Dear CIPA Member:
We know that many of you have already emailed and called your Congressmen and Senators. However, we have been told by many that the White House and Congressional Leadership regard the issue as closed.
In response, Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson are circulating a letter that they hope as many House Members as possible will sign onto. The deadline to sign is COB today.
The GOP Committee contact for signing the letter is Chris Heggem (firstname.lastname@example.org) and for Ranking Members Peterson’s team it is Mike Stranz (email@example.com).
Please take a moment to send this letter to your Congressman (NOT senators) urging them to sign.
The CSA Crew
It has come to our attention that the “Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015” contains a provision that violates our pledge not to reopen the 2014 Farm Bill and would inflict serious injury on America’s farmers and ranchers at a time when net farm income is projected to be down by 53 percent over the past two years.
Section 201 of the bill is widely expected to end Federal Crop Insurance, which is critical to producers and lenders alike.
Specifically, the provision proposes to reduce rates of return to crop insurance companies from a gross of about 14.5 percent down to a gross of 8.9 percent. However, this does not tell the real story. Since 2011 actual returns to companies have averaged about 5 percent, and factoring in costs, the average returns are much closer to zero. The reduction contained in section 201 would kill private sector delivery which is responsible for the success of Federal Crop Insurance.
Not even two years have passed since we made a commitment with the passage of a bipartisan 5-year farm bill that included $23 billion in savings. The current Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 breaks that promise.
Nobody consulted the Agriculture Committees of Congress when this provision was included in the bill, the details of which were not posted until the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 27. Instead, a reckless provision of devastating consequences was quite literally inserted in a backroom in the middle of the night.
This provision must be removed from the bill. If it is not stripped from the bill, we will have no choice but to work to defeat this measure.
Chairman K. Michael Conaway Ranking Member Collin Peterson