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Contact Sen. Inhofe concerning FCS expansion!

We'd like to alert all bankers to contact Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe about the proposed expansion of the Farm Credit System's (FCS) commercial lending authority as part of the 2007 Farm Bill.

We have prepared a letter for you to copy and send electronically to Sen. Inhofe. Simply highlight and copy the body of the letter below and then click here to go to the senator's contact page. Once there, just paste the body of the letter in the space titled "Please Type Your Message." Don't forget to fill out your name, address, etc., above the form!

We appreciate your time and effort in the support of YOUR industry!

 

Body of the message to Senator Inhofe:

 As one of more than 18,000 bank professionals in Oklahoma, I’m writing to express strong opposition to any expansion of the Farm Credit System’s (FCS) commercial lending authority as a part of the 2007 Farm Bill.  

 Bankers are not asking Congress to take anything away from the System’s current authority.  They are simply asking the FCS to make its case for expanded powers in the appropriate forum " before the Senate Banking Committee " and not as an “add-on” to an already controversial Farm Bill, without a hearing, and without any justification or demonstration of a need for such changes.

 The Farm Credit System is a tax advantaged, direct retail lending Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE).  It was chartered by Congress in 1916 to provide credit to small and beginning farmers, ranchers, farmer owned businesses, and rural home owners who would not otherwise qualify for credit from traditional tax-paying banks and thrifts.

 What the FCS is proposing through its “Horizons Project” would broaden the System’s commercial lending authority so it could serve more non-farmers and ranchers than it does already.  It would expand and transform the FCS into a powerful corporate and residential lending GSE, without any demonstration that such changes are needed in order to meet the needs of American farmers and ranchers " especially those for whom the System was created to serve. 

 The new powers being sought by the FCS are not about agricultural loans and serving rural Oklahoma; they are about a GSE that wants to move away from agriculture into corporate and mortgage lending.  Congress should insist that the FCS leverage its special GSE privileges in the service of its mission to small and beginning farmers and ranchers, not in the service of its own ambitions.

 Oklahoma bankers help drive our state’s rural economy and work hard every day to finance economic development, new business opportunities, consumers, and community development projects.  We support a strong Farm Bill for America’s farmers and ranchers. However, there is no public policy justification for Congress to expand this special purpose GSE into areas of the economy that are already being well served by the banking industry.

 I urge you to oppose any attempts by FCS to push this unwarranted expansion of powers, and especially as a part of the 2007 Farm Bill.

 Thank you for your consideration of my views.

 

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