Mr. FLEISCHMANN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about sugar. As conservatives, we have a duty to speak out against programs that use regulations to stifle the free market, protect special interests, and have outlived their purpose. There are few programs that better fit this than the current system of price supports, import restrictions, and production quotas that make up our sugar program.
Under this system, the government sets price supports, ensuring that producers have a guaranteed income, no matter what world prices are. Sugar imports are also kept to a minimum, preventing real competition.
But this is not the end of the meddling. Sugar producers have strict sales quotas. Any excess sugar gets bought by the government and then is sold to ethanol producers, usually at a loss to the taxpayer.
This means many things. It means consumers pay billions in higher sugar costs, thousands of jobs are lost in the food industry, and government continues to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.
This week, we will have a chance to vote on an amendment to the FARRM Bill that makes substantial reforms to the program and is estimated by the CBO to save taxpayers $73 million. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and free our sugar from government's heavy hand.