PIA, along with a coalition of our allies, sent Congress and the Biden administration letters on January 27 urging them to protect crop insurance from funding cuts in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) 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.
Despite the critical role crop insurance plays in protecting farmers from natural and economic disasters and in supporting rural economies, presidents of both parties have historically tried to cut crop insurance funding using the budget and appropriations process. The FY21 budget request included an eight percent cut to the USDA, and crop insurance specifically would have been cut by $25 billion over the next decade. In 2015, Congress cut $3 billion from the program, but PIA and its allies successfully pushed for a statutory reversal to the cuts. PIA and its allies have, time and time again, protected the crop insurance program from such cuts.
PIA has been working with a coalition of organizations that represent every part of the crop supply chain to protect the funding of the federal crop insurance program. In 2021, our advocacy paid off, when, in a victory for PIA and our allies, the FY22 budget request released by the White House sought $27.8 billion for the USDA—representing a 16 percent increase—and, importantly for PIA’s crop insurance agents, included no cuts to the crop insurance program. This was especially welcome because billions of dollars in cuts to crop insurance have been included in presidential budget requests for most of the last decade.
This year, PIA will continue to advocate to protect the crop insurance program. In addition, with the Farm Bill up for reauthorization at the end of 2023, PIA will continue its work to ensure policymakers understand the critical role PIA’s independent agent members play in protecting crops and ensuring a safe, strong, and dependable food supply.