Davis Introduces Legislation to Block Biden CFPB from Over-Regulating the Farm Credit System

Washington, D.C.

Davis’ Farm Credit Administration Independent Authority Act would prevent the Biden CFPB from imposing misaligned and duplicative Dodd-Frank era reporting standards

During a recent House Agriculture Committee markup, U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) expressed disappointment that Democrats prevented his bill, the Farm Credit Administration Independent Authority Act, from advancing through the Committee to prevent the Biden Administration from over-regulating the Farm Credit System, one of rural America’s leading financial institutions. Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN) and Angie Craig (D-IA) are co-leading the legislation.

“The Farm Credit System is a key part of the economy in rural America,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “The Biden Administration’s attempt to impose additional financial regulations on the System will make credit less available to farm families and rural communities. In these challenging economic times with record inflation and rising ag input costs, we need to do everything we can to ensure burdensome regulations are not hindering economic growth. More than ever, farmers and ranchers in the Midwest need good farm policy across the board, not more bureaucratic Biden Administration red tape.

H.R. 7768, the Farm Credit Administration Independent Authority Act, would effectively block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from issuing policies affecting the Farm Credit Administration, Farm Credit System, and Board and would stop the CFPB from implementing its proposed rule on Small Business Lending Data Collection under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). If the proposed rule goes forward, it will greatly limit the availability of credit in rural areas due to additional staffing and IT infrastructure upgrades that would be required to comply with the CFPB’s one-size-fits all Dodd-Frank era proposal.

Davis talked about his legislation at a House Ag Committee markup last week. You can watch his remarks by clicking here.

From Rep. Davis’ remarks:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. While I am glad to see several bills move through this Committee today, I was disappointed that my bill, the “Farm Credit Administration Independent Authority Act,” which I introduced with my colleagues, Representatives Jimmy Panetta, Michelle Fischbach, Abigail Spanberger and Angie Craig, I’m disappointed that it was not included in this markup. 

Rural America’s access to credit, and a well-working Farm Credit System, is key to our supply chains, and I’m disappointed that this hasn’t been made a priority in our markup today.

Our bill would have mitigated a serious threat to the viability of the Farm Credit System by clarifying the Farm Credit Administration as the independent regulator of the Farm Credit System, stopping implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) overreaching one-size-fits-all proposed rule on Small Business Lending Data Collection.

If we don’t stop this rule from being implemented, Farm Credit lenders and borrowers will be subject to excessive, duplicative, and unnecessary reporting requirements that, at the end of the day, will demand new, costly IT infrastructure, additional staff, and will ultimately expect lenders to guess the demographic information of a borrower in the name of “fair lending” if this is left unreported.

There are much better ways to promote access to credit, and we should preserve the Farm Credit Administration’s authority in that regard, especially given the good track record of the System’s effectiveness for rural communities.

Given the limited amount of floor time that the Speaker has given toward bills of value or substance related to agriculture and rural America, this is a missed opportunity.

Mr. Chairman, I hope that we can come to an agreement on this issue to ensure that, at a time when inflation and ag input costs are skyrocketing with no end in sight, our constituents have continued access to an efficient Farm Credit System that promotes their access to credit.

Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.

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