Anti Direct Shipping Bill renamed HR1161 Bad for Wine buyers Merchants & Wineries
H.R. 5034 has been renamed CARE Act H.R.1161.
Beer, Wine & Spirits Producers urge Congress to reject this bill
This bill will have a direct impact on all consumers in the U.S. that order wine to be shipped. We need to contact our representatives with our opposition.
H.R. 5034 gained strength with 152 CoSponsors until it was put on the back burner when election time came around last November. WSWA has vowed to fight vigorously to pass the newly rewritten bill. WSWA & National Beer Wholesalers Assoc spent millions of dollars to convince representatives to sponsor this bill. It will be a long hard fight ahead to defeat this.
An easy place to voice your opposition https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr1161
Check out the Facebook Page to keep up on the latest. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/stophr1161
What's the direct impact? By reading the bill, it all seems confusing to me: it sounds like they are only banning direct shipping out of wineries, not retailers, which is quite similar to 5034 from before. Is it just my misunderstanding then that it in fact restricts both wineries and retailers? What would be the impact on Internet shopping from retailers and auction houses? Appreciate some clarification. Thanks!
Retailers have been left out of consideration to be able to direct ship in every proposed bill. I can't get to the links at this time but to give you full explanation check out Tom Warks Fermentation & Free the Grapes. Both web sites have in-depth explanation & info on the HR bill. There is also the facebook page (link above) that continues to update info.
Carrie... Thank you for posting this. For wine lovers, this is the most important issue of our time. I hope they use this link. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr1161
Can you ask Tom Wark to chime in with his views on this as he is the expert in this field?
Well, here is the bottom line:
HR 1161 allows states to regulate alcohol in any fashion they want. It removes restrictions on states that prohibit them from regulating interstate commerce. In other words, it allows states to pass alcohol laws that discriminate against out of state businesses to protect in-state businesses.
However, 1161 does have one caveat. States may not pass laws that "facially" (meaning, "directly") discriminate against out of state producers of alcohol. Put another way, states may not pass laws that allow their instate producers to ship wine to their citizens but prohibit out of state producers from doing the same.
What's important to note is that no caveat is included for retailers. This means that if passed, 1161 would remove from retailers all protection against state laws that discriminate against them. Put another way, retailers lose all their protections under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Over and over the Supreme Court has said that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (The Commerce Clause) gives to the Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce. It is a fact that taking away from the states' the ability to discriminate against out of state businesses that was allowed under the Articles of Confederation was the primary reason for calling the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
This idea that states may not interfere with interstate commerce has been so fundamental to the development of the American economy that in more than 220 years, Congress has only relinquished its right to regulate commerce once, when it stripped insurers of their commerce clause protections. HR 1161 would be only the second time in two centuries that a single industry has lost its commerce clause protection.
HR 1161 is such a radical departure from the commercial traditions and laws of the United States that we can't even begin to count the ways it will affect wine retailers and consumers.
Put another way...It's very very very bad.
Thank you for posting on this issue. And for your article which was just published on our front page.
Please keep us up to date with any news on the issue.