A new report from Business Insider found that Marco Rubio has failed to show up for his job on the Commission On Security And Cooperation In Europe for years, missing nearly 50 hearings covering important topics ranging from countering Russian aggression to protecting vulnerable NATO members. In the months leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rubio spent time doing cable news interviews to promote himself instead of showing up for work.
This is far from the first time Rubio has failed to show up for important foreign policy work. Rubio missed nine Foreign Relations Committee hearings over several weeks last year and skipped national security briefings to attend fundraisers during his failed presidential campaign.
Read more about Rubio’s latest failure to show up for his job below:
An Insider review of attendance logs show that, since 2017, Rubio was present at only one Helsinki Commission hearing and provided written testimony for one other.
A total of 48 hearings occurred over that time, and many included topics specifically dealing with NATO and Russian policy affairs — though 12 of the hearings were attended only by US House members even though they were open to all lawmakers.
Rubio, 50, is running for re-election in 2022, and his attendance — or lack thereof — at official proceedings has dogged him in previous years. Florida Democrats have slammed Rubio for missing Foreign Relations Committee hearings. And fellow Republicans weaponized his missed votes when he ran for president in 2016, homing in on times when Rubio opted to attend fundraisers instead. A 2015 Politico headline declared Rubio an “absentee senator.”
Most of the nine senators who are members have found time to attend over the years
The commission’s work has accelerated in the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Five Helsinki Commission members on February 3 heard testimony from Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. And the day before, 11 members attended a hearing titled, “Russia’s Assault on Ukraine and the International Order.”
“The risk of a major war in Europe is now greater than has been anytime in the last 30 years,” Rau warned during his testimony, which came more than three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. Rubio was not at either hearing. But on the day Rau testified, Rubio appeared on Fox News to say he was not in favor of sending US troops to Ukraine.
Rubio’s absence from the commission brought immediate backlash from Florida Democrats, who accused Rubio of “failing to show up for his job to support our allies in Eastern Europe.”