WASHINGTON — The Senate approved 87 to 6 today a $4-billion federally guaranteed bailout for the Farm Credit System, the giant network of lending institutions that is reeling from $4.8 billion in losses over two years.
"We will do our best to get this bill to the White House this year," said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.).
The Administration has expressed concerns, however, about the cost of some provisions, including one that would set up a so-called secondary market under which farm mortgage loans would be pooled and shares sold to investors.
It says the so-called Farmer Mac, similar to the Federal National Mortgage Assn. (Fannie Mae), and other home mortgage secondary markets, would make it harder for the Farm Credit System to compete.
The next step for the Senate's bill is a conference committee to resolve differences with a measure approved 365 to 49 by the House on Oct. 6. It would provide the system with $2.5 billion in federal aid.