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PIA Advocacy Leads to Pledge to Reverse Crop Insurance Cuts

In just 48 hours last week, grassroots action by PIA agents and supporters of crop insurance got congressional leadership to pledge to reverse course on $3 billion in cuts to the federal crop insurance program...
November 7, 2015

In just 48 hours last week, grassroots action by PIA agents and supporters of crop insurance got congressional leadership to pledge to reverse course on $3 billion in cuts to the federal crop insurance program.

On October 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1314, the "Bipartisan Budget Agreement Act." The bill raises the debt ceiling and sets the federal budget for two years. In order to pay for part of it, the deal calls for a severe cut of $3 billion to the federal crop insurance program. The deal had been negotiated in secret between President Obama and outgoing House Speaker John Boehner.

Over the next two days, members of PIA conducted an intensive grassroots campaign, blanketing Congress with messages urging that no cuts be made to the crop insurance program. Due to the fast moving process on the budget agreement, it was not possible to remove the cuts from the larger budget deal because it would have upended the agreement, which was then passed by the Senate in the early morning hours of October 30.

House Agriculture committee staff were able to get the House leadership to commit to reverse the cut to crop insurance when Congress takes up the appropriations measure to fund the federal government, which must take place by December 11. Chairman Michael Conaway's (R-TX) issued a press release with this pledge.

On October 29, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), during a colloquy on the Senate floor, pledged to work with the House to reverse the cuts to crop insurance when the upcoming federal funding measure is taken up. This colloquy on the Senate floor can be viewed here. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) also noted his determination to reverse the cuts. Other Senators who spoke on the floor about reversing the cuts were Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and John Thune (R-SD). Chairman Roberts issued a press release through the Senate Agriculture Committee.

PIA will continue to work with our allies to hold congressional leadership to their word.

"PIA thanks the House and Senate leadership for quickly responding to the calls from their constituents by pledging to reverse the cuts to the crop insurance program," said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile. "These cuts would seriously jeopardize private sector delivery of crop insurance, part of a successful public-private partnership. America's farmers and consumers deserve better."