'If you're white, you don't qualify,' Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told a town hall audience.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) complained on Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Gordon County, Georgia, that Democratic efforts to forgive loans issued to socially disadvantaged farmers would mean "white people don't qualify."
Discussing the ongoing budget reconciliation process in the House, Greene took note of a loan forgiveness proposal.
The House Agriculture Committee's section on loan forgiveness contains this language:
Provides funds for payment or modification of existing USDA FSA loans and CCC Farm Storage Facility Loans held by socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Sets payments at 120 percent of outstanding indebtedness, with amounts remaining after obligations to USDA or the guaranteed lender are paid, provided to the farmer to account for tax treatment. Ensures such payments do not affect the eligibility of farmers or ranchers for farm loans.
"This is a 120% loan forgiveness for socially disadvantaged farmers. That means if you're white, you don't qualify," Greene told her audience. "It's paying them a profit for their loan. And you only qualify for it if you're socially disadvantaged, and that's based on your race. ... It is racist."
The claim that white people are excluded from the proposed program is untrue.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a socially disadvantaged farmer is defined as "a farmer or rancher who has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities." There is no mention of the race of the individual.
House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott (D-GA) told the website Successful Farming that the provision was added because the farmers in question "did not benefit from the billions of dollars that were paid down in 2018, 2019, and 2020."
From a Feb. 16 town hall meeting:
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: Another thing, example of things they're doing is, here I'll give you an example on the Agriculture Committee. One of the ways that they're spending your money is a loan forgiveness for farmers. Now that sounds OK, right? Farmers struggle.
But this is a 120% loan forgiveness for socially disadvantaged farmers. That means if you're white, you don't qualify. And 120% loan forgiveness doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Loan forgiveness would be a percentage up to 100% of the loan. But 120% is paying them. It's paying them a profit for their loan. And you only qualify for it if you're socially disadvantaged, and that's based on your race. But white people don't qualify.
It is racist. But this is where Democrats are going. You can even call it possibly reparations because they talk about how black farmers suffered through slavery, and of course they did. It was a terrible thing. But yet 120% loan forgiveness shouldn't be happening.
But this is what Democrats are doing through the reconciliation process in the $2 trillion budget they just passed.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.