Thursday, June 21, 2018
Opinion

Sweet on growers, not U.S. consumers

Editor's note: The Wall Street Journal editorial page Monday took Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to task for voting against a bipartisan effort last week to end the indefensible sugar subsidies. The Senate voted 50-46 to table an amendment to the farm bill by Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania (home of Hershey's chocolates) Republican who, in his own words, sought "reform of the government's wasteful sugar program." The Journal called out Rubio and 15 other Republican senators for voting against the amendment and maintaining an "egregious quota program that gouges American consumers to benefit a mere 5,000 or so farmers." Rubio received more than $49,000 in contributions for his 2010 campaign tied to the Fanjul family sugarcane operation, Flo-Sun Inc. For the record, Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, voted against the amendment and has received tens of thousands of dollars in sugar industry contributions for his Senate campaigns over the years. Here's what the Journal said:

The usual sugar beet and sugarcane state suspects dominate the list (of Republicans who voted against reform), but one name leaps out — Mr. Rubio, the freshman from Florida who won his seat in 2010 while running as a tea party favorite in opposition to the crony capitalism and government meddling of the Obama administration. Mr. Rubio nonetheless voted against consumers and for the big sugarcane producers, including Florida's Fanjul family. Mr. Rubio thus voted to the left of the 16 Democrats who joined 30 Republicans in supporting sugar reform. … The Floridian was not a profile in courage on this issue, or even a profile.

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