Community Bankers Association of Illinois

Community Banking Victory! FCS Provisions Struck from 2007 Farm Bill!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to voice your concerns to members of Congress in recent days, community bankers have successfully removed the Farm Credit System's destructive expansion provisions in the House 2007 farm bill reauthorization (H.R. 2419). The Frank-Bachus floor amendment, which eliminated the FCS provisions from the bill, passed by an overwhelming voice vote Thursday night. After months of intense effort and this past week's final blitz by community bankers flooding Capitol Hill offices with phone calls, the FCS provisions were stripped from the farm bill. The House did not finish voting on the overall farm bill package last night and was expected to continue its work on the bill Friday.

"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 ICBA Chairman and CBAI Past Chairman James P. Ghiglieri Jr., president of Alpha Community Bank in 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."

The defeated FCS provisions in the House farm bill that the ICBA, CBAI, their members, and 42 affiliated state banking associations vigorously opposed with a flood of phone calls to Capitol Hill would have greatly expanded the commercial and mortgage lending powers of the FCS, which wants to use its government-subsidized tax and funding advantages to cherry-pick loans from tax-paying community financial institutions. This is a tremendous victory for community bankers whose voices have been heard. A special thank you goes out to all who took the time to contact their representatives. Congratulations on a job well done!

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