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Sugar amendment offered during Farm Bill debate

During debate on the House floor on the Farm Bill this morning, sugar was on the agenda in the form of an amendment (number 19) offered by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). The bill would strike the sugar provisions in H.R. 2419 and instead continue the current program under the 2002 Farm Bill until 2012. As expected, representatives from sugar cane and sugar beet states spoke against the amendment and talked about the "146,000 sugar jobs" that would be lost if the amendment passed. That number is one manufactured by the sugar producers — on the other side, the Department of Commerce had noted that the U.S. sugar program costs three jobs in the sugar-using industries for every one job saved in the sugar-producing sector. The sugar provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill would make a bad program worse. See CEI's and other nonprofit groups' statement on those. Rep. Davis requested a recorded vote on the amendment; votes are deferred until debate on other issues is completed.