On April 19, 2016, the U.S House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations debated the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. And, miracle of all miracles, the language that protects us cigar lovers and cigar manufacturers from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cigar regulation, survived a voice vote by the full Committee. We reported on this cigar regulation bill in this Blog Post last week. During the debate, 14 misguided members of the Appropriations Committee proposed an amendment to remove the cigar regulation language. 34 informed members voted to retain the language that defunds any FDA attempts to “finalize, implement, or enforce” FDA rules on premium cigars.
In a press release, the Cigar Rights of America applauded the passage of the bill and the inclusion of the language protecting premium cigars from unwarranted regulation by FDA. CRA thanked “both Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL), as well as members of the Appropriations Committee for their leadership in addressing this issue, and for protecting the small business premium cigar manufacturers and retailers of this country, as well as protecting the rights of adult consumers of premium cigars.”
Also in the press release, J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America, stated upon the bill’s passage, “The action taken today by the House Committee on Appropriations is yet another clear indication that Congress never intended to treat premium cigars like other tobacco products.” Loose continued, “this language is a symbol that Congress recognizes the unique differences of premium cigars, and that any effort by FDA to regulate them would run contrary to Congressional intent of the 2009 Tobacco Control Act.”
Fellow Herfers. . . For the first time in years, we have a chance, a hope, a dream of getting big government out of our private hobby. Hot damn!