Sen. Franken Teams up with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to Protect Midwest Family Farmers Who Fall on Hard Times

In Display of Bipartisanship, Family Farmer Bankruptcy Bill Passes Unanimously in U.S. Senate


WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/15/17]—The Senate unanimously approved a key piece of bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that will enable family farmers in Minnesota, Iowa, and across the country to get a fairer shake when they fall on hard times.


As a part of a 2005 bankruptcy reform bill, Congress passed a provision to address the unique financial situations of family farmers who are reorganizing their assets following bankruptcy. However, a 2012 Supreme Court ruling found that the 2005 law, as written, failed to achieve Congress’ express goal of helping family farmers. Grassley and Franken’s Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act of 2017 fixes the ruling and ensures that the law, as first intended, will protect our family farmers.


“Our bipartisan bill is a commonsense fix to ensure that the law functions as intended and protects family farmers in Minnesota and across the country,” said Sen. Franken. “Getting this measure passed, which I’m glad to say we did in the Senate, will help ensure farmers going through bankruptcy get a fair shake and are able to repay the debts they owe without sacrificing their families’ futures.”  


The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act will allow struggling family farmers to reorganize their debts to treat capital gains taxes owed to a governmental unit, arising from the sale of farm assets during a bankruptcy, as general unsecured claims.  It also removes the IRS’ veto power over a bankruptcy reorganization plan’s confirmation, giving the family farmer a chance to reorganize successfully.


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