The U.S. Senate Agriculture committee will hold an oversight hearing this week to look at the Farm Credit System. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who sits on the committee, says the hearing will examine concerns that the agency has strayed from its mission to lend money to rural Americans with little access to credit.
"There are some interests that have been expressed to us, outside this hearing, who would say that the Farm Credit System has gone beyond its goal and purpose of helping rural America and farming in particular," he said.
Grassley says some private-sector lenders argue they shouldn't have to compete with the government when loaning money to eligible businesses and he says it seems some recipients of Farm Credit services might qualify for traditional loans.
"One of the things that we've been hearing is that a lot of money has been loaned out to businesses that are pretty big in this country," Grassley said, "maybe not entirely associated with rural America."
Grassley declined to speculate on what the Thursday oversight hearing might lead to.