Budget cuts affecting America’s crop insurance private sector delivery were included in the budget deal passed by Congress on October 28, but there is still a chance these cuts can be removed from the omnibus package that will be considered in December.
“The fight is not over yet,” said Aaron Rutledge, FMH Board member and P&C Operations Associate.
The cuts, introduced into the budget deal just two days before the House and Senate votes were scheduled, take away $3 billion over 10 years from the crop insurance industry. The deal includes renegotiating the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) – the contract between companies and the government – that would result in a cap on the rate of return equal to 8.9 percent as compared to the current rate of 14.5 percent.
“With the last farm bill, crop insurance has already cut an estimated $12 billion,” added Rutledge.
In the two days before the deal went to the floor for a vote, the nation’s farming and crop insurance communities rose up and voiced their opposition loudly and consistently to their Congressmen.
“This wasn’t just crop insurance that spoke out,” said Rutledge. “The crop insurance coalition included members from The Big I and the American Farm Bureau Federation and others – the whole industry was together.”
The united voice was loud enough to catch the ear of Washington, and even though the budget deal passed, House and Senate leaders immediately declared promises to have the language stripped from the omnibus package that will be considered in December.
“[The omnibus package] is the big hurdle we need to pass,” added Rutledge. “We need to continue to reach out to the representatives to make them aware; to educate them on why crop insurance is important and how it helps rural America.”
Rutledge also added that continued support is needed for those officials that have been opposed to the cuts since the beginning. “It’s important to recognize individuals that stood against it, to let them know we continue to support them, and give them extra encouragement to continue to fight it,” he said.
Rutledge, along with FMH President and CEO Ron Rutledge, traveled to Washington D.C. the first week of November to speak with Representatives and Senators about these cuts and to gain support for the crop insurance industry.
How can you help?
Call or email your Congressmen to communicate why Congress should repeal the cuts to the private sector delivery system in the omnibus package. Reference our informational sheet to raise awareness of the benefits of crop insurance in rural America.
|Informational Sheet||Find your Representative|