The sugar program is authorized by the now-expired 2002 farm bill, which is up for renewal.
Congress could pass a new farm bill in the lame-duck session of Congress after the election. If the farm bill comes up on the House floor under an open rule, opponents of the sugar program could have a chance to strike.
When the farm bill came to the Senate floor this year, 46 senators voted to end the program. That was up from 29 votes in favor in 2001.
Given a standoff over food stamp cuts in the farm bill, lobbyists say it is more likely that a farm bill gets wrapped into a fiscal cliff deficit bill. The sugar program does not have a budgetary cost, so it is unclear if there will be a move in changing the program inside the deficit talks between Congress and the White House.
In the House, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is the strongest defender of the program, and Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden MORE (R-Va.) its toughest opponent.
Reps. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) lead the House Sugar Reform Caucus.
“Halloween reminds us that while the sugar program is a treat for wealthy farmers who benefit from the sugar subsidies, it’s nothing but a trick for the millions of American families who pay a hidden tax on sugar every time they go to the grocery store,” said Pitts in a release.
Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' Lawmakers call for more resources to support early cancer detection MORE (D-N.H.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have led the charge against the program in the Senate.