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RUBIO SIDES WITH TEA PARTY OVER FLORIDIANS

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Tallahassee, FL — As Senator Marco Rubio returns to Florida to pay lip service to his constituents, today the Florida Democratic Party held a conference call with FDP Chairman Rod Smith highlighting Marco Rubio's history of extremist votes and his record of siding with the Tea Party over the middle class families of Florida.

"Senator Marco Rubio has a long history of putting the Tea Party ahead of middle class Floridians — and nothing epitomizes Rubio's extremism more than serving as the lone Gulf Coast Senator to vote against aid for families devastated by the oil spill because Grover Norquist told him to," said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith. "From Rubio's vote last week against protecting women and families from domestic abuse, to his vote last year against creating good paying jobs — Marco Rubio has consistently shown that he's willing to put his own political ambitions and the interests of the extremist Tea Party he serves over the people of Florida he was elected to represent." 

Audio from the call available here

BACKGROUND

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, 3/12/12S. 1813, Vote 48, 3/14/12; Tallahassee Democrat, 3/15/12]

Rubio voted no on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act — the law that protects women and families from domestic abuse and violence. "Florida's senators split their votes on the Violence Against Women Act, with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voting to extend it, and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio voting against it…The 18-year-old federal law created a national strategy to prevent domestic violence against women and pours resources into efforts to help victims of domestic violence." [Miami Herald, 4/26/2012

Standing with Rick Scott, Rubio sided against funding high speed rail. Rubio agreed with Florida Governor Rick Scott “that the state simply cannot afford the [high-speed] rail project. ‘Our state and country simply cannot continue spending borrowed money on every new idea that comes along,’ Mr. Rubio said. ‘I appreciate Gov. Scott's willingness to encourage this debate at the state level in Florida.’ Mr. Scott's decision comes a week after he proposed state spending cuts of $4.6 billion in the next budget, along with tax and fee cuts totaling about $2 billion. High-speed rail was one of President Obama's priorities in his 2009 stimulus package, and his fiscal 2012 budget proposal released Monday calls for $53 billion over the next six years for projects across the country.” A state report shows that high speed rail would have been profitable and benefited the state. [Washington Times, 2/16/11; Tampa Tribune, 2/6/2012]

Appealing to Tea Partiers, Marco Rubio voted against federal funding that would help Florida's schools. "Finally, someone in Washington has seized initiative to do right by Florida schools and business. Unfortunately, it's not U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who has protested the action on grounds that will surely rile his tea party supporters. At issue is U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's decision last month to unilaterally override an unrealistic requirement in the No Child Left Behind Act that all U.S. students -- 100 percent -- read, write and do math at grade level by next year…Rubio, R-West Miami, protested the move, calling it unconstitutional in a letter to Duncan on Monday. A national curriculum is illegal, he said…Rubio's argument surely will appeal to tea partiers" [Florida Today Column, 9/15/11; See also: Education News, 9/14/2011]

Rubio voted against the American Jobs Act which would have benefited Floridians. “President Obama served up a jobs plan Thursday that could benefit many Floridians through cheaper mortgage rates, cleaned-up neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosures and an infrastructure program that could put the state's beleaguered construction industry back to work, his supporters said.” Rubio voted against S. 1660 on October 11. [Palm Beach Post, 9/9/11; Senator Rubio release, 10/11/11 and S. 1660, Vote 160, 10/11/11]

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