By Javier Manjarres
Uh-oh! It appears that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is taking some not so “friendly” fire from the liberal blogosphere. The blog Down With Tyranny has just posted a story with some pretty stinging criticism of Wasserman Schultz for opposing H.R. 693, a bill that apparently would open up sugar trade with Cuba. DWT calls ‘DWS’ “grotesquely corrupt” for her firm position against opening up trade with Castro’s regime. Interestingly enough, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) also supports the bill as well.
DWT states that the bill in question would accomplish the following-
• Repeal unnecessary trade restrictions. The 2008 Farm Bill restricted the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to allow additional sugar imports when needed in the U.S. market. The 2008 Farm Bill required USDA to set import quotas (also known as tariff-rate quotas) at a legal minimum each year, with very limited flexibility to then respond to changing market conditions as needed. This bill would repeal these unnecessary restrictions that have further restricted supply, providing greater flexibility to those implementing the program.
• Repeal the Feedstock Flexibility Program. The 2008 Farm Bill added a $193 million program that requires the government to buy surplus sugar, and then sell that sugar to ethanol companies at a loss. This bill would save taxpayers from footing the bill for keeping prices high.
• Eliminate higher price support levels. The 2008 Farm Bill facilitated higher price supports for sugar growers. Reducing these rates would help put prices back in line with historic levels and reduce liability for taxpayers.
• Reform domestic supply restrictions to provide more flexibility to USDA. This bill would eliminate the current artificial guarantee of 85 percent of consumption and ensure that the current program is administered with sugar-using industries also in mind. In addition, the bill would restore the Secretary of Agriculture’s authority to modify or suspend these domestic marketing allotments.
• Provide flexibility to USDA in administering quotas. This bill would also give USDA more flexibility in administering the import quota system. The billencourages greater efficiency by allowing qualifying countries to trade their quotas among themselves on a temporary and voluntary basis. In addition, the amendment establishes a target stocks-to-use ratio for USDA to ensure that implementation of the federal government’s sugar policy is transparent and consistent.
• Provide savings. The federal sugar program has cost consumers and businesses an estimated $14 billion over the last 4 years.
Here are some excerpts from DWT’s post bashing Wasserman Schultz-
You don’t normally see DWT championing bills introduced by anti-Choice fanatic and far right extremist Joe Pitts (R-PA). But when he introduced H.R. 693 last week, a new day of bipartisanship may not have dawned, but we recognized that Pitts is doing the right thing for a change. And he was immediately joined by a healthy cross-aisle bunch of co-sponsors that ranges from the lunatic fringe– Lou Barletta (R-PA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)– to solidly mainstream legislators like Jackie Speier (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH).
The Sugar Reform Act seeks to “ensure adequate sugar supplies at reasonable prices” by, among other things, rolling back price supports that unfairly benefit wealthy sugar producers– primarily the Fanjul brothers– as the expense of consumers. Congress has tackled this before but between Fanjul DC consiglieres Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the legislation has always been derailed. Now the grotesquely corrupt Wasserman Schultz has accumulated even more power than ever before and she is working assiduously to shore up the interests of her benefactors, regardless of what it costs the very people who vote her into office year after year after year.-DWT
And then there is this-
Who remembers when Wasserman Schultz first came out swinging on behalf of the Fanjuls– spreading around their bribes to get freshmen to vote against easing agricultural trade restrictions against Cuba? The bill Wasserman Schultz, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and other pawns of the Fanjuls were able to sabotage was, like this one, bipartisan. Charlie Rangel, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was the sponsor and it seemed like it was in the bag.
When Democrats gained control of Congress, hopes were high that Cuba travel and trade restrictions would be eased by a party historically opposed to a so-called hard line on Cuba. So far, however, the Democratic-led House has been tougher on Cuba than when Republicans controlled the lower chamber.
…Wasserman Schultz’s position on Cuba puts her at odds with some Democratic leaders, but she said she has no worries that this might affect her if she seeks a higher leadership position in the future.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has a PAC which has given nearly a quarter million dollars to Democrats running for re-election and election in the House. [This was in 2007.] Between the US-Cuba Democracy PAC and her own sleazy Democrats Win Seats PAC this is how much loot Wasserman Schultz was able to direct to Democratic freshmen willing to sell her their votes, even from congressmen representing agricultural districts where this amendment would have had widespread support. The first amount comes from the US-Cuba Democracy PAC and the second came directly from the shady Wasserman Schultz PAC:
DWT goes on to list Democrat members of Congress who received donations form the US-Cuba Democracy PAC and from DWS’ “shady Wasserman Schultz PAC.”
While the point can be made to open up trade with other countries, we here at the Shark Tank simultaneously believe in open markets as well as reserving our sovereignty to enact trade barriers with countries that either pose a security threat or commit Human Rights violations, as does Cuba. The Florida congressional delegation are for the most part united in their opposition towards lifting existing trade restrictions with Cuba, and rightfully so.
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