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In response to abuses, Shaheen underscores need to rein in wasteful crop insurance spending

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is calling for crop insurance subsidy reforms after a report was released this morning indicating the federal government paid out $11.3 million between 1995 and 2012 in taxpayer-funded subsidies to billionaires.  According to the report, dozens of billionaires are receiving millions of taxpayer-funded crop insurance subsidies. The report underscores the need to pass Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to reform the subsidy program with limitations on crop insurance premium support and calls for increased transparency. The new report was issued by the Environmental Working Group.

“Billionaires don’t need taxpayer-funded subsidies.  This report highlights exactly the type of flagrant government spending that needs reform,” Shaheen said. “The Farm Bill offers a great opportunity to implement key reforms that will save taxpayers billions by fixing our crop insurance program and I hope we don’t let it pass us by.”

During the Senate Farm Bill consideration, Shaheen introduced a bipartisan amendment with Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) to cap crop insurance premium subsidies at $50,000, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would reduce the deficit by about $3.4 billion over 10 years.  According to the Government Accountability Office, fewer than 4 percent of producers would have been affected by a $50,000 premium support limit in 2011.

Shaheen also supported a successful bipartisan amendment to the Senate Farm Bill to limit crop insurance subsidies for high-income producers.