Senate Will Consider Amendments to the Senate Farm Bill
RELEASE: November 21, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the American Horse Council
Congress has recessed for the Thanksgiving holidays and will return the week of December 3. At that time, the Senate will again take up the 2007 Farm Bill (H.R. 2419). The Senate has been considering the bill for several weeks but has been unable to reach agreement on how it will proceed. Democrats and Republicans differ on how many amendments should be allowed to be offered. Nearly 200 amendments have been filed that various Senators wish to offer when the Senate returns to the bill after the Thanksgiving break.
Two amendments have been filed that are of particular interest to the horse industry.
--Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has included the Equine Equity Act on the list of amendments. This amendment would: (1) shorten the capital gains holding period for horses from 24 months to 12 months; and (2) place all racehorses in the three-year category for depreciation purposes.
--Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has included her Save Our Small Business Act on the list of amendments. This bill would provide that an alien who has received an H-2B nonimmigrant visa during any one of the three preceding years would not be counted toward the annual 66,000 cap on H-2B visas. This would be effective through October 1, 2012.
The industry supports both of these amendments.
As previously reported, the Senate Farm Bill, and another bill that is expected to be included within the farm bill package, already include provisions that would make horse owners involved in production agriculture eligible for the various disaster programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are:
-A provision that would make horse breeders eligible for emergency loans by including “equine farmers and ranchers” within the class of eligible farmers.
-A provision that is included in the Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007, which would create and fund a permanent Agriculture Disaster Relief Trust Fund that would provide payments to farmers and ranchers who suffer losses in areas that are declared disaster areas by the USDA. This program specifically includes “horses” within the definition of eligible livestock.