Cigar News: Congressman Testifies before House Subcommittee for Cigar Exemption
Yesterday Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture about the need for appropriations language exempting premium cigars from the FDA’s deeming rule. This testimony came during the Appropriations Committee’s annual members’ day. IPCPR applauds Congressman Posey and extends our thanks on behalf of premium cigar retailers and tobacconists across the country for his continued fight for premium cigars and individual liberty.
To watch a video of Congressman Posey’s House testimony, click here.
Congressman Posey’s full written testimony can be found here.
IPCPR also extends their thanks to Sub-committee Chairman Bob Aderholt (R-AL), for his inclusion of exemption language in the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill and his statements yesterday that this remains an issue of great concern to the committee and one they will continue to work on.
The Deeming Rule and Premium Cigars
During his testimony, Congressman Posey rightly pointed out the short-sighted nature of current regulations on premium cigars. Specifically, he noted that the deeming rule is causing significant harm to mom & pop retailers, consumers and the industry both in Florida and across the country. To bring relief to those small businesses, the Congressman stated the need to “refocus the FDA…by including language to exempt premium cigars from this one-size-fits-all wrong-headed policy.”
Moreover, Congressman Posey recognized that the regulation of the premium cigar industry does not fulfill the original intent of Congress and the Tobacco Control Act to limit youth access to tobacco. “We can ensure that Americans will have the freedom to enjoy these legal products while also allowing the FDA to use their authority as Congress intended, namely, to prevent children from using tobacco products.”
Every year, The House Appropriations Committee hosts a “Members’ Day” to allow Members of Congress who are not on the committee to request committee support for issues that are of great importance to their constituents. Congressman Posey, along with Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) are the lead sponsors of legislation (H.R. 564) which acutely defines and exempts premium cigars from the FDA deeming rule.