In the latest attempt to garner support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), more than 200 beer industry stakeholders climbed Capitol Hill on Monday to get a seat at the table with members of Congress and their staffers.
“If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu,” Brewers Association president and CEO Bob Pease cautioned during today’s opening remarks at the annual Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C. “Yesterday, 233 BA members from all 50 states climbed Capitol Hill and visited 340 congressional offices to tell the story of small and independent craft brewers. They were there to build the brand of American craft breweries.”
Despite failing to pass in 2015 and 2016, CBMTRA has garnered bipartisan support with 32 cosponsors in the Senate and 119 cosponsors in the House since its latest incarnations (H.R.747 and S.236) were introduced on Jan. 30.
If passed, the legislation would cut the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers making fewer than 2 million barrels annually. The bill would also cut the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers.
“No matter what else happens with that bill, we are going to get the graduated barrel tax done this year,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) told a crowd of thousands at CBC.
Both bills are supported by the Beer Institute and the Brewers Association and contain the same craft-friendly language as previous versions put forth during the 114th Congress.
In a video interview with Brewbound, Beer Institute president and CEO Jim McGreevy discusses the latest with CBMTRA.