Your grassroots support of the Blunt-Wyden Amendment is commendable. Thank you. We asked you to contact your U.S. Senators in support of this amendment that would have lowered the FET for craft distillers, among other producers, and you did. Because of your efforts, many more Senators agreed to cosponsor and support the amendment. We are disappointed to learn, however, that the amendment will not be considered by the Senate.
Our tax issue was part of a larger discussion as to whether the FAA re-authorization would include tax provisions, such as the one we advocated, as well as others for clean energy and miscellaneous topics. From all reports, no one was objecting to the efforts of Senators Blunt (R-MO) and Wyden (D-OR), but Democrats and Republicans could not come to a larger agreement on tax issues.
While we are disheartened, this flurry of activity is again reminding the Senate that lowering the FET for craft spirits producers is an issue that needs to be resolved.
So, what next?
We plan to build on this momentum to urge action again on any other legislative vehicle with tax implications. We will be meeting in the coming days with key staff to discuss next steps. Further, we are continuing to work the U.S. House of Representatives, encouraging both support and action. (Congressman Erik Paulsen’s (R-MN) bill, H.R.2903, has nearly 180 co-sponsors. We want to help build that number.) We are planning an ACSA fly-in to Washington D.C. in early June. We are also planning a legislative briefing with craft brewers and small vintners and continue to mount efforts to highlight the need for this legislative action which continues to be supported by the industry of alcohol producers.
Again – many thanks to you, our members, who together with the state guilds and other industry groups, responded to our Call to Action. Your efforts continue to make a difference in keeping alive this fight. Stay tuned as we will need your continued unfailing help. And, feel free to post this update on any social media channels you may use.