Representatives Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Ron Kind (WI-03), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15),and John Joyce, M.D. (PA-13) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for farmers and ranchers. The PPP was created by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in order to assist small businesses keep employees on payroll and cover other business related expenses, helping them weather the economic damages caused by COVID-19.

Currently, many farmers are being deemed ineligible for PPP loans due to reporting negative net incomes to the IRS as a result of low commodity prices and wet planting seasons in recent years. This legislative fix would allow producers filing a Schedule F to use their gross 2019 income (up to $100,000) when calculating their PPP loan rather than net income, expanding eligibility to more farmers and ranchers.

“Our family farms are hurting, but still doing everything they can to put food on our shelves and milk in our fridges—it is time Congress does everything it can to help them,” said Brindisi. “I am working with Democrats and Republicans to introduce the Paycheck Protection for Producers Act to expand the Paycheck Protection Program to help more family farms. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and I am fighting to make sure Washington gives our farmers the resources they need to get through this crisis.”

The legislation received praise from national farmers’ advocacy groups.

“While the Paycheck Protection Program is providing vital assistance to farmers and ranchers who were able to receive loans, many self-employed farmers have been unable to participate, putting the future of their family farms at risk” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Farm Bureau supports this bill and thanks Congressmen Kind, Thompson, Joyce and Brindisi for their leadership in offering a solution that will get help to more farmers and ranchers, and ensure they are able to continue stocking America’s pantry.”