The government typically pays about 62 percent of the cost for the insurance, and also pays the insurance companies for administrative expenses. According to the GAO, the total cost neared $9 billion last year.
Coburn and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, recently asked leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee to look for ways to save money on crop insurance. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has defended the program, saying limits on subsidies could discourage participation and threaten its integrity.
Vote set on judicial nominations
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider the nominations of two Oklahomans for federal judgeships. Robert E. Bacharach, a federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, has been nominated for a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is a step below the U.S. Supreme Court.
John E. Dowdell, a Tulsa attorney, has been nominated for a U.S. district judgeship in Tulsa. Committee Republicans delayed a vote on those nominations and others on May 24.