Should HR 1161 pass, it will essentially give States the power to deny wine lovers from purchasing imported wines, wines through clubs, rare wines, and auctioned wines. This achieved by putting in place bans on shipments of wine from out-of-state retailers. HR 1161 is a direct threat to existing legal, regulated winery and retailer direct shipping.
Last year a similar bill called the “CARE” (Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness) act HR 5034, never actually came to vote. But Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) recently reintroduced the bill that, if passed, could bring an end to the direct shipment of alcohol in the United States, and severely hinder the chance of legal recourse within each State against such restrictions. To be clear, there really isn’t much difference between the two bills apart from a new number and a new name.
This bill represents a disagreement between beer wholesalers and beer producers. U.S. House Resolution 1161 was introduced March 17 at the request of the National Beer Wholesalers of America with the support of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Because of its broad scope, HR 1161 is a direct threat to wine direct shipping by exempting anti-competitive and discriminatory state alcohol beverage laws from most federal review.
Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) who represents Napa, Mendocino, and parts of Sonoma, is not a huge fan of prohibiting winery direct shipping, and strongly opposes H.R. 1161, said, “The federal government has no business picking winners and losers in the wine, beer, and distilled spirits industry. Yet the act would do just that by banning the direct shipment of wine and other forms of alcohol in the U.S. The impact of this bill would be devastating for brewers, vintners, distillers, importers, and consumers across our country.”
HR 1161 is bad for consumer choice, bad for the nation’s 7,000 wineries and thousands of retailers. It’s also bad for breweries and distilleries. It most certainly would affect any number of Arizona wineries and retail shops. Please convey your opposition to your US congressional representatives today.