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ICBA Applauds U.S. House for Passing Frank-Bachus Amendment

Measure Strips FCS Expansion Provision from the Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. (July 26, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and its 42 affiliated state banking associations applaud the House of Representatives for passing an amendment offered by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) to remove a provision from the farm bill (H.R. 2419) that would have expanded the powers of the government-sponsored Farm Credit System into non-farm lending.

"ICBA greatly appreciates the efforts by Reps. Frank and Bachus for their amendment and the House for making this change to the farm bill," said James P. Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of Alpha Community Bank, Toluca, Ill. "By passing this amendment, Congress protected our nation's local economies by keeping the government-sponsored FCS focused on its mission of providing credit to farmers and ranchers and not allowing expansion into providing general business and home mortgage loans to the families and small businesses that are already well-served by America's community banks."

"ICBA is very happy that Congress heard the voice of the 5,000 community bank members of ICBA and its 42 state and regional partners which took action by calling and writing their members of Congress to communicate their concerns over expanded FCS powers," said Ghiglieri.

ICBA urges the House to finalize and pass the farm bill without the Farm Credit System expansions included. The Farm Bill is important legislation that helps sustain the farm economy and it is necessary for a new farm bill to move forward.

ICBA raised concerns that the expanded powers would move the Farm Credit System far beyond its chartered purpose of focusing on lending to farmers and ranchers.