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Sugar Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, last week, liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz found himself agreeing with the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney. What issue could possibly unite liberals and conservatives? The answer is: sugar reform.

You see, sugar farmers and sugar processors benefit from a Federal sugar program that fixes prices and guarantees their profits. Indeed, Schultz noted that one of the biggest processors, American Crystal Sugar, makes $1.5 billion in revenue and pays its CEO $2.4 million a year in compensation.

While Schultz is, probably, mostly concerned about a labor dispute between American Crystal and its workers, I hope he will also consider the many other workers in sugar-using industries. The Federal program inflates the price of sugar in the U.S., placing American sugar users at a severe disadvantage to their foreign competition. In the last 15 years, more than 100,000 workers in sugar-using industries have lost their jobs.

I've been proud to work with Congressman Danny Davis to reform this program and to make it fair for everyone. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives agree that the government shouldn't be guaranteeing corporate profits at the expense of workers and consumers. I hope the Ag Committee will reform the sugar program as we deal with the farm bill.

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