In a significant win for the Big “I," the budget does not include any cuts to the Federal Crop Insurance Program and included some important language regarding workers compensation.
Last week, President Joe Biden released his FY2023 budget outlining his priorities for the coming year. It is important to note that presidential budgets are non-binding and generally act as a roadmap for the administration's priorities for Congress.
Following a letter the Big “I" sent urging the Biden administration to avoid cuts to the Federal Crop Insurance Program, the Big "I" is happy to report that the FY23 budget includes no cuts to the FCIP. Budgets in previous administrations have included deep cuts to the program, so this is welcome news and a significant win for the Big “I."
The Big “I," along with its crop coalition partners, issued a statement noting, “We appreciate this Administration for fully funding crop insurance in its proposed budget. We urge Congress to follow suit by protecting and strengthening crop insurance."
In other budget news important to the insurance industry, President Biden's Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ) document for the Department of Labor (DOL) included some important language regarding workers compensation. CBJs are submitted by executive branch agencies to support the president's annual budget request. Among other things, CBJs are intended to be plain-language explanations for how agencies propose to spend funding that they request from congressional appropriators.
The CBJ noted that the "Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) proposes to reinstate the monitoring of the state workers compensation program data, and beginning in 2024 will begin to produce an annual report on changes to state workers' compensation programs in order to determine the effect that changes to state workers' compensation laws have had on federal programs. OWCP will also issue some ad hoc reports related to federal workers' compensation issues."
Should Congress consider important pieces of President Biden's budget proposal in the coming weeks and months, the Big “I" will continue to provide updates through the weekly News & Views e-newsletter.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs. Joseph Cortina is staff administrator, Big “I" crop insurance subcommittee.