Judge halts Biden's race-based loan forgiveness program

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (June 11, 2021) — A federal judge has halted a loan forgiveness program for farmers because the Biden administration decided white farmers are excluded. 

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach in Milwaukee issued a temporary restraining order Thursday suspending the program.

The program pays up to 120% of direct or guaranteed farm loan balances for black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander farmers. President Joe Biden's administration created the loan forgiveness program as part of its COVID-19 pandemic relief plan. But farmers with white skin were excluded.

Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed suit in April arguing white farmers aren’t eligible, amounting to a violation of their constitutional rights. The firm sued on behalf of 12 farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Oregon and Kentucky.

Emily Newton, the lead attorney representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the lawsuit, didn’t immediately respond to an email Friday seeking comment on the restraining order.

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