USDA urged to reconsider crop insurance changes

U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., along with 28 U.S. senators, have expressed appreciation for the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) willingness to reconsider its previous proposals as the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) renegotiation proceeds. Despite a modest reduction in the size of the proposed cuts between the first and second drafts, the senators expressed their concerns with RMA’s proposals that may undermine the crop insurance program, reduce the quality of service and availability of the program, and harm rural America through job loss. The senators also noted concern with RMA’s approach of proposing significant cuts to the program prior to the completion of a study of program delivery costs.