A coalition of congressmen and private-interest groups has put the Rural Utilities Service on its hit list, aiming to save taxpayers about $11.5 billion over five years.
Dubbed "Stop Corporate Welfare," the coalition has targeted 12 programs. The RUS is first on the roster.
The coalition group notes that the RUS subsidizes loans for electric cooperatives, which serve 10 percent of the population. The group also says that loans to co-ops are made at interest rates not only below the Treasury's borrowing costs but well below that of investor-owned utilities.