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SUGAR SUBSIDIES IN FARM BILL - FRAN SMITH
In a loss for consumers and taxpayers, Congress once again voted to continue the outdated, wasteful sugar program. The Senate voted 55-45 against a bipartisan amendment to the farm bill, cosponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and others that would have instituted much-needed reforms of the program. The amendment specifically addressed some add-ons in the 2008 farm bill that made the program even worse by further restrictions on imports, higher price supports and a costly sugar-to-ethanol program.
CHEMICAL BILL - ANGELA LOGOMASINI
Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., surprised the Senate with their introduction of legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act on Wednesday, and Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is not convinced this is a terrific idea.
The senators say the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 would, “for the first time, ensure that all chemicals are screened for safety protect public health and the environment …” and create “an environment where manufacturers can continue to innovate, grow and create jobs.”
Logomasini, a senior fellow in CEI’s Center for Energy and the Environment, says the current law did not need this kind of help.
SENATE COULD RATIFY UN DISABILITY MANDATES
The United States Senate will likely soon consider ratification the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which fell six votes short of the 67 needed last December. The CPRD’s stated purpose is “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.” While seemingly well-intentioned, the treaty would enable an enormous increase in the potential power of UN bureaucrats over the American people and undermine national sovereignty.