Groups: Insurance Cuts Hurt Farm Bill Baseline

One clear benefit out of the crop-insurance negotiations is that everyone has got their letter-writing skills down. Last week, 30 senators wrote USDA cautioning against cuts to crop insurance in the Standard Reinsurance Agreement. Now, agricultural groups write another letter on the topic. The debate right now is just where will the axe fall in USDA’s third contract offer to the industry after crop insurers rejected the first two proposals, which would have cut $8.4 billion and $6.9 billion, respectively, out of administrative and operating costs, as well as underwriting gains, over 10 years. According to the farm groups, the Congressional Budget Office has penciled in a $3.9 billion savings over 10 years under the SRA. Groups express “grave concern” because the CBO doesn’t credit this savings to Congress. Instead, it credits the SRA.