The bill many wine lovers feared last year, H.R. 5034 or the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act (CARE), is now known as H.R. 1161, the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2011. The text of the 2011 Act is identical to the second version of H.R. 5034 introduced to the House last year. “The goal of the CARE Act of 2011 is to recognize and reaffirm that alcohol is different from other consumer products and that it should continue to be regulated by the states . . . [and] would give states unprecedented, unwarranted powers to regulate wine in interstate commerce” (See Alcohol Regulatory Roundup: St. Patrick’s Hangover Edition.) Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Republican Congressman from Utah, is the main sponsor of the 2011 bill.
The new bill already received a strong reaction from Congressman Mike Thompson, who postulated that, “The federal government has no business picking winners and losers in the wine, beer, and distilled spirits industry. Yet the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act would do just that by banning the direct shipment of wine and other forms of alcohol in the U.S. The impact of this bill would be devastating for brewers, vintners, distillers, importers, and consumers across our country. Specifically, this bill would allow states to replace federal standards with their own, making it harder for out-of-state producers in California and elsewhere to comply with other states’ laws . . .” To read the full reaction statement of Congressman Thompson, visit Congressman Condemns Reintroduction of CARE Act. The press release from the Beer, Wine, Spirits Producer and Importer Associations can be accessed at Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers Urge Congress to Reject the ‘Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness’ Act of 2011.
Some additional articles relative to the new bill are U.S. Congressman Introduces New Act Threatening Direct Shipment and New Wine Bill in Congress Takes Aim at Consumers.