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Legislative Issues - U.S.

The Senate has approved legislation that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank after rejecting five Republicans amendments, including a proposal to shut down the bank.

The bill was approved 78-20 — with all 20 “no” votes cast by Republicans — and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House passed the measure last week 330-93.   Read More...

A new study from accounting firm Ernst & Young, released July 17 by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), shows that allowing tax cuts to expire on top individual rates is likely to hurt job creation and the economy, particularly small business job creators.

The study says potential tax rate increase scheduled to start Jan.1, 2013 would directly impact small business organized as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs and sole proprietors, which make up about 75 percent of all small businesses.   Read More...

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) -- California could see gasoline shortages as early as 2015 as new state rules aimed at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions could shutter more than half the state's refining capacity in less than eight years, according to a new study commissioned by an industry group.    Read More...

A new study shows proposed changes to the tax code restricting the use of cash accounting by agricultural operations would reduce agriculture's access to capital by as much as $12.1 billion over the next four years.   Read More...

On Oct. 23, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (H.R. 3080) in resounding bipartisan fashion by a vote of 417-3, demonstrating that lawmakers can put aside their political differences to tackle our nation's challenges. The legislation provides $8 billion in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' construction programs and streamlines environmental reviews to speed project delivery. While similar to the Senate version (S. 601) passed in May, several key differences must be addressed before final legislation can be delivered to President Obama for his signature.   

The expiring farm bill is caught up in the drama of over passing a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond next Monday. Complicating the situation is the Republicans’ demand to cut spending and taxes, defunding the Affordable Care Act and the debt limit increase. The House also now needs to pass a procedural motion to combine the farm bill and the just-passed nutrition bill before farm bill conferees can be named.

Then the two bills will go to the Senate where they can accept them or reject them, which is most likely to mean a rejection to occur. After they reject them, they should ask for a conference. Then both the House and Senate will appoint conferees. Since they are not in session until Wednesday, it’s probably the following week before conferees can be appointed.

The House and Senate both make cuts in food stamps, but the level of those cuts is far apart. Both chambers also take a different policy approach to the commodity title. Depending on how these differences are worked out in the conference, will depend on whether the President will sign the final bill. Only time will tell that final outcome, but both the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairs appear to remain committed to getting a farm bill on the books this year.   

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