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(Article Summarized by Meridian Institute) The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released a response to a request for analysis by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) regarding the proposed tax reform bill. The response said the increase in the deficit caused by the new tax bill would require 100 percent sequestration in many farm programs, including Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage, as well as programs under the conservation and research titles. Keith Hall, the director of the CBO, said that the Statutory-Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 “requires that new legislation enacted during a term of Congress does not collectively increase estimated deficits.” The PAYGO law does not affect programs that are exempt, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and crop insurance. Congress could avoid cuts to the non-exempt programs by passing legislation to offset the deficit increase, or take other actions that would eliminate the implications of the PAYGO law. “Adding $1.5 trillion in new deficits over a decade would be bad enough, but CBO shows how, under current law, statutory PAYGO will result in the complete elimination of all funding to dozens of mandatory programs next year, from assistance to farmers to border enforcement to student loans, as well as a roughly $25 billion in cut to Medicare,” Hoyer said. Added Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, “If Congress passes legislation that increases the deficit, they will subsequently be forced to cut federal spending. In the case of the tax bill, current law could require 100 percent sequestration of all commodity program payments and other farm bill programs. Tax cuts for the highest income brackets should absolutely not come at the expense of programs that protect our nation’s family farmers and ranchers.”

Posted November 14th, 2017