U.S. House Passes Tax Bill with Tobacco Buyout Attached

With a 251-178 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a corporate tax bill that includes a provision for a $10-billion buyout of tobacco farmers, the Associated Press reported June 17.

While some Democrats were not completely pleased with the tax cuts in the bill, the measure gained the support of 48 Democrats because of the tobacco buyout. The measure would pay farmers to opt out of the federal tobacco-quota program.

But some lawmakers were against the bill because of the buyout provision. “I’m convinced that Congress is bent on losing what little fiscal credibility we have left,” said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). “In the midst of a war, a deficit, and a delicate economic recovery, now is the worst time to spend nearly $10 billion to bail out the tobacco industry.”