House Passes $1.7 Trillion Build Back Better Legislation, Allocating $82 Billion in Funding For Agriculture to Address Climate Change

November 19, 2021

House Passes $1.7 Trillion Build Back Better Legislation, Allocating $82 Billion in Funding For Agriculture to Address Climate Change

Nov 19, 2021

Key Issues:Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Bill Steers Clear of Harmful Tax Changes for Farmers

The House of Representatives voted today on a party-line basis to approve the $1.7 trillion budget reconciliation and spending bill, H.R. 5376, referred to as the Build Back Better Act.


NCGA worked with allies of farmers and rural communities in Congress to ensure that the bill did not remove important tax provisions that would directly affect family farms.


“Our number one concern has been proposals to remove stepped-up basis,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “That will continue to be our focus as the legislation moves to the Senate.”


The House version of the bill makes no changes to stepped-up basis, the current tax provision important to corn growers. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax provisions in the current tax code help protect family farms that are transferred from generation to generation.


In an acknowledgment of the role farmers can play in addressing environmental issues, leaders on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees worked together to allocate the following funding:


  • $9 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to specifically increase funding for practices that help producers implement and expand conservation practices on their operations.


  • $7.5 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnerships Program.


  • $4 billion for the Conservation Security Program, which focuses on whole-farm conservation systems.


  • $1.5 billion for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program to ensure that land in easements is used in a way that protects soil and water while maintaining its viability as farmland.


  • $5 billion for a new cover crop initiative at FSA that provides farmers an alternative to get started with this critical conservation practice.


  • $1 billion for USDA to provide technical assistance to farmers on climate issues.


  • $960 billion for USDA to provide cost-share assistance for infrastructure to deploy higher blends of ethanol in the marketplace.

The legislation also includes a new clean fuel production tax credit that would become effective in 2027 and apply to low-carbon ethanol.


“We are appreciative of the members of Congress, particularly those on the Agriculture Committees, who recognize the role agriculture can play in addressing climate change,” Edgington said.


The bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate following the Thanksgiving holiday.