The Community Bankers Association of Illinois (CBAI) joined with 417 state and national organizations in signing a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives urging support for crop insurance in the Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018 - H.R. 2 (Farm Bill or Bill). The letter highlighted the importance of crop insurance as a critically important risk management tool for farmers, ranchers and the lenders that finance their operations. The letter urges lawmakers to oppose harmful amendments to the Bill that would reduce or limit participation in crop insurance, make insurance more expensive in times of economic downturn, and harm private-sector delivery. Read Comment Letter.
CBAI has been actively engaged in the development of a robust Farm Bill. In a July 31, 2017 letter to the Illinois members of the U. S. House Agriculture Committee, CBAI urged the adoption of a new multi-year farm bill which incorporates several broad principals to prevent a future farm credit crisis and enable produces and lenders to engage in sound planning and business decision making. The number one principal stated in that letter was “providing producers ample funds for commodities, crop insurance and credit programs to help them weather a potential farm income or farm credit crisis.” Read Letters to Illinois Ag Committee Members.
During the floor debate on the Farm Bill in the House, a harmful amendment that would have phased out the discount that farmers receive when they pay their crop insurance bill, and simultaneously phasing out the reimbursement to the private sector for efficiently and effectively delivering crop insurance to farmers, was offered and soundly defeated by a bipartisan 380-34 vote. No Illinois member of the U.S. House voted in favor of this harmful amendment.
While the Farm Bill was offered and defeated in the House on May 18th by a 198-213 vote, a motion to reconsider the Bill was passed and negotiations continue. The House is planning a second vote on June 22nd and the Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conway (R-TX-11th) said that the House would deliver legislation by the September 30th deadline.