January 28, 2020

Farm Bill; and, COOL

Categories: Farm Bill

Farm Bill: Crop Insurance

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “Larger farmers would have to pay higher crop-insurance premiums under an amendment added to the Senate version of the farm bill on Thursday.

“Repeating a provision they introduced last year, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., got senators to back a plan that would lower the premium subsidy for farmers making more than $750,000 adjusted gross income. The vote was 59-33 despite opposition from leaders on the Senate Agriculture Committee.”

Note that a copy of the amendment (SA 953) was included in Monday’s Congressional Record at page Senate S3629 and can be viewed by clicking here.

Mr. Clayton explained that, “Under the Durbin-Coburn provision, those farmers making more than $750,000 would see their premium subsidy lowered from 62% to 47%.

“Durbin and Coburn said their amendment would affect about 20,000 farmers and save $1 billion over 10 years. They also each noted that roughly 4% of farmers account for nearly 33% of all the premium support for the federal government. Those figures come from a Government Accounting Office report last year.”

A video replay of the discussion between Sens. Durbin, Coburn and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), which preceded the vote on the amendment, can be viewed here.  In the clip, each lawmaker made their respective arguments for supporting (Durbin, Coburn) the proposal, or alternatively, opposing (Stabenow) the amendment.