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Blog update: 1099 repeal passed, H.R. 872 passed, H.R. 910 passed, Federal gov’t on verge of shutdown

April 7, 2011

The March 2011 IFB Leaders to Washington trip from March 13-15 was very timely for a couple of issues and successful. What an excellent group. They worked hard, made good contacts and represented their counties and IFB extremely well.

A county Farm Bureau manager sent me a brief missive.

“You need to update your blog.”

Tell me about it. 

March was a busy month packed with two trips to D.C., including the annual IFB March Leaders to Washington program, AFBF’s new member reception, a meeting with U.S. DOT officials over an unwelcome and unfortunate new interpretation of federal trucking regs, and my first lengthy family vacation in recent memory.

No excuse though for letting Working the Hill go for a month.   I pledge to do a better job of keeping things updated here.

Because there’s only so much you write in a single post, and there’s been so much happening on federal legislative agenda that I will try to parcel things out over the next several days.  (Oh yeah, the White House finally reached a deal to allow an overdue vote on the U.S.-Colombia FTA.)

I’ll start with the passage this week of H.R. 4 in the U.S. Senate — the long-awaited final vote on an IRS Form 1099 repeal bill that almost didn’t go to a vote.  Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn held up the vote for a day or two with his demand for a vote on an amendment that would eliminate the volumetric ethanol excise tax credit, better known as the “blenders credit.”   

Sen. Coburn claimed he had 60 votes to kill the blenders credit and may eventually get his amendment considered under a “suspension of the rules” which requires a supermajority 67 votes to pass.   A Coburn spokesperson quipped that the vote itself would be subsidized in favor of the ethanol lobby.  

Regardless, no one who supports VEETC and federal support for renewable fuels at a time of $4 per gallon gas wants to see any vote, but the credit will expire at the end of the year unless it is replaced with something else.    

That alternative — a variable credit — is beginning to take shape.

Back to 1099 repeal.  

When the amendment to repeal 1099 using the same “pay-for” approved last month in the House finally went to a vote, it was overwhelming — 87-12 — with Sen. Kirk voting in the affirmative.

Sen. Durbin and a few of his colleagues argued that forcing taxpayers to repay federal health insurance subsidies when their incomes rise above allowable limits represents a tax on the middle class.

Still, President Obama signaled this week that he will sign the welcome repeal measure and our members and other self-employed individuals will avoid what would amount to a paperwork nightmare starting in 2012. 

Illinois Farm Bureau appreciates the support of Sen. Kirk and the 13 Illinois members of the U.S. House who voted in favor of one of our top 2011 Federal legislative priorities — the repeal of the 1099 requirement.

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