Lawmakers are urging Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to make temporary flexibilities on Farm Service Agency loans permanent for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a bipartisan letter signed by farm-state Senators, they urge Perdue to “take action to ensure the continuity of our country’s food supply and support rural areas during the coronavirus.” 

The senators seek “needed relief” to farmers by the Agriculture Department, ensuring that the temporary flexibilities on farm loans recently announced by the FSA are made permanent for the duration of the pandemic and subsequent economic recovery, and also by ensuring adequate and equitable access to credit. 

The Senators also urge USDA to consider making emergency measures such as deadline extensions, loan payment deferrals, payment forbearance, and a full suspension of all current and pending foreclosure actions effective for the duration of the pandemic. 

In all, 43 Senators signed the letter, led by Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota.