Democrats May Not Help GOP Lawmakers Fix “Grain Glitch” in New Tax Law

Erica Werner reported on Friday at The Washington Post Online that, “Republicans aiming to use an upcoming spending bill to fix a glaring problem with their recently passed tax overhaul are running into a wall with Democrats, who were shut out of the tax law process and now don’t want to cooperate unless they get something in return.

“Shortly after the rushed passage of last year’s $1.5 trillion tax law, agricultural companies warned that their livelihoods were imperiled after language in the legislation gave a major advantage to their competitors — farming cooperatives — in the heart of America’s agriculture economy. Republicans professed surprise and promised to fix the problem as soon as possible.

“‘It has to get fixed,’ said Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. ‘I mean, it’s essential.'”

Ms. Werner noted that, “But Democrats aren’t willing to go along so easily. They say they warned Republicans that pushing through the law in a matter of weeks — without public hearings — would result in problems and unintended consequences. And now that such issues are emerging, some Democrats resent being asked to lend their votes to a solution.”

The Post article added that, “Democratic votes are needed on the government-wide spending bill that must pass by March 23 at midnight to stave off a third federal shutdown this year. In exchange for including a fix to the grain glitch in the omnibus spending bill, Senate Democrats are pushing for inclusion of a tax provision of their own, an affordable-housing tax measure championed by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).”

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