Farm interests across the spectrum of agricultural activity are criticizing a proposed budget deal that threatens the last remaining safety net for many farmers.
Under the proposal, the Agricultural Act of 2014 would be reopened and crop insurance subsidies would be subject to severe cuts, undermining the framework on which the farm bill was built.
“Make no mistake, this is not about saving money — it is about eliminating Federal Crop Insurance,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas. “The House Agriculture Committee was not consulted regarding any changes to policies under the jurisdiction of our committee. This provision is opposed by an overwhelming majority of our committee members.
‘It was debated and defeated during the 2014 farm bill process, and to move forward with it now breaks faith with the American producer,” Conaway said. “I am working alongside many of my colleagues to have the provision removed. If it is not removed, I will vote against this bill and work to defeat its passage. The American people deserve better than continued backroom deals struck in the middle of the night that entirely undercut the legislative process.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with Ranking Members Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., also expressed displeasure at the proposal.