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Do You Remember Congressional Bill H.R. 5034 Affecting Wine Distribution? Now it’s H.R. 1161!

A recent article at Wine Spectator, “U.S. Congressman Introduces New Act Threatening Direct Shipping,” by Robert Taylor and Ben O’Donnell, talks about a very similar bill that has been introduced for this year. “The new CARE Act, if passed, could end direct shipping of wine and other forms of alcohol in the United States, or at least put major roadblocks in front of lawsuits by consumers and wineries trying to reduce restrictions on direct shipping.”

The proposed H.R.1161 resolution begins with “To reaffirm state-based alcohol regulation and for other purposes.” Isn’t that a little disconcerting, “for other purposes?” That phrase could mean just about anything and makes me suspicious. I find it redundant in several ways and asked myself why do we need any more redundancy. If this bill will make it harder for citizens and related wine organizations to go to court over these issues, it is wrong. The courts are the place to take issues, even if we don’t always agree with their findings.

As I wrote last year, wine is a legal item and can legally be purchased by anyone over 21. Why shouldn’t I have the freedom to order wine from inside or outside of my state and have it sent directly to my home and signed for by an adult?

If you are fortunate to live in one of the 37 states that has direct wine shipping in some form, this bill could potentially change that freedom you have to purchase wine and have it sent to your home. If you live in one of the other less fortunate states that does not yet have the freedom to have direct wine shipping then it may be even harder to win that right.

If you fought the hard won battle against H.R. 5034 then you will want to stop H.R. 1161.
According to Govtrack.us H.R.1161 was sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3) and has eight cosponsors including Bruce Braley D-IA1, Howard Coble R-NC6, John Conyers D-MI14, Ted Deutch D-FL19, Jim Jordan R-OH4, Gary Miller R-CA42, Dennis Ross R-FL12 and Debbie Wasserman Schultz D-FL20.

Govtrack.us also has a “Tell Congress How to Vote” box so visitors to the website can express their views.

If you have time read both the H.R. 1161 and the article on winespectator.com. Once H.R. 1161 is passed, if it isn’t good for the citizens, it will be too late. Contact your Congressperson and ask them not to support H.R. 1161 unless they can provide answers to your questions.

Cheers! Kathy

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