Louisiana's Congressional delegation helped defeat a farm bill amendment that would have crippled the state's sugarcane industry, said Charles Schudmak, president of the American Sugar Cane League.
"The so-called Sugar Policy Modernization Act, also known in Louisiana as the Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill, was defeated in the House of Representatives yesterday by a wide 141 vote margin," Schudmak said. "The entire Louisiana delegation worked very hard getting the message out to their colleagues that this farm bill amendment was extremely detrimental to Louisiana's sugarcane industry and to all the nation's sugar producers. Representatives Clay Higgins and Garret Graves spoke eloquently in defense of our farmers during the debate while Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond and Ag Committee Member Ralph Abraham worked hard to ensure the majority of both parties opposed the Foxx amendment that would have devastated the industry. We are very grateful for their dedicated efforts and leadership on our behalf.
"The vote reflects years of diligent effort from our sugarcane farmers to educate Congress about sugar policy which operates at no cost to the public. We teamed with our counterparts in Florida, Texas and throughout the sugarbeet growing regions to present one message to our elected policymakers. The vote also reflects the outstanding efforts from others within our farm bill coalition who understand that attacks on the no-cost safety net for sugar producers are attempts to drive a wedge between our nation's farmers as a prelude to attacks on other farmers.
"Defeat of this amendment is only one step of the process. We strongly urge the House to pass the farm bill today as we prepare for another round of battles in the Senate, where our opponents are equally motivated to kill Louisiana's 220-year-old sugarcane industry."