Member Alert: White House Releases Text of Build Back Better Act

(OCTOBER 29, 2021)On Thursday, the White House and Congressional negotiators released the long-awaited Build Back Better Act. The cost of the package has been whittled down from its original $3.5 trillion price tag to $1.75 trillion over a decade. Despite the drop in cost, it is opposed by Republicans, so Democrats are trying to enact the plan through a budgetary process called reconciliation, which would allow it to clear the Senate solely with Democratic support. 

What’s in it for U.S. cattle producers? The bill allocates $900 million to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division for carrying out work related to competition or enforcement of the antitrust laws and $100 million to the Federal Trade Commission for work related to unfair methods of competition or enforcement of the antitrust laws.

The bill also provides assistance for outstanding indebtedness on direct farm loans to economically distressed direct farm loan borrowers and outstanding indebtedness up to $150,000 for other direct farm loan borrowers who did not receive significant amounts of payments under the Market Facilitation Program in 2018 and 2019 or the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in 2020.

For those of our members who also raise row crops, the Soil Conservation Assistance section provides payments to producers who establish cover crops in their fields for soil health and to help address climate change. Such payments would be equal to $25 per-acre, up to 1,000 acres per producer.

There is also an incredible amount of funding entirely dedicated to preventing and fighting wildfire, and promotion of fuels reductions projects. In fact, the vast majority of the billions dedicated to agriculture, under the Build Back Better framework, fall under wildfire and drought mitigation. 

Of course, there are several provisions included within the Build Back Better Act that give us cause for concern. USCA remains staunchly opposed to any attempts to undermine the livestock industry or implement burdensome regulations that would impact the ability of our members to continue providing the highest quality, most sustainable beef in the world. We remain strong in our mission of advancing the interests of U.S. cattle producers on Capitol Hill. 

Read the bill’s section-by-section summary.