United States Senator Jeff Flake, (R-AZ) today introduced the Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act (S. 446) which would significantly reduce the amount of taxpayer dollars used to subsidize crop insurance. S. 446 returns federal crop insurance premium subsidies to their pre-Agriculture Risk Protection Act (ARPA) levels. ARPA was passed in 2000. Congressman John Duncan (R-TN) introduced the House companion to the bill.
Taxpayers spent $7.1 billion in 2012 on federal crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies for farmers, up from $1.4 billion in 2000 according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Even in years when the federal government takes in more in premiums than it dispenses in claims, a net loss still results because of the amount spent on crop insurance subsidies.
CBO also estimates that the Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act will save taxpayers $40.1 billion over ten years.
"The current U.S. fiscal crisis makes a strong argument for a commonsense roll back of crop insurance subsidies," said Flake. "I'm proud to have the support of Congressman Duncan in introducing this legislation, which offers an opportunity to have taxpayer-funded federal farm subsidies more realistically reflect our current fiscal situation."
"The crop insurance program has turned into a huge taxpayer-funded boon for some of the biggest, multi-national insurance companies and multi-millionaire farmers. In a time of record deficits and an incomprehensible $16.5 trillion in debt, this program can no longer be justified in its current form. Senator Flake and I have joined together to offer a common sense reform that shields taxpayers and protects family farms," said Duncan.
The Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act is supported by Environmental Working Group, Club for Growth, the R Street Institute, American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Individual Freedom, Competitive Enterprise Institute, ConservAmerica, Cost of Government Center, FreedomWorks, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Heritage Action for America, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.