Vote 'YES' on Reform Amendments to the Farm Bill | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Vote 'YES' on Reform Amendments to the Farm Bill

Letters to Officials

May 21, 2013
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support the following amendments to S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (commonly referred to as the 2013 Farm Bill), which is currently under your consideration.

• Amendment No. 925, offered by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), which would reform the federal sugar program. The legislation would encourage greater competition in the U.S. sugar market, without unnecessary and costly government intrusion, through the following changes to the program:

  • Repealing the additional import restrictions that were adopted in 2008;
  • Repealing the Feedstock Flexibility Program, a convoluted scheme that requires the U.S. government to purchase surplus sugar and re-sell it to ethanol plants at a loss to taxpayers; and,
  • Returning sugar price supports to their pre-2008 levels.

• Amendment No. 926, offered by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Pat Toomey, which would limit the premium subsidy to a maximum of $50,000 provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to agricultural producers.

• Amendment No. 936, offered by Sens. Mark Begich (D-Ak.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), which would provide for public disclosure of certain crop insurance information. This amendment would provide full transparency regarding recipients and amounts of crop insurance subsidies, similar to the transparency provided for direct payments.

• Amendment No. 953, offered by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), which would limit the amount of premium subsidy provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation on behalf of any person or legal entity with an average adjusted gross income in excess of $750,000.

• Amendment No. 1012, offered by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jeff Flake, which would strike a provision prohibiting the realization of significant savings in the event of a renegotiation of the standard reinsurance agreement (SRA). Current law specifically prohibits taxpayers from realizing significant budget savings in the event of renegotiation of the SRA, and, while the amendment would not require a new SRA to realize significant savings, it would at least allow the opportunity to realize such savings. Congress should not be prohibiting the federal government from negotiating savings on behalf of taxpayers.

• Amendment No. 1013, offered by Sen. Jeff Flake, which would amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to prohibit the paying of premium subsidies on policies based on the actual market price of an agricultural commodity at the time of harvest (the so-called “harvest price option” or HPO.) Payouts under HPO plans cost taxpayers an extra $6 billion alone.

Lawmakers should support efforts to reduce the cost and increase the transparency and efficiency of all farm programs. All votes on S. 954 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2013 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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