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U.S. defends minority farmer debt relief despite legal fight

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Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) is defending efforts to wipe clean government-backed loans to farmers facing decades of discrimination, despite a temporary restraining order on the debt relief plan issued by a U.S. District court last week. A USDA spokesperson said the agency will be ready to process payments on an estimated $4 billion in debt relief for 17,000 Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian farmers once legal battles are resolved. It planned to start the payments in June. “USDA will continue to forcefully defend its ability to carry out this act of Congress a…

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