WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2012 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the defeat of an amendment offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to S. 3240, the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012” (known as the Senate 2012 Farm Bill), which failed by a 33-66 vote.
The amendment would have stripped the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) budget baseline by $5 billion leading to a 37% reduction in Administrative and Operating (A&O) funds and would have reduced the overall program cap to $825 million. The sheer magnitude of the proposed cut, coupled with the $12 billion in cuts already sustained by the crop program through both the 2008 Farm Bill and 2011 Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA), would have had a devastating effect on the program and the farmers it serves.
“At a time when farmers are being asked to rely on crop insurance even more as their primary risk management tool, it seems irresponsible to further deplete the crop program of its critical resources,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ is pleased that the Senate has recognized how important this risk management tool is for farmers and ranchers across the country and applauds the strong bipartisan vote rejecting this amendment.”
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 approximately a quarter of a million 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.