Monday, November 26, 2012

Sen. Baucus says he'll advocate for all things rural during 'fiscal cliff' discussions

Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, left, says he will advocate for rural initiatives and programs during legislative negotiations to avoid the Dec. 31 "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases, Malia Herman of the Great Falls Tribune reports. Because Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, he could have a big influence on the final "fiscal cliff" deal. He is pushing for a new Farm Bill, abolishing the estate tax and protecting rural hospitals, among other things.

"I've been in a lot of meetings focused on debt reduction," Baucus told Herman. "In those groups, I find that I am the only person from a rural state and the only one who understands agriculture." He said he hopes legislators look to the Farm Bill when discussing cuts because the Senate's version would reduce the federal deficit by $23 billion while reforming farm programs. He also said he hopes to "champion tax cuts and tax credits benefiting rural Americans," Herman reports. (Read more)

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