America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.

Vote Alert

NTU urges all Senators to vote “YES” on S. Amendment 925, to S. 954, the Farm Bill.

May 22, 2013

NTU urges all Senators to vote “YES” on S. Amendment 925, to S. 954, the Farm Bill. This amendment, sponsored by Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Toomey (R-PA) as well as a broad group of other bipartisan supporters, would implement new free market reforms to current sugar policy.

As it stands, the U.S. sugar program costs consumers and businesses approximately $3.5 billion and 20,000 jobs each year via a complex web of  unnecessary trade restrictions, high price support levels, domestic supply restrictions, and import quotas that artificially inflate the price of sugar.

The 2008 Farm bill amended the program to include a $193 million taxpayer handout to sugar and ethanol producers that requires the government to buy surplus sugar and resell it at a loss to ethanol companies. This leaves taxpayers on the hook for funding an energy source that drives up the cost of gasoline and food. In essence, consumers pay for this program twice-over: once on April 15 and again at the pump, while ethanol producers practically get away with highway robbery.

Given our sluggish economic recovery and persistently high unemployment rate, Congress should seize opportunities to roll back market-distorting regulations, grow domestic jobs, and lower prices for consumers. At the same time, Congress shouldn’t be in the business of providing taxpayer-backed carveouts for specific industries. While the Shaheen-Toomey amendment wouldn’t fully repeal the sugar program, it implements important reforms that would increase flexibility in the sugar market, level the playing field, and begin getting taxpayers out of the sugar industry

Roll call votes on Amendment 925 to S. 954 will included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700