal welfare, animal health, food safety, and food security. Prevention of disease is a cornerstone in both human and animal medicine. Taking away this tool undermines preventative medicine, and healthy animals are the foundation of a safe food supply. Primary Cosponsor: Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)

S.787, Clean Water Restoration Act — Summary: Currently, waters under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) are defined as "navigable waters of the United States." Other waters are subject to regulation by individual states, which are better equipped to manage their own unique geographical concerns. S. 787 would remove the word "navigable" from the definition, drastically expanding federal regulatory control over all wet areas and any "activities" affecting those waters. Farmers and ranchers could be required to obtain permits for everyday activities, like driving a tractor near an irrigation ditch or grazing cattle near a mud hole. Primary Cosponsor: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)

H.R.3012, TRADE Act — Summary: The TRADE Act essentially puts the U.S. on the sidelines by requiring the President to set in place a plan for renegotiating all of the current U.S. trade agreements (including the WTO agreements with over 150 member states) 90 days before initiating any new trade agreement negotiations or submitting a revised trade agreement to Congress. The U.S. would effectively be in a "time out" while our competitors continue to move forward on negotiating and implementing new preferential agreements to grow their economies and strengthen their job base. Primary Cosponsor: Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)

Comment on this article.H.R.503 / S.727, Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 — Summary: Banning the processing of horses will result in more, not less, horse welfare issues, including abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Abusing, starving, or turning a horse loose to fend for itself is not humane, and there are not enough adequate horse adoption and rescue facilities to protect these animals. In addition to creating unintended consequences for horses, this bill would set a dangerous precedent by jeopardizing citizens' private-property management rights. Primary Cosponsor: Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) / Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)




[Click here to go to the top of the page.]