Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose made the following statement about the U.S. Senate’s Health, Economic Assistance, Liability and Schools (HEALS) Act.
“Introduction of the HEALS Act is a terrific next step in the process to provide much needed additional assistance to U.S. agriculture. We hope the full Senate will move quickly to debate and pass the bill. Once the Senate acts on the bill, we urge House and Senate leadership to move quickly to reach a bipartisan agreement on a final assistance package.
“The HEALS Act would provide substantial assistance to farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. The bill provides $20 billion in direct assistance via USDA to agricultural producers. It dramatically simplifies the forgiveness process for small Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, better tailors the existing PPP to the needs of farmers, and simplifies Farm Credit’s ability to make PPP loans to farmers and agribusinesses.
“Introduction of the HEALS Act follows House passage of the HEROES Act, which also would provide substantial assistance to ag producers and agribusinesses. Both bills include significant funding for USDA to provide additional direct assistance to farmers. That direct assistance is what America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses need right now to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our food supply.
“Farm Credit urges the Senate and House to act quickly to compromise the two bills and finalize the assistance package in the coming weeks.”