The House overwhelmingly rejected proposed changes to the sugar program with a vote of 278 to 137. North Carolina Representative Virginia Fox sponsored the amendment, saying sugar is treated differently than all other commodities. “It is the only program that provides both loan support and supply management,” said Fox, “Supply management is the ugly cousin of direct payments; it rewards inactivity.” House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson represents the biggest sugar congressional district in the country. The Minnesota congressman made a passionate speech, defending U.S. sugar policies. “This amendment would just give jobs and this market away to other countries who are subsidizing their people more than we are in the U.S. and they’re working these plants with child, slave labor. They have no environmental regulations.” Agriculture Committee Chairman Micheal Conaway was pleased with the defeat of this amendment. If the vote would have gone the other way, Conaway says it would have encouraged farm bill critics to attack other parts of the farm bill.
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