[StBernard] Rep. Melancon to Chair House Sugar Caucus

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Apr 26 22:24:45 EDT 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) announced today
that he will serve as co-chair for the House of Representatives Sugar Caucus
in 2007. Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) serves as the other chair of
the caucus, which was created last year to help maintain a strong U.S. sugar
policy in the upcoming Farm Bill.

"Growing up in Assumption Parish, I've spent my whole life around
sugarcane producers and know how hard they work to stay in business," said
Rep. Melancon. "I am proud to continue to advocate for them in Congress,
and I will work with the Sugar Caucus to make sure sugar producers are
protected when we draft the new Farm Bill."

"Congressman Melancon has long been a champion for the state's sugar
producers," said Jessie Breaux, a sugar farmer and president of the American
Sugar Cane League. "And we're lucky to have him at the helm of the caucus.
Having a strong group of legislators fighting for the sugar program will be
key to the region's future."

"As Louisiana sugar farmers continue to rebuild after Katrina and
Rita, we need to know that there is going to be a stable sugar market to
come back to. And that means America's current no-cost sugar policy cannot
be weakened," Breaux continued.

More than 27,000 Louisianans are employed by the state's $1.7
billion sugar industry. Stable domestic sugar production and prices are
necessary for our nation's food security since sugar-containing products
account for more than 70% of all food manufacturing in the U.S.

Louisiana Reps. Alexander (R), Baker (R), Boustany (R), Jefferson
(D), and Jindal (R) are also members of the caucus, which boasts 30 members.

A similar Senate Sweetener Caucus has been in existence for more
than 15 years, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is serving as one of the
caucus' four chairmen in 2007. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is also a Sweetener
Caucus member.

U.S. sugar policy has operated at no cost to America's taxpayers,
which makes the program particularly appealing given current budget
deficits. Supporters also tout the facts that sugar policy is critical to
America's food security and that it keeps retail sugar prices affordable and

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