Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after the Senate accepted Durbin-Coburn amendment #953 by a vote of 59-33. This amendment is a reasonable step that asks our wealthiest farmers to cover more of their risk by reducing the level of federal premium support for crop insurance participants with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) over $750,000 by 15 percentage points for all buy-up policies beyond catastrophic coverage. Further, when fully implemented, this amendment would save $1 billion dollars over ten years.
"Four percent of the most profitable farmers in America account for nearly 33 percent of all the premium support from the federal government. All we are asking with today's amendment is for the wealthiest of farmers -- those most able to cover more of their own risk -- to help us balance out that inequality. By reducing this unbalanced subsidy for only the top one percent of farmers in America, we can save a billion dollars without putting anyone at risk. Today's bipartisan vote shows the Senate is capable of reaching across the aisle to tackle the debt with common sense reforms," said Durbin and Coburn.