Lawmakers are running out of time to pass critical legislation this week as the 113th Congress will likely complete its final votes Thursday.
Collin Woodall, National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of government affairs, said in the last few days of session, there are three major priorities for cattlemen: government funding, the National Defense Authorization act, and tax extenders.
The National Defense Authorization act is a key priority for both NCBA and the Public Lands Council because it includes provisions that could streamline the grazing permitting process on public lands, Woodall said.
The National Grazing Improvement Act, Woodall explained, is included as a rider on the Defense bill. He said the ultimate goal is to keep "government red tape at a minimum" when it comes to grazing permit renewals.
"Even though this is focused on Western producers, we have to have members from across the country weigh in and vote to pass this," Woodall said.
The one-year tax extenders bill, which includes higher Section 179 expensing levels, is also a priority, Woodall said. A version of the bill has already passed the House and awaits action in the Senate.
"For a year now we have been trying to get [tax extenders] reauthorized or put back in place," Woodall said. He noted that higher Section 179 expensing levels would have a "huge impact on the bottom lines of producers and especially on their tax liabilities."
Finally, Woodall said it's important to call members of Congress to encourage them to pass priority legislation that allows cattlemen to plan ahead for 2015.
Click below to listen to Woodall's full interview on NCBA's Beltway Beef feature.