June 11, 2014
An Open Letter to the United States Congress:
Support Amendments to Reform Crop Insurance
On behalf of the millions of members of the undersigned organizations, we urge your support for two key amendments to H.R. 4800, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2015.
First, we encourage all members to vote in favor of Rep. DeLauro’s amendment to prohibit funding for outreach and education regarding federal crop insurance supports to farms with an adjusted gross income above $250,000. The federal crop insurance program serves as the main support for most farmers, and the recent farm bill expands its scope even further. Without proper controls, it will be an unjustifiable burden for taxpayers while primarily benefiting a small number of wealthy agribusinesses, which should bear more of their business risk themselves given mounting concerns about the size of our federal budget.
The House is already on record in favor of limiting crop insurance subsidies for wealthy farmers. During the recent farm bill process, a Sense of the House passed in favor of reducing premium support for those with an adjusted gross income above $750,000. Thus, simply limiting education and outreach to those with an AGI above $250,000 should be an easy vote for those who supported the much more stringent measure in late 2013. We urge you to take this step and limit the advertisement of subsidies to the richest Americans and their businesses.
Second, we hope all members will support an amendment from Reps. Kind, Petri, Sanford, Polis, Speier, and Duncan defunding USDA’s concealment of recipients of crop insurance premium support. Given that 26 farm businesses receive more than $1 million in premium support alone, it is simply unacceptable that taxpayers are unable to see who benefits from their support.
Reforming our nation’s farm programs to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability should be a high priority for all members. We urge you to take this opportunity and make important changes toward that goal by voting yes on these amendments.
R Street Institute
Americans for Tax Reform
Campaign for Liberty
Center for Individual Freedom
Cost of Government Center
National Taxpayers Union
Taxpayers Protection Alliance