WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan 29, 2014 — The Big “I” applauds today’s passage of the Conference Report to H.R. 2642, the “Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013,” in the U.S. House of Representatives in a 251-166 vote. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next month.
After almost two years of deliberation, the House and Senate were finally able to come to a consensus on a five-year bill. The long-term agreement saves taxpayers $23 billion over 10 years by ending the Direct Payment Program for commodities and by finding significant savings within the food stamp (SNAP) program.
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased that the final Farm Bill conference report strengthens the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) and recognizes it as the central risk management tool for farmers and ranchers across the country,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Independent insurance agents and brokers play an integral role in the efficient and effective sales and servicing of this program.”
The FCIP will not have payment limits, but it will be tied to conservation compliance.
“Opposing payment limits for the FCIP was a central goal for the Big ‘I’ as the Farm Bill went through the legislative process,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “We are pleased that Congress has recognized crop insurance as a valuable insurance program for farmers that also protects taxpayers. It is crucial that the crop program continue its history of strong participation across America’s farmlands.”
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.