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Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

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Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of a bipartisan, straightforward amendment that I introduced with my colleague, Congressman Radel of Florida, that will help maximize the efficiency of taxpayer dollars used in the Federal crop insurance program.

Periodically, the USDA, through the Risk Management Agency, renegotiates its agreement with private crop insurers for the delivery and administration of Federal crop insurance. These negotiations, known as Standard Reinsurance Agreements, do not affect the premium subsidies paid to farmers and instead focus on the percent of gains or losses assumed by taxpayers and the level of crop insurance administrative and operating costs paid by the Federal Government.

The most recent negotiation was finalized in 2010 and yielded $6 billion in savings. Of these savings, $4 billion was used to reduce the Federal deficit, and the remaining $2 billion was put back into farm programs to supplement conservation efforts and improve certain products provided through the Federal crop insurance program.

Our amendment simply maintains current law by striking a provision in the bill requiring that any savings from future Standard Reinsurance Agreements be put back into the Federal crop insurance program. This amendment continues to respect the importance of a robust farm safety net while maintaining USDA's tools to improve Federal crop insurance, reduce the deficit, and strengthen conservation programs within the farm bill.

Our amendment is supported by taxpayer advocates as well as the environmental community who share the same goal of ensuring that the Federal crop insurance program works for farmers and for taxpayers.

I want to thank my colleague from Florida for working with me on this amendment, and I urge its support. Thank you for your consideration.

I yield to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Radel).

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Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire as to how much time I have remaining?

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Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to close by thanking the gentleman from Florida for his assistance on this amendment and just to ask my colleagues to think about what we've been trying to do since I came to this House in 2011, which is to get a budget balanced and to find savings wherever we can.

This is an opportunity to use savings from the renegotiations of these agreements for deficit reduction and other things that the USDA might deem appropriate. So I want to thank my colleague for that, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

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