Congressman Kelly Armstrong Helps Introduce the Family Farmer Relief Act
WASHINGTON – Congressman Kelly Armstrong joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce the Family Farmer Relief Act to ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules. The bill, which restructures bankruptcy rules to make more farms eligible, comes amid a continued downturn in the farm economy. The legislation is endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union.
“The ongoing decline in farm income combined with trade fluctuations complicates the difficult financial situation facing our farmers. Just like any business, our producers need updated, flexible tools to reorganize debt. This bipartisan bill will keep more farmers in the field and farms in the family,” said Armstrong.
The legislation was jointly introduced by Congressman Antonio Delgado (D, N.Y.) along with Armstrong (R, N.D.), Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R, Wisc.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D, Minn.), Congressman TJ Cox (D, Calif.), and Congressman Dusty Johnson (R, S.D.).
The bill expands the debt cap that can be covered under Chapter 12 bankruptcy from $3,237,000 to $10,000,000. The changes reflect the increase 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 bill is the House companion to similar legislation introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D, Minn.), Ron Johnson (R, Wisc.), Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.), Thom Tillis (R, N.C.), Doug Jones (D, Ala.), Joni Ernst (R, Iowa) and Tina Smith (D, Minn.) in March.
The bill, H.R. 2336, was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. Click here to read the text of the bill.
Armstrong is in his first term as the lone representative for the state of North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.