Rep. Jared Huffman celebrates overdue fix for West Coast Fishery Loan

KRCR News

On Wednesday, North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman celebrated the announcement by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) Fisheries that it has reduced the outstanding principal balance on the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishing Capacity Reduction Buyback Loan by $5.9 million, with an effective date of Jan. 14, Huffman’s office said.

According to Huffman’s office, the loan reduction resolves an economic hardship suffered by the west coast groundfish fishing fleet due to longstanding accounting failures by the executive branch. The recalculation is a result of Congressional action led by Huffman and his Pacific Northwest congressional colleagues, including recent legislative direction requiring NOAA to forgive the interest accrued on the loan that was directly attributable to NOAA’s delay in implementing a repayment system, officials said. The congressional letters sent to Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey can be viewed here and here.

When NOAA failed to act on the Congressional direction, Huffman also put pressure on NOAA Fisheries and the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to Huffman’s office.

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