WASHINGTON (AP) — Louisiana's $3.5 billion sugarcane and sugar mill industries could breathe a sigh of relief after an effort to effectively end the federal sugar program was defeated on the Senate floor.

The nearly $1 trillion Senate farm bill being debated this week keeps the federal sugar program intact and provides the option for price-control insurance for southwestern Louisiana rice farms that was lacking in last year's version of the bill.

But a proposed amendment by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., to end the federal import restrictions on sugar was defeated Wednesday on a 45 to 54 vote with both U.S. senators from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, in opposition.

"The amendment would effectively kill America's no-cost sugar program," Landrieu said, noting that Louisiana has 427,000 acres of sugarcane in 22 parishes and adding that the state's sugar mills produced a record 1.6 tons of raw sugar last year.

Shaheen and Toomey argued the program prevents a free market and increases costs for consumers.

"What we have here is a sweet deal for sugar growers and a bad deal for consumers," Shaheen said.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/16boLPu ) Landrieu countered that sugar costs in the U.S. are still 14 percent lower than the world average and that the sugar program maybe affects the cost of a candy bar by a "penny or two."

While the House farm bill proposal also maintains the sugar program, a tougher fight to keep it is expected in that chamber where a simple majority vote is needed for amendments. The Senate is debating amendments on a 60-vote threshold.

Vitter said the Senate farm bill is much better than last year's version, which was passed by the Senate but died in the House for a lack of action during the so-called "fiscal cliff" fight at the end of the year.

"It deals with a lot of Louisiana crops in a lot fairer way," Vitter said of the Senate bill.

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.

feed-image RSS Feed
Loading
Chart
ABiz Stock Watch
o Home Bancorp 22.40 ▲0.09 (0.40%)
o Frank's International 19.46 ▼0.02 (-0.10%)
o IberiaBank Corp 67.02 ▼0.22 (-0.33%)
o LHC Group 23.96 ▼0.01 (-0.04%)
o MidSouth Bancorp 19.25 ▲0.11 (0.57%)
o Petroquest Energy 5.94 ▼0.02 (-0.34%)
o PHI Inc. 42.85 ▲0.10 (0.23%)
o Superior Energy 33.79 ▼0.42 (-1.23%)
o Stone Energy 32.26 ▼0.12 (-0.37%)
o Facebook Inc. 76.43 ▲0.35 (0.46%)
o Twitter Inc. 50.70 ▼0.13 (-0.26%)
o Gannett 32.29 ▼0.16 (-0.49%)
NYSE:HBCP

Home Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:HBCP] Last trade:22.40 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.09 (0.40%)
NYSE:FI

Frank's International

Company ID [NYSE:FI] Last trade:19.46 Trade time:4:05PM EDT Value change:▼0.02 (-0.10%)
NYSE:IBKC

IberiaBank Corp

Company ID [NYSE:IBKC] Last trade:67.02 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▼0.22 (-0.33%)
NYSE:LHCG

LHC Group

Company ID [NYSE:LHCG] Last trade:23.96 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▼0.01 (-0.04%)
NYSE:MSL

MidSouth Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:MSL] Last trade:19.25 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:▲0.11 (0.57%)
NYSE:PQ

Petroquest Energy

Company ID [NYSE:PQ] Last trade:5.94 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:▼0.02 (-0.34%)
NYSE:PHII

PHI Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:PHII] Last trade:42.85 Trade time:3:29PM EDT Value change:▲0.10 (0.23%)
NYSE:SPN

Superior Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SPN] Last trade:33.79 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:▼0.42 (-1.23%)
NYSE:SGY

Stone Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SGY] Last trade:32.26 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▼0.12 (-0.37%)
NYSE:FB

Facebook Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:FB] Last trade:76.43 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.35 (0.46%)
NYSE:TWTR

Twitter Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:TWTR] Last trade:50.70 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:▼0.13 (-0.26%)
NYSE:GCI

Gannett

Company ID [NYSE:GCI] Last trade:32.29 Trade time:4:02PM EDT Value change:▼0.16 (-0.49%)
Advertisement

Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of
ABiz
 
Advertisement
Advertisement