The Biden administration released its fiscal year 2022 (FY22) budget request on May 28. The Budget request is released every year by each administration and amounts to a wish list of what that administrations’ funding priorities are for the year. While it is never enacted exactly as it is released, a budget request sets the tone for the debate as the House and Senate appropriations committees work to fund federal government programs throughout the year.
In a major victory for the advocacy of PIA and our allies, the budget released by the White House asks for $27.8 billion for the Agriculture Department — a 16 percent increase — and importantly for PIA includes no cuts to crop insurance.
This is a welcome development as billions of dollars in cuts to crop insurance have been included in presidential budget requests for much of the last decade. Administrations from both parties have tried to cut funding to the crop insurance program using the budget and appropriations process in recent years. Last year, the FY21 budget request recommended an eight percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and crop insurance specifically would have been cut by $25 billion over the next decade. In 2015, a budget package included a $3 billion cut to the program, but PIA and its allies successfully pushed for a measure to reverse the cuts.
PIA has been actively advocating against any cuts to the crop insurance program throughout 2021. PIA members from around the country advocated against cuts to the program during the 2021 PIA Advocacy Day, and PIA worked with a large coalition of organizations to send letters to Congress and the administration urging them to protect crop insurance from funding cuts in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget and appropriations process. The letters were addressed to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the leaders of the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations committees. PIA and this loose coalition of groups followed up on these letters with several meetings with committee staff and other policymakers.
The absence of cuts to the federal crop insurance program in the budget request is very helpful for our efforts, but we will continue to work with Congress and the new administration to ensure the program remains intact throughout the appropriations process.