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Senate May Look To House's Farm Bill

by 5m Editor
2 August 2007, at 4:40am

US - The Democrat-controlled Senate may pick up some key parts of the House-passed farm bill, including a tax measure that Republicans opposed.

The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, said Tuesday he supported the tax on foreign corporations that the Democrat-controlled House attached to its version of the farm bill. The tax would raise an estimated $4 billion during the next five years.

"We're looking at doing basically the same thing over here," Harkin said. The tax "would give us some needed resources."

Harkin is likely to run into opposition in the Senate similar to what the proposal encountered in the House.

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the tax-writing Finance Committee, said Tuesday that the corporate tax "violates some of our international treaties that we have with other countries."

House Democrats said that the measure targeted corporations that were routing revenue from their U.S. operations through other countries to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Republicans and business groups argued that the measure would discourage foreign investment in the United States.

The tax allowed lawmakers to increase food stamp benefits without cutting farm programs.

The Bush administration cited that tax and other issues in threatening to veto the five-year House bill.

Harkin said that he also backed the House plan to tap royalties on offshore oil leases as well as profits of companies and agents that sell federally subsidized crop insurance.

Source: DesMoinesRegister

5m Editor