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Public Statements

Senate Sugar Vote

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I want to praise my colleague from Pennsylvania, Senator Toomey, for introducing an amendment to the farm bill to phase out the Federal sugar program. Though the Senate narrowly voted to table the amendment, it demonstrated that there is substantial bipartisan support to reform a program that hurts American job creators and consumers.

Today's Wall Street Journal editorial entitled ``A Tale of Two Conservatives'' also praises Senator Toomey and calls out the Republicans who voted against this free-market amendment.

By some estimates, the Federal sugar program artificially doubles the price of sugar in the United States. While we protect sugar growers and processors, sugar users and consumers are at a severe disadvantage. American jobs have been lost as foreign competitors benefit from reduced prices for raw sugar.

The Department of Commerce estimates that sugar-using industries lost 112,000 jobs from 1997 to 2009. Here in the House, I'm working with Danny Davis on a bipartisan amendment to the farm bill. I hope that when the Chamber considers reforming the farm bill, Democrats and Republicans can come together to protect jobs and stop the government from playing favorites.

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