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Frank, Bachus, Dodd, Shelby Letter on House-Senate Farm Bill Conference

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL), along with Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), sent a letter yesterday to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) regarding the possible expansion of the Farm Credit System's lending authority in the upcoming House-Senate conference on the farm bill.

A full text of the letter as follows:

January 15, 2008

The Honorable Collin Peterson The Honorable Tom Harkin

Chairman Chairman

Committee on Agriculture Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte The Honorable Saxby Chambliss

Ranking Member Ranking Member

Committee on Agriculture Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Peterson, Ranking Member Goodlatte, Chairman Harkin, and Ranking Member Chambliss:

As you prepare to go to conference on the 2007 farm bill, we write to express our jurisdictional concern regarding certain proposals by the Farm Credit System (FCS) to expand its lending authority beyond its statutory mission of providing credit to the agricultural sector.

Rule X of the House of Representatives and Senate Rule 25 provide the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, respectively, with jurisdiction over farm credit matters. However, jurisdiction over credit more generally is within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Some of the proposals that have emerged from the FCS as a result of the Horizons Project would, in our judgment, so substantially expand its current lending authority beyond the agriculture sector that they would exceed the respective jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

We understand and appreciate that these proposals to expand the lending authority of the FCS are in neither the House farm bill nor the Senate farm bill. If you are pressed to consider such proposals during conference, however, we urge you to consult with the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs prior to taking any such action.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this matter. We appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

Barney Frank Christopher Dodd

Chairman Chairman

Committee on Financial Services Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate

Spencer Bachus Richard Shelby

Ranking Member Ranking Member

Committee on Financial Services Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate


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