Consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives maintain nearly half the nation’s electric distribution lines which cover 75 percent of America’s land mass while serving only 12 percent of all business and residential electric consumers. Cooperatives meet that unique challenge in part by using RUS loans to finance affordable, reliable electric service to approximately 42 million people. These loans contribute to deficit reduction because they are repaid with interest to the U.S. Treasury. In fiscal year 2019 alone, electric loan repayments will net more than $160 million to the U.S. Treasury.

Electric cooperatives support an FY2018 RUS loan level of $5.5B for FY2019 with no language restricting how loans may be used. We also encourage Congress to fund the Guaranteed Underwriter Program at $1B and the REDLG Program at $85M for FY2018.