Posted on Mar 07 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today introduced a bill to reduce duplicative subsidy payments in the agriculture industry. This legislation – simultaneously introduced in the House by Congressman John Duncan (R-Tenn.) – would amend the Agricultural Act of 2014 to prohibit farmers from collecting payments from commodity programs as well as federal crop insurance subsidies. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would save taxpayers more than $60 billion over ten years.
Under current law, farmers who are eligible to sign up for traditional commodity subsidies under the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs may collect up to $125,000 per year when the price of their crop or average crop revenue falls below a certain level. Farmers may also sign up for the federal crop insurance program, which has no payment limit and on average subsidizes more than half the cost of premiums at taxpayers’ expense. As a result, some farm businesses receive more than $1 million per year in subsidized insurance premiums. This legislation would require farmers to choose between receiving coverage under the federal crop insurance program or under ARC/PLC.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay twice for the same loss,” said Flake. “It’s time to pass this commonsense bill and put an end to this $60 billion Farm Bill boondoggle.”
“Our crop insurance system is not fair to the 99-percent of business owners in my District who do not get subsidies from the federal government to run their business. Under the current structure of these programs, the American taxpayer is paying double in farm subsidy payments,” said Duncan. “I am pleased to introduce this bicameral bill that will save taxpayers billions of dollars by presenting farmers the choice of which crop insurance they may claim and not double dip in crop insurance plans.”
To view a full-text PDF of the bill, click here.
The Flake-Duncan bill is supported by the R Street Institute, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Individual Freedom, Coalition to Reduce Spending, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Environmental Working Group, FreedomWorks, Independent Women’s Voice, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.