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Senate Bill Would Limit Crop Insurance Subsidies

Contact: 
(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A new bill introduced Wednesday by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) aims to cap crop insurance subsidies, a reform that Environmental Working Group has long advocated.

The bipartisan legislation would limit premium subsidies paid by the badly broken federal program at $70,000 per farm each year.

“We welcome this much-needed reform legislation,” said Craig Cox, EWG’s senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “Congress missed an opportunity during the renewal of the last farm bill to fix the flawed crop insurance program by putting some limit on the amount of subsidies that farm operations can get to lower the cost of their insurance policies. The largest and most financially secure farm businesses harvest most of those subsidies, and this bill is a good start toward leveling the playing field.”

Under current law, there is no limit on premium support. As a result, 26 policy holders received more than $1 million apiece in taxpayer-funded crop insurance subsidies in 2011, and more than 10,000 policyholders received more than $100,000 each, EWG’s research showed.

“For years, Congress has limited the amount of traditional farm subsidies a producer can receive,” said Cox. “It just makes sense to put similar limits on the much larger subsidies that lower crop policy premiums.”

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