“YES” on the Toomey-Shaheen Sugar Amendment
Earlier this month, the Senate voted on the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (S.954), more commonly known as the “farm bill.” According to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, the Toomey-Shaheen amendment would have saved $82 million over the next ten years by making changes to America’s dysfunctional sugar policy.
Specifically, the Toomey-Shaheen Amendment would have repealed the Feedstock Flexibility Program that requires the government to buy up surplus sugar if the price of sugar falls below a certain target price and then requires the government to sell that surplus sugar to ethanol companies at a loss. The amendment would also have lowered the price support levels for sugar and removed the guarantee for domestic sugar producers that they get at least 85% of domestic sugar demand and provided the Secretary of Agriculture with discretion to modify or suspend this guarantee.
Despite claims that it is “zero cost” to taxpayers, the current sugar program distorts the price of sugar products for consumers. It also inflates sugar prices by capping the amount that manufacturers and consumers in the U.S. can import from foreign
Heritage Action supported the Toomey-Shaheen Sugar Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.