Currently, brewers producing less than 2 million barrels a year pay an excise tax of $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they brew, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter.
Cardin said he was introducing the bill now because next week is American Craft Beer Week.
The bill would cost the federal government more than $30 million a year in lost revenue, but Cardin said the government would make it up in new payroll taxes and taxes from people buying more craft beer since prices could go down. Cardin argued that his bill would help stimulate the economy by creating more jobs.
"While some people may think this is a bill about beer, it is really about jobs," Cardin said. "Small brewers are small business owners in communities in each and every state across the country. … As the craft beer industry grows so, too, does the demand for American-grown barley and hops and American-made brewing, bottling, canning and other equipment."
Cardin said there are more than 2,000 small breweries within the United States, and he called for the government to invest in the growing industry in order to help the economy.
"Because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for raw materials, production, packaging and market entry compared to larger, well-established multi-national competitors," Cardin said. "Adjusting the excise tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $67 million each year they could use to start or expand their businesses on a regional or national scale."
But S. 917 isn’t the only beer bill being considered. Large beer manufacturers are pushing their own bill, the BEER Act, which would reduce rates for all brewers. Reps. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) and Ron KindRon KindHouse caucus to focus on business in Latin America Wisconsin Dems call on party to end superdelegates Lawmakers, small businesses praise employee stock ownership plans MORE (D-Wis.) introduced the BEER Act in the House on Thursday.
Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinOvernight Finance: Wall Street awaits Brexit result | Clinton touts biz support | New threat to Puerto Rico bill? | Dodd, Frank hit back Dem hopeful that Congress will eliminate tax break for investment fund managers Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment MORE (D-Wis.), Mark BegichMark BegichSenate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Alaska), Thad CochranThad CochranWeek ahead: GOP to unveil ObamaCare replacement plan Senate panel breaks with House on cuts to IRS Overnight Healthcare: GOP ObamaCare plan to leave out key dollar figures | States get help to hold line on premiums MORE (R-Miss.), Chris CoonsChris CoonsOvernight Defense: GOP blasts latest Gitmo transfer | Boeing defends Iran Air deal Key Dem: US-Iran relations may get worse before they get better The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Del.), Mo Cowan (D-Mass.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers Senate narrowly rejects new FBI surveillance Kaine, Murphy push extension of Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill's 12:30 Report Key Sanders ally: Time to get behind Clinton Dem Senate campaign chair endorses Clinton MORE (D-Ore.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiOvernight Energy: Senate panel approves EPA spending, rules bill Senate panel breaks with House on cuts to IRS Dems propose to boost DOJ funding by M MORE (D-Md.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval Bernie fights for relevance Sanders shares star power with NY House hopeful MORE (I-Vt.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA This week: Senate showdown over gun control Dems push vulnerable GOP senators on gun control MORE (D-N.Y.), Jon TesterJon TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment MORE (D-Mont.), Roger WickerRoger WickerRubio will run for reelection Lawmakers push first responder network on rural service Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (R-Miss.), Ron WydenRon WydenRepublican chairman: Our tax reform plan fits with Trump's vision Post Orlando, hawks make a power play Democrats seize spotlight with sit-in on guns MORE (D-Ore.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns Poll: Burr narrowly leads Democrat in NC Senate race MORE (R-Ohio), Angus KingAngus KingSenators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Dem Senate campaign chair endorses Clinton Obama nominates CIA watchdog to fill long vacancy MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperTom CarperWhite House seeks distance from ISIS transcript edit White House: Redaction decision was all Justice Dem senator: CDC already has authority to study guns MORE (D-Del.) are co-sponsoring the Small BREW Act.