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Friday, December 4, 2015

Highway Bill Passes and Includes Crop Insurance Fix

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is a five-year legislation to improve roads, bridges, transit systems and the rail transportation network.

Also included in the FAST Act is a provision eliminating the $3 billion in cuts to the federal crop insurance program that were included in the budget agreement in late October. The conference report includes language that specifically repeals the insurance cut as of Nov. 2, the date the budget agreement was enacted.

Thursday, December 3, The House voted to pass the FAST Act 359-65. The FAST Act then moved to the Senate side for voting last night. The Senate voted on final passage of the FAST Act, 83-16. The final step will be the President's signature, which should happen before the end of the day.

Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Jean Shaheen (D-NH) forced a vote on the crop insurance provision by raising a point of order against including the repeal provision. The Senate rejected their move, 75-22.

As you may know, Congress recently passed a bipartisan budget deal that included cuts in payments to crop insurance providers. After reviewing the text of the budget and hearing input from our farming community, Senator McConnell went to the Senate floor to participate in a colloquy with Senators Roberts, Cornyn, and Thune where they promised to look at alternative ways to repeal these cuts.

Senator McConnell worked with the conferees appointed to work on the Highway Bill Conference agreement to include a provision that repeals the $3 billion cut to the crop insurance program.

For more details on the FAST Act, click here.

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