REFORMING FOOD STAMPS
Senator Rubio has consistently fought against policies that place Americans’ health in jeopardy. In 2023, Rubio introduced a bill to make soft drinks and desserts ineligible for food stamp purchase, because he recognizes that poor diet is one of the greatest health threats in the U.S., especially among food stamp users. Rubio also introduced a bill to gather data on food stamps’ nutritional efforts. Junk food industry lobbyists fumed, and two former secretaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture commended the effort.
Addressing the national opioid crisis also remains high on Rubio’s agenda. When Rubio realized fraudulent sober homes were fueling addictions — a problem that was especially acute in South Florida — he worked with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to write and pass the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act. This law cracks down on patient brokers who refer addicts to fraudulent facilities. Rubio also wrote and passed the Sober Home Fraud Detection Act, which gives states, law enforcement, private insurers, and patient tools to distinguish fraudulent facilities from genuine ones.
PASSING THE CRACK ACT
In 2022, Rubio discovered that the Biden Administration planned to use taxpayer funds from a $30 million federal grant program to purchase “safe smoking kits [and] supplies” for “harm reduction” among illicit drug users. Rubio and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the CRACK Act to overrule that crazy decision. Eventually, they secured a Fiscal Year 2023 prohibition against using taxpayer funds to help addicts smoke or inhale narcotics. Rubio has reintroduced his bill to make this prohibition permanent.
Finally, Rubio is leading the charge to mitigate the damage done by fentanyl and other ultra-powerful drugs. His Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Act, which would make the sale of fentanyl resulting in death punishable as felony murder, is arguably the toughest-on-crime anti-fentanyl bill in Congress. Rubio is also drafting legislation to list fentanyl precursors as illicit drugs and sanction the Chinese entities that facilitate their illegal sale through money laundering.