U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would save taxpayers more than two billion dollars by capping federal crop insurance premiums for the largest farm businesses. The bill would cap crop insurance premium subsidies at $50,000, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would reduce the deficit by about $2.2 billion over 10 years.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for a crop insurance program that benefits large companies that don’t need it,” Senator Shaheen said. “Crop insurance subsidies for big businesses are an example of egregious government spending that we can do without. We are proposing a common-sense reform that will save taxpayers billions of dollars, and we ought to act on this bipartisan proposal immediately.”
“There’s no reason why the federal government should be spending more than $1 million, in some cases, to subsidize insurance policies for large Agri-businesses,” Senator Toomey said. “Since 2000, total federal spending has more than doubled, this open-ended entitlement needs to be reined in. Washington needs to work to bring our deficit under control, and this legislation offers us the opportunity to save about $2.2 billion and make common-sense reforms to a bloated crony-capitalist program.”
The cost of the federal crop insurance program has dramatically increased in recent years, and the program currently contains no dollar limitation on the amount of premium subsidy an individual business can receive from the federal government. In 2011 alone, 26 businesses received more than $1 million each in taxpayer dollars. According to the Government Accountability Office, just 2.5 percent of producers nationwide would have been affected by a $50,000 premium support limit in 2011.