How sugar policy could kill the farm bill

 

There’s something about white crystalline substances and unsavory dealing. Sugar is probably worse than cocaine.

(From Politico)

An attempt by candy makers and their allies in Congress to rein in one of the more arcane commodity support programs is threatening to sink the House farm bill.

Rep. Virginia Foxx is expected to offer an amendment on the House floor on Thursday that would change U.S. sugar policy to make the program more market oriented.

For decades, sugar policy has been dictated by a complex system of price supports, production limits and import restrictions designed to maintain high commodity prices. Despite a number of attempts over the years to overhaul the policy, lawmakers have left it in place to protect sugar growers and processors.

But House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, who is still trying to gain enough GOP support for the farm bill ahead of a final vote on Friday, plans to whip against his own bill should Foxx’s sugar amendment be passed.

The Texas Republican has characterized the proposal as a “poison pill,” because enough lawmakers — particularly those from sugar-producing states in the Great Plains and the South — would withdraw their support for the farm bill if it is passed. Conaway declined to comment on the number of members, however.

That’s right, a Republican is fighting the effort to make the sugar market “more market oriented.”

Agriculture is one of the GOP’s chief vehicles for cronyism. They don’t mind if American taxpayers pay for sugar socialism because sugar money is even sweeter than sugar.