Agriculture groups ask House lawmakers to oppose crop insurance means testing
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013- In an effort to preempt proposals that would place restrictions on federal crop insurance, a coalition of 47 agricultural groups sent a letter to House leaders asking them to oppose any adjusted gross income (AGI) means testing provisions for the program.
This year's Senate-passed farm bill included AGI means testing, but attempts to include similar provisions in the House farm bill failed.
“We are now disappointed to face yet another attack on crop insurance in the form of a Sense of the House, and we oppose this resolution,” the groups wrote in anticipation of a means testing proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the groups say the success of the current crop insurance system is reflected in the fact that no calls for taxpayer-financed ad hoc crop loss disaster assistance emerged after the severe drought of 2012.
“Arbitrarily assigning a means test for support would reduce program participation, resulting in a higher risk pool of insured producers, higher loss ratios over time and increased premium rates for those that remain in the program,” the letter further states. “Limiting crop insurance protection would also yield the unintended consequence of increased calls for ad hoc, off-budget disaster assistance.”
The groups also assert that means testing would discriminate against diversified farms and those producing fruits, vegetables and other high-value crops.
For the full letter and the list of signatories, click here.
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