WASHINGTON (AP) — Food processors, soft drink manufacturers and candy makers are squaring off against the U.S. sugar industry in a familiar battle over a program that props up sugar prices.
The battle over the sugar program, a web of price supports, loans and tariffs that critics say gouges consumers, is one of the key battles in this year's farm bill, a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy.
GOP leaders are promoting this year's renewal of the measure as tightening work and job training requirements for food stamps. But the food stamp proposal has driven Democrats away from the bill, which means Republicans must pass the measure with minimal GOP defections. That puts pressure on past Republican critics of costly farm subsidies to vote for them.