Oct 27 2015
Heitkamp Working with Senate Agriculture Committee Leaders to Address Cuts to Crop Insurance in Budget Deal
Senator Worked to Strengthen Crop Insurance Program in 2014 Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, today issued the following statement on the budget deal which proposes dire cuts to crop insurance and reopens the 2014 Farm Bill. Heitkamp helped write, negotiate, and pass the Farm Bill which strengthened crop insurance to give producers certainty.
“We need long-term solutions to set the country on a strong fiscal path forward and give workers and business owners the certainty they need to do their jobs and support their families,” said Heitkamp. “But those solutions cannot come at the expense of our farmers or result in reopening the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill – an all too rare comprehensive bill that passed last Congress. During the negotiations of the Farm Bill, I made clear that crop insurance – a critical program that supports farmers who feed the country and the world – must not be harmed. In the final bill, we strengthened this cornerstone of the farm safety net while reducing the deficit by $23 billion and providing five years of certainty for farmers. Or so we thought.
“But now, this budget deal throws that bipartisan legislation that was negotiated in good faith to the wind with no input from members of the Agriculture Committees. We cannot undermine a program that brings needed support to jobs and families in rural America and which has already seen $12 billion in cuts since 2008. That isn’t fair, especially at a time when our producers face low prices and economic uncertainty. Working with leaders on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, I’m looking for a path forward to prevent these devastating cuts to crop insurance.”