Congressman Seeks Answers to FCS Overreach

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The Farm Credit System’s (FCS) activities have in recent years left even the most casual observers scratching their heads.

Now, US Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), an important member of the House Committee on Financial Services, is stepping in to get answers.

On Friday, the congressman submitted a letter to the Comptroller of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting an audit of the FCS.

“As the FCS approaches its 100th anniversary, it is important for policymakers to demonstrate appropriate oversight over this Government-Sponsored Enterprise,” he wrote. “Given the importance of agriculture to my district and state, I am compelled to address recent concerns raised by constituents and industry participants from across the country.”

In his letter, Rep. Stutzman proceeded to ask a wide array of questions related to statutory obligations, indirect lending, crop insurance and mineral rights, all of which reflect the System’s massive deviation from its intended purpose.

This is not the first time that Rep. Stutzman has raised concern over the FCS. In July 2014, he penned an op-ed published by the American Banker in which he warned against the System’s size and scope.

“Farming should be at the center of the Farm Credit System,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, a too-big-to-fail approach has allowed this $247 billion government-sponsored enterprise to overstep its purpose and crowd out private lenders. Unless we return the Farm Credit System to its original mission, taxpayers could be on the hook for a bailout in the near future and farmers’ access to credit could be reduced.”

Click here to read the op-ed.