Senators Looking to Cut Farm Spending

While the Senate Agriculture Committee may have passed a new draft of the farm bill, many Senators remain unsympathetic to the needs of the farm community, with a bipartisan groups of legislators committed to cutting farm spending in the 2013 Farm Bill.
After about a year of delays, the Senate finally took action on the farm bill, passing a new draft of the vital legislation and bringing it to the floor for a vote. While the draft of the bill already cuts about $23 billion in spending over the next 10 years, some Senators are hoping to trim more from the bill, with a bipartisan group of Senators looking to cut crop insurance.
Crop insurance has been a godsend to many farmers, particularly after last year’s devastating drought that crippled production across the Midwest. Many farmers were only able to make ends meet thanks to crop insurance payments.
Some legislators, however, are uncomfortable with the ever increasing price tag of crop insurance. With weather in the US becoming more and more unpredictable, crop insurance payments are going up, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Pat Toomey (Arizona and Pennsylvania) recently joined with Democratic Senators Claire McCaskill and Jean Shaheen (Missouri and New Hampshire) to put further caps on crop insurance in order to address deficit concerns.
Agricultural leaders like Debbie Stabenow and Thad Cochrane, however, have expressed concerns that further cuts to crop insurance will destabilize farm safety nets.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer