43 senators ask Perdue to make FSA loan flexibilities for ‘duration’
A coalition of 43 senators asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Friday to ensure the continuity of the country’s food supply and support rural areas during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that the temporary flexibilities on farm loans recently announced by the Farm Service Agency “are made permanent for the duration of the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery, and also by ensuring adequate and equitable access to credit during this period of market uncertainty.”
The coalition was led by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The senators added, “To provide additional support for those whose operations are being affected by the coronavirus, we urge you to consider making emergency measures such as deadline extensions, loan payment deferrals, payment forbearance, and a full suspension of all current and pending foreclosure actions effective for the duration of the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery.”
“The department should also consider taking additional emergency actions — including the authorization of loan restructuring and loan balance write-downs —that were not included in the March 26 announcement.”
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.