This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 206-221 against the Pitts-Davis-Goodlatte-Blumenauer amendment to reform the sugar program. This bipartisan amendment would have reformed domestic supply restrictions, lowered price support levels and ensured adequate sugar supplies at reasonable prices, rolling back unnecessary provisions added in 2008 that unfairly benefit wealthy sugar farmers at the expense of consumers.
"I am disappointed that the House has rejected our bipartisan effort to reform an outdated and failed sugar policy," said Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA). "Taxpayers could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in bailouts to big sugar over the coming years. Tens of thousands of jobs across the country are at risk because of the inflated price of sugar caused by this poor government policy. Sugar is the only commodity in the bill not being reformed. Simply put, the consumer, taxpayers and workers lost today."
"I am pleased by the work of my fellow Caucus Members, but yet am disappointed that the House voted against the Sugar Reform Amendment," said Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL). "This amendment would support 600,000 U.S. food manufacturing jobs in all 50 states and remove the billions of dollars in annual hidden food tax on consumers. If the FARRM Bill was truly about reform and savings; reforming the flawed Sugar Program was the easiest place to start and most sensible for saving taxpayers' money. I look forward to working with the Sugar Reform Caucus and Coalition in moving common sense approaches and reforming the Sugar Program."
"Artificially inflated sugar prices created by the Farm Bill's command and control sugar program threatens the competitiveness of American food manufacturers and costs consumers and businesses an estimated $3.5 billion and 20,000 jobs each year," said Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). "While I am disappointed that this amendment did not pass the House, I am encouraged by the growing support for reform of the sugar program. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to reform this costly program for consumers and support American businesses and families."
"This amendment would have made the Farm Bill smarter and more efficient, and I am disappointed it did not pass" said Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). "We were simply talking about returning to the 2002 provisions, which are generous enough. Someday we will get true reform, but, in the short term, this would have been a small fix to the sugar program, which is wasteful and inefficient. I hope that our discussion today on the House floor, and the very close vote we took, will finally help this issue get the attention that it deserves."