With the elections on Tuesday now largely behind us, it looks like the landscape for cattlemen and women may have shifted in our favor. With both expected and unexpected victories and a few still up in air, one thing is apparent: your contributions to the NCBA PAC helped to shape this election and will keep our priorities in front of the new Congress. Building on the success of past cycles, the NCBA PAC set an ambitious goal of raising $1.25 million dollars this election cycle. And with nearly two months left in this cycle, we are very close to topping the $1 million mark. That is a major milestone and I would encourage you to make an NCBA PAC contribution yet this year.
Unchanged by the outcome of the elections, there is still work we need Congress to do in the current lame duck session. We know many in Congress see the need to clear the backlog and allow the 114th Congress to start with a clean slate. Specifically, we need this Congress to address key tax issues, including extending Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation, with enough time left to allow producers to adequately plan for the tax year and make needed investments. We need Congress to grant the President Trade Promotion Authority, sending our trade partners a clear signal that we are serious about these agreements and we will act quickly to seize opportunities. We also need this Congress to send a clear signal to the USDA and the Administration, that producers do not want greater government involvement in their Beef Checkoff.
When the 114th Congress is seated in January, we expect for the first time in a number of years, they will be able to take up a number of legislative priorities that will help not only our industry, but business and commerce nationwide. Specifically, we are looking to the Hill to give much needed direction to the EPA on their misguided “waters of the United States” rule. We expect trade to remain top of mind, with hope that many pending trade agreements will see resolution. Congress has taken tax provisions piecemeal, addressing expiring provisions and kicking larger issues down the road. But long term stability and a pro-business tax code is desperately needed to address current issues and spur real economic growth. We all know how important sound and viable interstate transportation and international hubs are to our ability to bring cattle and beef to market and sustain our ever increasing export markets. We need Congress to address outdated transportation laws and put in place rules that encourage safe and efficient transportation.
We look forward to working with this Congress to address key issues before the end of the year and we look forward to working with the next Congress, educating new members on the cattle industry and tackling legislatives issues that will encourage growth and innovation.