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Jurisdictional spat lingers over Farm Credit Lending
WASHINGTON (1/17/08)—Jurisdictional feuding in Congress over possibly expanding the Farm Credit System’s lending authority continued this week in advance of a House-Senate conference on the 2007 farm bill. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), along with Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), sent a letter Tuesday to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). The letter acknowledged House and Senate rules 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,” wrote the banking committees’ leaders. Neither House nor Senate farm bills currently contain proposals to expand the Farm Credit System’s lending authority, acknowledged the lawmakers, who reminded their colleagues of jurisdictional boundaries. “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,” they wrote.

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