A group of 13 Illinois farmers will travel to Washington, D.C., this week to lobby for tax reform and farm bill priorities on behalf of Illinois Farm Bureau.
IFB’s Leaders to Washington trip begins Monday and ends Wednesday. The fast-paced trip will be led by Adam Nielsen, IFB’s director of national legislation and policy development.
Back from their August recess, lawmakers face a full fall agenda. President Donald Trump last week reached a deal with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling and fund government operations until mid-December. The House also passed a bill that provides $7.85 billion in aid for Hurricane Harvey. The Senate must still approve.
“Congress will be asked to do a lot in this month,” Nielsen said. “Our ask of them will be to support our ideas for tax reform and to try to advance our IFB farm bill agenda.”
IFB supports elimination of the estate tax and reduction of capital gains and individual tax rates, but also supports retaining cash accounting, Section 1031 exchanges and interest deductions.
Leaders to Washington trip from March 2017
Related: Withdrawing from KORUS would be 'disastrous' for Illinois farmers, says IFB president. Click here.
In addition to Capitol Hill visits, participants will have a meeting at the White House to discuss trade and infrastructure. They also will meet with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss regulatory reform and the “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. Additional meetings will be held at USDA to discuss regulatory reform and the farm bill, among other issues.
IFB’s Leaders to Washington trip is held twice a year – in the spring and fall.
“It’s an opportunity to give Illinois Farm Bureau members a chance to lobby their congressmen, senators and key administration officials about issues important to Farm Bureau,” Nielsen said. “The idea is to try to inspire people to remain advocates after they get home from this experience. Bottom line is we want to move the ball on our issues. The people who can make that happen are our members.”
Drew DeSutter of Knox County will attend Leaders to Washington for the second time this week. He attended the trip in March 2016.
“Since the November election, Washington, D.C., has gone through many changes and I think it will be very interesting to compare the different political landscapes,” he said. “I'm hopeful to build on my previous experience while I look forward to having productive conversations with our legislators on a variety of issues such as WOTUS, trade and the upcoming farm bill.”
For trip updates, follow #L2DC on Twitter.
Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.