Rep. Elise Stefanik is a member of Republican leadership and considered a future political star in some quarters. But the congresswoman’s “conservative” bona fides are being called into question after she recently abandoned both fidelity to the Constitution and free-market principles to shill for Big Dairy.
Stefanik’s under fire for legislation she recently introduced that would federally mandate that schools, public and private, sell chocolate milk, in response to the move in some localities, like New York city, to restrict the sugary drink’s sale in schools.
“The fight to save chocolate milk continues,” Stefanik tweeted. “[I am] proud to propose a federal law that would require ALL schools to offer flavored milk. School kids deserve access to nutritious & delicious milk options that our dairy farmers work hard to provide.”
The fight to #SaveChocolateMilk continues. 🍫🥛
Proud to propose a federal law that would require ALL schools to offer flavored milk.
School kids deserve access to nutritious & delicious milk options that our dairy farmers work hard to provide.https://t.co/7dW4Xjxmmr
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) February 3, 2023
The replies, particularly from libertarians, were brutal:
This doesn't go far enough. Chocolate milk should be mandatory! And it should have extra corn syrup in it to support hardworking American farmers! And all school chairs should be doubled in width!
— Classical Liberal Caucus (@LP_CLC) February 4, 2023
Imagine being so small government you want to force schools to sell chocolate milk to already morbidly obese children
— Libertarian Party of California (@LPofCal) February 4, 2023
What the nonsense big government fuck is this?
— Arizona Libertarian Party (@Arizona_LP) February 4, 2023
"Proud to be fighting hard to keep the US in the #1 spot for global childhood obesity." 👍 pic.twitter.com/uXp9s3L2BC
— Norm DePlume (@NormDePlume69) February 3, 2023
Critics quickly—and correctly—pointed out that the federal government has little to no constitutional authority to regulate education at all, let alone something as minor and pedantic as school dairy selections. When Democrats have in the past tried to push federal mandates that override local school decisions, Republicans have cried foul. But now that it’s something that will serve the special interests of her Big Dairy allies, Congresswoman Stefanik apparently feels differently.
So much for the conservative principle of federalism, devolving political decisions to localities outside of the very limited federal government established in the Constitution, huh?
There’s also the added context here of our youth obesity crisis. The US leads the world in childhood obesity and obesity-related illness is our top cause of death. Yet this Republican congresswoman thinks schools should be FORCED to sell unhealthy drinks to overweight kids. Remember that chocolate milk contains significantly more calories and sugar than regular milk. (And a heck lot more than water!) In fact, kids would get about a third of their entire daily recommended amount of sugar from just one cup of chocolate milk.
So, Congresswoman Stefanik is proposing to betray conservative political principles, violate the Constitution, and make kids less healthy—all to serve special interests that are powerful in her home district.
With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?