- HR 1161
- Massachusetts: TAKE ACTION!
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Update on HR 1161
What is HR 1161?
U.S. House Resolution 1161 was introduced March 17, 2011 at the request of the National Beer Wholesalers of America (NBWA) with the support of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). The bill is very similar to HR 5034, which was introduced in 2010 by the NBWA and WSWA. HR 5023 received two Congressional hearings but did not get out of committee and ended with the conclusion of the 111th Congress.
Like HR 5034, HR 1161 is special-interest legislation that pretends to protect the public and reaffirm states’ rights. But HR 1161 is really intended to put more money in the wholesaler middlemen’s pockets by doing an end-run around the U.S. Supreme Court and pre-empting the Constitution. The bill would give wholesalers unfettered monopoly power to pass discriminatory state laws that would remove your ability to buy wine directly from your favorite winery or wine merchant. It would harm your state’s wineries, brewers and distillers, as well as businesses, jobs, and state and local economies. HR 1161 is the most aggressive and comprehensive attack on consumer choice in wine to date.
Status of HR 1161
Fortunately, opposition to HR 1161 has come from many corners. More than 150 organizations opposed the bill. Major news outlets carried negative editorials and Op Ed pieces. Wine lovers like you sent more than 13,000 letters to Congress through our website, opposing HR 1161.
The bill has not had a hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and does not have a Senate companion bill. The WSWA removed its support for the bill as well, while as of August 2012, the NBWA has not formally withdrawn their support for HR 1161.
Because support for the bill has waned, and does not appear to be moving this session, Free the Grapes! is no longer encouraging consumers to personalize messages through our website. We will continue to provide updates via email and on our Facebook page.
- Winemakers: Wine Institute, WineAmerica, Family Winemakers of California, Napa Valley Vintners
- Distillers: Distilled Spirits Council of US
- Brewers: Beer Institute, Brewers Association
- Retailers: Specialty Wine Retailers Association