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Mike's Blog

Insights from the President of ProAg

Additional amendments to oppose on the floor of the US Senate

by Mike Connealy on 05.22.2013

This list of known amendments includes four which deserve special attention for our opposition (in addition to the previously cited Flake (R. Arizona).  We have touched on these in previous posts, just need to reiterate our need to actively oppose amendments designed to harm crop insurance.

The Durbin (D. Illinois) amendment #953 and co-sponsored by Coburn (R. Oklahoma) seeks to impose a means test on crop insurance premium subsidy. It would not only be an administrative nightmare for agents and companies, it would deteriorate the participation rates and it would cause underwriting results to also deteriorate in my opinion. It needs to be voted down.

Senator Begich (D. Alaska) surfaces as a mouthpiece for EWG on amendment #936 which seeks to disclose private information of farmers for crop insurance premium and subsidy information. This is another administrative nightmare and does not save any money or advance any purpose other than to dampen participation. It needs to be voted down.

Senator Shaheen (D. New Hampshire) also appears to be in the EWG camp and sponsors amendment #926 with Senator Toomey (R. Pennsylvania) which reading between the lines attempts to cap premium subsidy for farmers at $50,000. This is designed to dampen crop insurance participation and encourages the formation of new entities. It would also encourage farmers to “buy down” which runs counter to insurance principles. Good business decisions are not part of the EWG mantra and this amendment needs to be voted down.

Finally, Senator Gillibrand (D. New York) attempts to grind crop insurance claims payments to a halt via her amendment #944. In this amendment she seeks to set $50,000 as the point for a high dollar claims review. She apparently does not add any money to administer these added reviews. Perhaps she is just mis-informed about crop insurance or she wants the crop insurance process to resemble her home state experience with FEMA on Hurricane Sandy, regardless this ill advised amendment needs to be voted down if it is brought forward.

Questions or comments are welcome. More action alerts are possible!

Senate Floor Amendments.pdf

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