House Ways

House Ways and Means Committee Releases Draft Bill

Dan Economy, Legislative

House Ways

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee this week did release a draft bill, and for now, the stepped-up basis tax break for farms and ranches appears safe. But the final verdict may still be out.

The bill includes tax provisions that would pay for portions of the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation legislative package, and the bill doers include several provisions impacting family farms, including lowering the current estate tax exemption. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax in the current tax code help protect family farms that are passed down from generation to generation.

In response to these developments, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President, John Linder, released the following statement:


“We are very pleased to see that the House Committee did not include the elimination of stepped-up basis within its initial text. However, we are concerned with the provisions on the estate tax in the Committee draft that could impact family farms. NCGA will continue to work to preserve stepped-up basis and the current estate tax exemption as this process moves forward.”

House Ag Democrats advanced the panel’s part of the $3.5 trillion Biden social spending bill on a party-line (27-24) vote, after killing numerous GOP amendments. That included the House Ag’s unanimously passed $43 billion Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act. But the Ag Democrats, led by Chairman David Scott of Georgia, were sticking to the Speaker Pelosi’s script on the Ag budget. Scott conceded he could not do otherwise.

“Right now, it’s very delicate, I’m in a delicate position, and my position would be weakened. I want to keep myself strong in this, and you and I working together, we got enough Democrats on our side, that we can make a difference in helping our farmers, not be subjected to the step-up.”

But none of this is a done deal yet.