Rubio and Mack Put Partisan Politics and Extremism Over Middle Class
Rubio and Mack voted against preventing interest on student loans from doubling, against the RESTORE Act & against repairing Florida's highways
Tallahassee, FL — Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Connie Mack IV today showed, yet again, that Florida's Republican leaders are more interested in championing partisan politics and Tea Party extremism instead of doing what's right for the middle class -- voting against three critical measures which will help Florida's families. Both Rubio and Mack voted against preventing the doubling of interest on student loans, voted against the RESTORE Act which would dedicate fines from the BP Oil Spill to Florida and the Gulf Region, and voted against funding to repair Florida and the nation's highway infrastructure.
"Marco Rubio and Connie Mack IV did what Florida Republicans do best -- put Tea Party extremism ahead of Florida's middle class," said Brannon Jordan, spokeswoman for the Florida Democratic Party. "Florida's students, families, and the countless members of our community who were devastated by the BP Oil Spill deserve better than Rubio and Mack's broken, partisan politics."
The Highway bill included three critical initiatives that will help Florida's middle class. "Congress on Friday approved legislation that will extend federal highway programs through 2014, a low interest rate on student loans for one year, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years." The bill also included the RESTORE Act, "Legislation that will bring 80 percent of the fines levied against BP to the five Gulf Coast states affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill" [The Hill, 6/29/2012; NWF Daily News, 6/27/2012]
Rep. Connie Mack IV today voted against HR 4348 [Vote #451, GovTrack.US]
Sen. Marco Rubio today also voted against the bill. "The U.S. Senate approved a sweeping highway bill that will spend more than $100 billion on highway projects over two years and includes other provisions such as a deal preventing a doubling of interest on student loans and the Restore Act sending billions to Florida and other Gulf states. Sen. Bill Nelson, who helped shepherd the Restore Act, voted yes. Sen. Marco Rubio voted no." [Tampa Bay Times, 6/29/2012]
This isn't the first time Rubio has sided with Tea Party and extremist special interests instead of doing what's right for Florida's middle class:
After a threat from Grover Norquist, Rubio was the lone Gulf Coast state Senator to vote against dedicating BP oil spill fees to Florida and the Gulf Coast. "U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was the only Gulf state senator yesterday to vote against the Restore Act, the legislation that would dedicate 80 percent of BP oil spill fees to the region. His vote followed a warning by Grover Norquist's anti-tax group that offsets in the measure violate The Pledge." The Pensacola News Journal stated "his turnaround on the bill followed a pointed warning from powerful GOP anti-tax activist Grover Norquist that the offsets in the RESTORE Act violate the 'Taxpayer Protection Pledge…'It shows the foolishness of pledging in advance how you will act on matters of serious policy. In doing so Rubio surrendered his ability to vote in his own constitutents' important, clear interests." [Tampa Bay Times, 3/9/12; Pensacola News Journal, 3/19/12]
On February 15, 2012 Marco Rubio was a co-sponsor of the RESTORE Act which directed 80 Percent Of The Fines To The Gulf Coast. [Herald/Times, 3/22/12]
On March 8, 2012, Grover Norquists Organization stated that the RESTORE Act would violate his pledge. [Americans for Tax Reform, 3/8/2012]
On March 8, 2012, following Norquist's threat, Rubio voted no the RESTORE Act [Clerk of the Senate,3/8/12]
Two days after Grover Norquist told him to, Rubio voted against building and repairing Florida's roads. "On March 12, American for Tax Reform issued an alert telling U.S. Senators to vote “No” on Highway Bill S. 1813. In a statement, ATR stated, “Americans for Tax Reform and its Cost of Government Center strongly urge Senators to vote no on the Highway Bill on the Senate floor today." On March 14, Rubio was one of only 22 U.S. Senators who voted against the bill. The bill "would give Florida nearly $2 billion for road-building and repair through the end of the current fiscal year and includes a provision that could steer billions to Gulf Coast communities harmed by the 2010 BP oil spill. The $1.99 billion Florida would receive through the end of fiscal year 2012 on Sept. 30 is $23 million more than it received in fiscal year 2011" [American for Tax Reform Alert, 3/12/12; S. 1813, Vote 48, 3/14/12; Tallahassee Democrat, 3/15/12]