The budget deal will extend the debt limit until 2017, and increase the annual spending limits. The bill is expected to come to the House floor TOMORROW (October 28) for a vote- which means action needs to be taken now.
The bill seeks to save $3 billion from the crop insurance private sector delivery system by capping a rate of return at 8.9 percent- a change from the current cap of 14% as authorized in the Farm Bill. The language also requires a new Standard Reinsurance Agreement by the end of 2016.
In short, this could kill the federal crop insurance program that has proven to be a critical safety net for farmers because it will be unfeasible for an insurance company to provide federal crop insurance.
Crop insurance is a successful public-private partnership that has already absorbed significant cuts through farm bills and previous administrative action. Proposals like the language included in the budget deal to cut the private sector delivery system would harm the rural economy and negatively impact service and timely delivery of payments when there is a disaster.
To make matters worse, this provision was included in the budget deal without consulting the Congressional Agriculture Committees. Committee leadership is actively trying to strip this language from the bill, and farmers and ranchers need to help.
Your elected officials need to hear from you NOW. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Action Alert Center has been activated to easily let you contact your Representative and Senators asking them to work to remove the cuts to crop insurance from the legislation before it comes to the House floor tomorrow. YOUR VOICE IS CRITICAL, AND THE NEED IS URGENT.
Click here to quickly send a message to your Senators and Representative. It only takes a few minutes of your time and will be a major voice in making sure Congress does not dismantle the crop insurance program.