ABA is disappointed in the outcome of the House of Representatives' vote last week on H.R. 2642. The revised “Farm Only” bill that addressed commodity policies but did not include government feeding programs, eliminated the historical 1949 permanent Farm Bill law, removing expiration dates for programs. This change greatly weakens future opportunities to leverage reform of farm policies, including the current sugar subsidy program that stifles bakers. The current U.S. Sugar Program has caused bakers to pay between 64 to 92 percent more for sugar over the last four years – that means higher costs for both bakers and consumers. A statement from ABA is below:
Statement from ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie on the House passage of H.R. 2642:
“Yesterday’s House passage of the “Farm – Only” bill locks in place outdated farm policy such as the U.S. Sugar Program. This provision will make it more difficult to reform federal commodity policy in the future such as the U.S. Sugar Program.
This is most disconcerting as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just announced it was forced to purchase almost 92,000 tons of surplus sugar at a loss of over $43 million to American taxpayers.
Instead of choosing a route that would allow for open debate and modest reforms, the House has decided to move forward with legislation that defies logic and common sense, and makes a mockery of sound agriculture policy.
Yesterday’s vote ensures that the arcane U.S. Sugar Program, which stifles bakers’ and other food manufacturers’ ability to hire and contribute to economic growth, is now a permanent fixture in our nation’s farm law.”