by Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor
Sen. Jeff Flake continues going after crop insurance with his plan to cut the Harvest Price Option.
Flake and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., introduced the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office projected would save taxpayers $19 billion over 10 years. That's actually a higher projection than the savings projected from the White House Office of Budget and Management, which projected $16 billion in savings by making similar cuts to the premium subsidy for the Harvest Price Option.
Flake noted last week in his news release on the announcement that when he proposed such a cut in 2013, the projected saving was about $9 billion. It has since doubled.
This push on crop insurance takes us to the House Agriculture Committee, which is going to spend two days next week doing a “top-down” review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, believes there are still savings to be had in SNAP despite the decline in people using the program over the past two years. Conaway has been determined to put SNAP under a microscope and now that he has the gavel he's seizing that opportunity.
It's going to uncomfortable for farmers who use crop insurance when the House Aggies hold hearings on SNAP while fellow Republicans such as Flake are pointing to the budget savings that can be found in crop insurance.
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