Senate votes to cut crop insurance help for the wealthiest farmers in five-year farm bill

WASHINGTON – The Senate has approved an amendment that would limit the amount of government subsidies the wealthiest farmers receive when purchasing crop insurance.

The amendment is the biggest victory so far for critics of a massive, five-year farm bill that would cost almost $100 billion a year and includes generous subsidies for the nation’s biggest crops. Supporters have deflected other attempts this week to reduce government help for agriculture, including efforts to trim sugar subsidies and crop insurance.

The amendment by Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma would reduce the government’s share of crop insurance premiums for farmers with adjusted gross incomes of more than $750,000. It was approved 59-33.

Currently the government pays for an average 62 per cent of crop insurance premiums.