H.R.2185 - USDA Accountability and Equity Act of 1997105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.R.2185 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (07/17/1997)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Program Accountability
Title II: Program Equity
Title III: Funding of Farm Ownership and Operating Loans
USDA Accountability and Equity Act of 1997 - Title I: Program Accountability - Amends the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act to increase the size of the county committees by two members who shall be: (1) appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary); and (2) demographically representative of local producers.
States that: (1) civil service laws shall apply to all persons performing functions for any county, area, or local committee; and (2) the county executive director of such committee, or other person selected by the Secretary, shall have sole responsibility for making local agricultural loan determinations, subject to State-level approval.
(Sec. 102) Provides for the conversion of permanent and temporary (at the Secretary's discretion) county and area office employees to Federal civil service status. Makes conforming amendments the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 and other Federal law.
Title II: Program Equity - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to permit agricultural operating loans to be made to delinquent borrowers under specified circumstances.
(Sec. 202) Appropriates funds for lease-back or buy-back opportunities for beginning farmers or ranchers.
(Sec. 203) Treats debt write-downs as non-income for tax purposes.
(Sec. 204) Amends the Housing Act of 1949 to prohibit housing loan denial to an applicant who has been able to live in a financially independent manner for a reasonable time.
(Sec. 205) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 with respect to the environmental quality incentives program to: (1) increase program funding; (2) reduce the livestock set-aside; and (3) establish a set-aside for socially disadvantaged agricultural producers.
(Sec. 206) Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to make permanent appropriations for 1890 land grant college grants. (Current law provides for non-permanent authorization of appropriations for such grants.) Directs the Secretary to establish an advisory committee to study whether such institutions' funding is equitable.
(Sec. 208) Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to make permanent appropriations (currently permanently authorized) for: (1) Indian reservation extension education programs; and (2) outreach and technical assistance programs for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Title III: Funding of Farm Ownership and Operating Loans - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to make permanent appropriations for farm operating and ownership loans. (Current law provides for a non-permanent authorization of appropriations for such loans.)