After Marco Rubio single-handedly derailed the process to pass a critical military funding bill that includes pay raises for troops, funding for military projects in Florida, and the resources American armed forces need to protect our national security, Florida veterans are speaking out. Earlier this week, veterans from across the state held a press call to discuss Rubio’s self-serving tactics and the consequences they could have for military families.
See below for key quotes and watch highlights of the call here:
“I’m very disappointed that Marco Rubio is playing politics with the NDAA…It also has 12 weeks maternity and paternity leave for our troops. I met my husband in the military and I had a baby while I was in the military and he only got two weeks off. And then he had to go back to getting up at 4:00 AM and coming home at 10:00 PM, and that was really hard on our family…So this is a really really big win for military families…Senator Rubio is failing to do the bare minimum as a Senator. He gets paid $174,000 a year to represent the state of Florida, and he’s missed at least 12 Senate hearings recently…Do your job and stop playing politics, and help get this through. This is a bipartisan bill that helps benefit veterans, active duty troops, and Floridians,” said Lacy Hollings, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
“I’m a Floridian and a retired Naval flight officer. I spent over 20 years in uniform serving our nation. I have a wife and two children who grew up moving station to station while I served. So I truly understand the sacrifices military families make daily…The Navy taught me three core values: honor, courage, and commitment. And I’m here today to tell you that Mr. Rubio has failed all three. He failed to honor our service members and their families by holding up the vote on this critical legislation…He lacked the courage to push back on those who want to politicize this bipartisan bill…And he failed in his commitment to represent Floridians buy not showing up and doing his job,” said Navy veteran Tom Keen.
“For Senator Rubio to grandstand and delay this effort the way he has done over the past week or so is just incredible to me. I think his personal agenda in delaying this process has been for his own benefit…it’s had negative collateral impacts on other amendments and issues that could have been included in the NDAA…I think Senator Rubio has overlooked the importance of our enlisted personnel especially, and also things that are important to the security of our country…I’m just distressed, annoyed, and disgusted at what Senator Rubio has done in delaying this bill…I think he fails to see the big picture which is taking care of our troops and ensuring the security of our country,” said retired Navy captain Claudette Wells.