On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget released a proposed budget for FY2020 that includes cuts to the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP), as well as changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The proposal includes $26 billion in cuts to the FCIP and proposed means-testing for the NFIP, among other things. While Congress may consider some proposals from President Trump’s budget during its budgeting process, Congress generally develops its own separate and distinct budget.
In anticipation of President Trump’s proposal, the Big “I” joined a long list of insurance, commodity, farm, environmental and lending groups in sending two letters opposing cuts to the FCIP in late February. The Big “I” also released a joint statement opposing the cuts and met with congressional budget staff to express opposition to the proposal.
The FCIP is an example of a successful public-private partnership and independent agents play an important role in selling and servicing crop insurance under the FCIP. The Big “I” will continue to fight against cuts to the program.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Chris Heidrick, chair of the Big “I” Flood Insurance Taskforce, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on reauthorization of the NFIP and affordability issues. Late last week, the committee released discussion drafts of legislation on the NFIP, which included a pilot program to provide affordability assistance to low-income homeowners.
The Big “I” was the only insurance trade association to testify at the hearing. The Big “I” supports a long-term reauthorization of a modernized and transparent NFIP that would increase take-up rates for flood insurance in both the NFIP and private market.
Protecting the FCIP and modernizing the NFIP will be important issues at the upcoming Big “I” Legislative Conference, to take place May 8-10 in Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Webb is Big “I” federal government affairs counsel.