Washington — Minutes after the House defeated the Sugar Reform Amendment with a vote of 206-221, the overarching Farm Bill was also defeated in the GOP-led House. Many blame the defeat on the $20 billion in proposed Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts and last-minute amendments that further drove line-toeing Democrats away from a possible “yea.”
The NCA, however, sees a glimmer of hope in the defeat, as Congress will have to negotiate a new bill, leaving another opportunity for the 110 members of Congress who co-sponsored the sugar reform amendment to express their discontent with the current program.
“We created a strong coalition of partners to fight for sugar reform and visited every single member of Congress that does not have significant sugar growers in their district,” the NCA says. “We were persistent and met with some members of Congress up to five or six times before gaining their support.”
If a new bill is not passed, the country would revert back to a 1949 agricultural law — the current sugar program has not been reformed since — that would propose a whole new set of problems for the industry including skyrocketing crop prices and price support programs.