Big 'I' Supports House Approval of Farm Bill

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America says it supports the U.S. House passage of the "Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013."

H.R. 2642, known as Farm Bill, passed narrowly by a 216-208 vote. The House version of the bill eliminates the $5 billion a year in direct payments and correctly places more of an emphasis on the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) as the primary mechanism to protect America’s farmland, the Big "I" says.

“The Big ’I’ is pleased to see that the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) serves as the primary risk management tool in FARRM,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “Independent agents continue to play an integral role in the success of the crop program and serve as trusted advisors to farmers seeking protection for their farmland.”

The House bill only addresses the agriculture aspects of the Farm Bill and cuts a proposal within the bill to reauthorize the food stamp program, which has been included in previous Farm Bills.

The Big "I" says it was particularly happy another amendment by Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis. and Tom Petri, R-Wis. to cap total crop insurance premium subsidies was defeated in debate and not included in the bill. 

“The amendment would have sharply reduced the availability and affordability of crop insurance and it would have undermined private sector delivery of this important risk management tool,” says Jen McPhillips, senior director of federal government affairs, of the Kind-Petri amendment.

The House and Senate will now conference their versions of the bill. The current Farm Bill is operating under an extension that is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2013.

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