Hardwood Federation’s Fourth of July Recess Memo

The Hardwood Federation says as Congress returns to the states for the Fourth of July recess, be on the lookout for your federal lawmakers as they make the rounds in your community. In the event you see your elected officials, be sure to echo the federation’s key “asks”:

Congress must pass the Farm Bill. As lawmakers debate competing priorities for the farm bill, tell your federal elected officials that the final package must include:

  • Hardwood Exports – Double funding for USDA export promotion. Fortunately for industry, the House version of the bill and the Senate framework include this key provision, which lawmakers must push across the finish line.
  • Biomass – Legally binding biomass carbon neutrality language as part of the Farm Bill reauthorization effort.
  • Workforce – The “Jobs in the Woods Act,” sponsored by Reps. Lori Chavez-Deremer (R-OR) and Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez (D-WA) on the House side and Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and James Risch (R-ID) in the Senate. This bipartisan bill (H.R. 5344, S. 3063) provides education grants ranging in size from $500,000 to $2 million to promote jobs in the understaffed timber industry and U.S. Forest Service.

Support the Hardwood Access and Development Program Act – Tell your House lawmakers to cosponsor H.R. 6880, the “Hardwood Access and Development Program Act.”  This bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-WI-07) and Ann Kuster (D-NH-02), creates a competitive grant program to support consumer education about the sustainability, low carbon footprint, domestic production, and rural economic impacts of U.S. made hardwood products.

Taxes – The Senate must pass the House tax package, the “Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act” (H.R. 7024), which restores 100 percent bonus depreciation of equipment, the depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) business interest deduction and an R&D tax credit. It also increases the limits on expensing depreciable business assets under Sec. 179 to $1.29 million.

The industry will continue to advocate for two additional provisions that would provide much needed relief to our small and medium-sized companies:

  • Making permanent the 20 percent small business deduction for QBI earned by a pass-through entity.
  • Preserving estate tax exemptions included in the 2017 tax reform law.

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