Federal Crop Insurance Program Again Targeted for Cuts
Big “I” continues fighting against attacks on private delivery system.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 4, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) is strongly opposed to S. 345, a bill introduced yesterday by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) which seeks to limit the level of premium subsidy provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to agricultural producers. The bill was introduced one day after the release of President Barack Obama’s budget which also called for deep cuts to the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
“Opposing payment limits for the FCIP was a central goal for the Big ‘I’ over the two years of Farm Bill debate,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “Ensuring that farmers can purchase adequate coverage for their farmland is crucial for taxpayers by making sure an efficient and effective safety net is in place before disaster strikes. We were pleased to see that Congress recognized crop insurance as a valuable risk management tool for farmers and for protecting taxpayers in the 2014 Farm Bill. S. 345 would erroneously re-open debate on a carefully balanced compromise struck by Congress when it passed the 2014 Farm Bill in strong bipartisan fashion.”
“Despite several years of devastating weather patterns, there have been no calls for ad hoc crop disaster assistance,” says Jennifer McPhillips, Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs. “The crop insurance program works so well because there is a broad and strong participation network. When disaster strikes, the FCIP is the strongest and most effective risk management tool a farmer or rancher can count on. It is critical that farmers can prepare and protect their land and can count on independent insurance agents to help them weather the storm.”
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.