House Passes 2-year Budget Deal, Promises to Reverse Cuts to Crop Insurance

Oct 29, 2015
Capitol switchboard overload
 Old-time switchboard
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 which raised the debt ceiling until March 2017 and increased federal spending by $80 billion over two years.  Fortunately for agriculture, the previously reported $3 billion cut to federal crop insurance will be reversed during the Appropriations process later this fall.

Thanks to hundreds of calls to Capitol Hill this week by the farm sector, 57 Members of the House of Representatives officially pledged to oppose the legislation if the cuts to crop insurance weren’t addressed.  Outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had no choice but to work with other leadership to come to an agreement to secure the bill’s passage.

USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely said, “I’m pleased that the agriculture community around the country was able to successfully coordinate the defense of one of our key safety net programs.  Reopening the Farm Bill at this point would directly go against everything that we stand for.”

Mosely added, “I’d really like to thank the rice industry for their engagement as 11 of the 57 Members that pledged to stand up for crop insurance also represent rice-growing Congressional Districts.  That participation is a direct effect of the calls our growers made to legislators on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

The Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 now heads to the Senate where it will be taken up as early as next week.  Earlier today, Senate Republican leaders also vowed to restore the cuts to crop insurance.  It remains unclear where the $3 billion in offsets will be found.