Coalition hopes close vote signals momentum for reform this year.
In response to the Senate’s narrow defeat of an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, which would have modestly reformed the costly U.S. sugar program, the Coalition for Sugar Reform released the following statement.
“While we are disappointed the Senate voted to maintain the status quo—which costs consumers and businesses billions of dollars each year and the U.S. economy thousands of jobs—we are encouraged by the strong show of bipartisan support for reform. We urge Members of the House to have the courage to stand up for consumers and businesses by changing course when the 2012 Farm Bill reaches the chamber.
“This is the closest Senate vote in decades. Designed in the 1930s as a program to exclusively benefit domestic sugar producers, the program has long outlived its usefulness—and today’s vote signals that on both sides of the aisle there is broad agreement on this fact.
“We applaud the leadership of a bipartisan group of Senators—Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Richard Lugar, Richard Durbin, Mark Kirk, Pat Toomey, Dan Coats, Rob Portman, Dianne Feinstein, Sheldon Whitehouse and Kelly Ayotte—who have worked tirelessly in support of reform. We applaud the 46 Senators who stood up for American jobs and consumers, and we are disappointed in the 53 who chose the ‘business as usual’ approach instead.
“Far from a ‘done deal,’ the House now has an opportunity to build on the widespread support for reform and allow open debate on the costs of the sugar program and the merits of reform, both in committee and on the House Floor.”
For more information about U.S. sugar policy and why reform is long overdue to protect the nation’s consumers, food manufacturers and small businesses, visit www.SugarReform.org.