Hoeven: Congress Passes Legislation to Fund Government, Ensure FSA Loan Funding for Producers, Clarify Hours-of-Service Rule for Truckers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that legislation approved by Congress today to fund the government includes provisions to help farmers and ranchers access Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans and to clarify the hours-of-service regulation for truck drivers. The provisions were approved as part of legislation to continue funding the government at the current budget cap levels through April 28.

Funding for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loan Programs

Due to low commodity prices and cash flow issues, farmers across the nation have been increasingly relying on the FSA direct and guaranteed loan programs for temporary assistance. These programs are being utilized considerably more than in past years, and program funds have been mostly depleted. The legislation provides FSA with sufficient loan authority to meet the increased demand and ensure that farmers and ranchers continue to have access to capital.

“These FSA loan programs exist to help our farmers and ranchers weather low prices,” said Hoeven. “This provision will help ensure that our producers have access to the capital they need to continue their operations. With today’s low commodity prices, this is an important tool to help our farmers and ranchers through these tough times.”

Hours-of-Service Regulation for Truck Drivers

The legislation requires that the Department of Transportation (DOT) follow the existing 34-hour restart rule for truck drivers. The administration issued new proposed rest requirements, which Congress subsequently required DOT to prove effective. The language clarifies that the existing 34-hour restart rule applies, should the DOT study fail to meet criteria set by Congress.