In a new op-ed in the Fort Myers News-Press, local leader Jacquelyn McMiller slams Rubio for failing to support legislation that will help protect her community from climate change and bring down costs for everyday Floridians.
With funding to help fix Florida’s over 400 bridges and 3,500 miles of highway that are in poor condition, expand access to broadband and clean water for Florida families, and create new good-paying jobs for thousands of Floridians, the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an unequivocal win for Florida. Yet Marco Rubio was too weak to put his self-serving political agenda aside and vote for it, and Floridians have not let him forget it.
Expensive flood insurance and damaging storms are raising the cost of living here in Lee County. But the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden recently signed into law contains a number of measures that will control these costs by helping communities mitigate the damage of climate change and better prepare for the future.
A top priority for Florida should be improving our resilience — making sure our roads, bridges, power plants, and other vital infrastructure are protected from storms and floods. Hurricane Irma is just one recent example of how damaging a superstorm can be for our local infrastructure. The new infrastructure plan allocates significant funding to repair damaged roads, move critical infrastructure like water treatment plants out of flood zones, and create good-paying jobs in the process to boost our economy.
Stopping the damaging effects of climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. When a major flood or damaging storm strikes, Republicans and Democrats are equally at risk. But when every Florida Republican in Congress had a chance recently to support the recent infrastructure bill, they refused.
While many of their Republican colleagues saw the importance and economic benefit of investing in our infrastructure, Florida Republicans — including Senator Marco Rubio, who has a long history of denying the existence and danger of climate change — were too scared to put their partisan political agendas aside and do the right thing for our state. Rubio may insist he supports infrastructure spending, but his actions speak louder than his words.
We can’t count on Marco Rubio to do what’s best for Lee County if he’s going to continue to put his political agenda ahead of tackling the high costs of climate change.