Just when you think Representative Rehberg can’t make a worse decision as a member of Congress, he leaps to the challenge. Of late, it seems that his poor judgment extends to protecting the tobacco industry.
The latest? Writing language which would prohibit federal expenditures on anti-tobacco campaigns:
Congress also put the kibosh the use of federal dollars to fund so-called anti-obesity and “nutrition” campaigns, which demonize certain food products like soft drinks and fruit juice. (See “NACS Opposes Attacks on C-Store Products” in the November NACS Magazine.) President Obama could sign the bill into law by week’s end.
U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee, authored the language, which essentially bans government-funded campaigns against legally sold products and goods, including tobacco. The language states: “The prohibitions…shall include any activity to advocate or promote any proposed, pending or future federal, state or local tax increase, or any proposed, pending, or future requirement or restriction on any legal consumer product, including its sale or marketing…”
Working against public health and for the interest of Big Tobacco is nothing new for Representative Rehberg. In June, he wrote an amendment making it easier for the tobacco industry to hook kids on their product:
The House Appropriations Committee voted to approve an amendment introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Montana) that would immunize the tobacco industry against U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules stopping them from making cigarettes more addictive and marketing them to children.
The last time I checked, Montana farmers don’t produce a lot of tobacco. I wonder if all that money tobacco companies shower on Rehberg’s committee might influence his decision making.