Wholesalers beat a retreat on CARE act

hr 1161 CARE After appearing in two sessions of congress, a legislative proposal that would have threatened the legal, direct shipment of wine is dead according to Shanken News Daily. They cite Tom Cole, president of Republic National Distributing Co., who says “The CARE Act is officially off the table.”

Wine lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. And we are dialing the official HR 1161 threat level back to neck level! (See backgrounder here and here). We were concerned that in the “lame duck” session when oh-so-much wheeling and dealing is likely to be done, that it could have squeaked through in some form. It still might, but the wholesaler will appears to have slackened.

I wonder what led the wholesalers to pull in their legislative claws? The brief Shanken News piece had no insights in this regard. But in this Super PAC era, it would be delightful to think that possible voter outrage trumped campaign contributions. It is interesting to note that wholesalers recently did an about-face on a restrictive reform in New York State. Hit the comments with your take on the situation.

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5 Responses to “Wholesalers beat a retreat on CARE act”


  1. Given this congress’ complete inability to get anything done, it’s no surprise…but welcome news nonetheless!


  2. Without thinking too hard about it I would venture to guess that the successful initiative in Washington State scared them. If suppliers get together with Costco there could be successful initiatives unwinding the three-tier system?

    Again, just thinking out loud and curious to know others thoughts.


  3. I’m sure it all came down to money, but it’s good that the money was on the right side.


  4. Steve, True, this Congress has passed very few laws, so we did have than going in our favor. It’s still important to keep an eye on it in the lame duck session at the end of the year, when, no doubt, unencumbered by immediate voter reaction, lots of bills may pass.

    Cameron – Interesting take. Certainly referenda offer wholesalers more uncertainty than using legislatures and malleable legislators.

    RobinC – well, so far, it appears…

    Tom Wark, who follows these dealings very closely, sounds a cautionary note over on his blog, showing that the National Beer Wholesalers have yet to dial down their rhetoric. But they do have a conference coming up next week…
    http://fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation/2012/03/is-the-deadly-wine-bill-hr-1161-dead.html


  5. No matter what the reason, I’m so glad to see this at least temporarily off the table. Here in Maryland, we’ve seen some real progress in the last year on direct shipping, corkage, and other issues. I’d hate to go backwards!


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