Committee passes Family Farmer Relief Act
Would ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules
The House Judiciary Committee recently passed Rep. Antonio Delgado’s bipartisan legislation to assist family farmers during this down farm economy. In April, U.S. Rep. Delgado introduced H.R.2336, the Family Farmer Relief Act which would ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules. During the last work period, Rep. Delgado testified before the House Judiciary Committee on his legislation and urged bipartisan support.
“Family farmers are facing alarming rates of foreclosure and this down farm economy is exacerbated by an outdated filing cap that leaves farmers without options to restructure or repay their debt,” Delgado said. “I am pleased to see House Judiciary Committee members on both sides of the aisle pass my legislation to get family farmers their long overdue debt relief. Today, the House took steps to bring the Family Farmer Relief Act closer to the floor so we can give our farmers and growers the flexibility they need to continue operations.”
Rep. Delgado introduced H.R. 2336, the Family Farmer Relief Act along with House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Reps. TJ Cox, D-Calif., Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. The bill, which is the House companion to legislation introduced by U.S. Sens Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Tina Smith, D-Minn., expands the debt cap that can be covered under Chapter 12 bankruptcy from $3,237,000 to $10 million. The changes reflect the increase in land values, as well as the growth over time in the average size of U.S. farming operations and are meant to provide farmers additional options to manage the downturn in the farm economy. The legislation is endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union.
As a member of the Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Small Business Committees, Delgado has prioritized bringing the voices of small farmers to Washington. The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural district in the country and the third most rural district represented by a Democrat. There are just under 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operations in NY-19. In the first six months in office, Rep. Delgado has established and met with his Agriculture Advisory Committeeand toured farms and sat down with local farmers to hear about localized infrastructure, technology needs, and sustainable farming practices.