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CARE Enough to Kill HR 1161

by Nannette Eaton on May 4, 2011

“Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.” — George Bernard Shaw

Logo for Stop HR 1161. An anti-protectionist movement. Burgundy letters on white.sLast year I asked you to take ten minutes and contact your congress person in House of Representatives to express your opposition to the CARE Act of 2010, a piece of junk legislation designed to curtail the direct shipment of wines to consumers. The Care Act of 2010 died a merciful death last session, but the wily bastards are at it again. A few special-interest congressmen have resubmitted the bill, the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2011 (CARE Act of 2011) also known by the house bill number HR 1161. It’s still the same pig as last year, now freshened up with a new bill number and a shiny new coat of lipstick. But putting lipstick on a pig, still makes it a porker, and this pig stinks to high heaven.

The bill purports to protect consumers by allowing states to make laws in violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, (i.e. allowing states to make protectionist shipping laws) but the only party who is really being served in this scheme is wholesalers. The farmer, the winemaker, the restaurateur, the retailer, and most importantly, the consumer, all lose if this bill becomes law. Creating trade barriers between consumers and wineries is bad business in any economy, but in a sluggish economy, it is particularly short-sighted.

The Wall Street Journal came out in opposition to HR 1161 in the article: “Congress’s Sour Grapes: A bill sprouts to kill out-of-state sales of wine to consumers.” The Wall Street Journal opines that HR 1161 is “a bad bill” and its passage will “reduce choices and raise prices for consumers.” To stay up to date on the battle, check out Free the Grapes, an organization dedicated to supporting the direct shipping movement, and public relations mastermind Tom Wark’s Fermentation blog where he posts the latest news on HR 1161.

Wine Harlots are asking you to drop your representative a letter, make a telephone call or send an email to express your opposition to HR 1161. Here is the listing for the Representatives address and phone numbers and here’s the list of the Congressional email addresses. Care enough to kill HR 1161.