Sugar program draws Cruz's ire, remains popular in Congress

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he wants to do away with government support for the sugar industry — a veiled dig at rival Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who has long supported sugar growers.

Conservatives like Cruz have long wanted to get rid of the program, which supports prices and protects growers from foreign competition. But sugar supports have for decades been unassailable in Congress, partly due to wide bipartisan support from lawmakers from Florida to North Dakota and other states that grow sugar cane and sugar beets.

In Tuesday night's GOP debate, Cruz listed sugar assistance as among government programs he'd like to eliminate to allow more spending for the military.

Rubio has received campaign donations from the sugar industry and has consistently voted to maintain sugar supports.