Rubio And Rick Scott Double Down On Opposition To Infrastructure; Cuban Protesters; Rubio Fails to Show Up to Work

13 mins read

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act will be a major boost for Florida’s economy by creating good paying jobs across the state, repairing roads and bridges to cut commute times and save Floridians money, expanding broadband internet to every Floridian, and much more. 

As Floridians learn more about how vital these infrastructure investments are for the state, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are again putting their self-serving partisan agendas ahead of what’s best for Florida, doubling down on their opposition to the bill. 
See below for recent highlights on the importance of the infrastructure bill for Florida and how Rubio and Scott were too weak to step up to support these critical investments: 

WTVT: “Both the Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott opposed it and played no meaningful role in crafting it”

  • Keep in mind, this bill was crafted by the Senate, where it had strong bipartisan support, but both the Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott opposed it and played no meaningful role in crafting it, which could explain the lone specific reference to Florida. Those are some of the potential challenges Florida faces in getting its top projects funded.

Florida Phoenix: Florida could cash in on President Biden’s infrastructure bill — if we had a plan

  • How sweeping is this almost-law? It’s so good that Florida’s junior senator, Rick Scott, told CNN that the Republicans who voted against it — as he and Sen. Marco Rubio did — are likely to claim credit for at least some of the things it does.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis sneered that the bill is nothing but pork-barrel spending. But if this is pork, it’s just the kind of barbecue that Florida needs right now.
  • For instance, it’s supposed to help pay for warding off cyberattacks on water supplies, such as the one earlier this year that aimed to poison Oldsmar’s population. There’s funding for building wildlife crossings, something our state animal, the frequently flattened Florida panther, sure could use. And there’s money for fixing our faulty sewage systems that keep spilling poop in our waterways.
  • Perhaps most importantly, there’s money for “climate resilience,” which is code for building seawalls, raising highways, and otherwise coping with rising sea levels and other symptoms of a warming world — something we here in Florida definitely need, and quick.

WPEC: How infrastructure bill will impact Palm Beach County

  • The bipartisan, trillion-dollar infrastructure bill is expected to be signed by the president early next week. It will bring billions of dollars to Florida.
  • Palm Beach County spends about $20 million to upgrade our roads each year. With this new infrastructure bill, there should be $6-7 million more to go around.
  • You’ll notice roads becoming easier to navigate at problem intersections and safer for everyone on four wheels, two wheels or two feet. And I-95 improvements that might not have happened for years are getting started a lot sooner.
  • Both of Florida’s Republican senators voted against this bill. 

WFTS: Infrastructure spending in Florida set for big influx of cash

  • Florida will no doubt be near the head of the line for federal aid as the infrastructure here is in need of repair, much like the rest of the United States.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Florida a C grade on its infrastructure for 2021. 
  • The bill received bipartisan support in Congress and Republican governors in other states have praised the passage of the bill.
  • Still, every Republican Florida Congressperson and Senator voted in opposition to the bill. The bill was able to survive through several Republican members crossing party lines to help push the bill across the finish line.

WPEC: Sen. Scott invested in infrastructure as gov., but voted no on recent bi-partisan bill

  • The clogged global supply chain may not be flowing freely again until next year. That’s the message from Florida Senator Rick Scott’s meeting with local industry leaders at the Port of Palm Beach Monday afternoon. But did the senator miss a chance to be part of the solution?
  • Scott touted investments he made in infrastructure as governor of Florida to help keep the supply chain moving and provide well-paying jobs. But on Capitol Hill, he was one of the no votes on the bi-partisan infrastructure plan that’s now waiting for the president’s signature.

South Florida Business Journal: South Florida expects windfall from $1.2T infrastructure bill

  • The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Congress passed is expected to jump-start major construction projects in South Florida, bringing a significant number of jobs and opportunities for local contractors.
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said her administration has been preparing to partner with the federal government to invest whatever money comes its way into “hundreds of shovel-ready resilience projects that also create good-paying local jobs.” “We’re ready to put these funds to work to create new opportunities for thousands of Miami-Dade residents and businesses as we build back our economy stronger than ever,” she said in a statement.
  • Lisa Colon, a construction attorney at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in Miami, said the bill will create many jobs in highways and bridge construction, as well as public transportation and climate infrastructure.

FDP Chair Manny Diaz Calls for Respect and Protection for Cuban Protesters Days from Planned Protests on the Island

Days ahead of planned nationwide protests in Cuba scheduled for Monday, November 15, reports from inside the island make clear that the country’s dictatorial regime has stepped up its efforts to repress dissent and intimidate individuals and opposition groups from participating in these peaceful civic events.

In reaction to these reports, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“The right to peacefully assemble to petition your government for change is a human right that must not be denied to anyone, anywhere in the world. Sadly, as has been true for over six decades, the dictatorial Cuban regime is showing once again that there is no right it will not trample to remain in power unchallenged and unquestioned. 

“The Cuban people must be allowed to express their desires and aspirations for change. The protests planned for November 15 would be viewed by any legitimate government as an opportunity to listen to the grievances of the population and change its policies to address them. 

“Unfortunately, the illegitimate communist regime that has impoverished and brutalized the Cuban people for decades is not equipped to listen and change. It understands that, if it were to actually heed the demands of its citizens, it would have to abandon power immediately and give way to a democratic process that would surely dismantle the sad, destructive and violent legacy of over sixty years of Castrism. 

“The regime’s pathetic and mendacious attempts to blame the United States and the economic embargo for the suffering of the Cuban people simply do not stand up to scrutiny. Make no mistake about it, the people are taking to the streets asking for “libertad” (freedom) because they know that it’s the repressive and failed societal model brutally imposed by this communist regime that is directly responsible for their woes.

“I urge the Government of the United States to use every diplomatic and economic tool at its disposal to support the human rights of the Cuban people. The citizens of the island have been under attack from their own government for far too long, and we must do everything we can to stand by them as they prepare to exercise their right to free expression and peaceful assembly.”

Marco Rubio Is Failing To Show Up To Work, Again

Marco Rubio has a long history of failing to show up for his job in the Senate. From skipping vital meetings on national security to earning the worst attendance record of any Florida Senator in the last 30 years, Rubio has fostered a reputation as an “absentee senator.” 

Now, new reporting from the Orlando Sentinel reveals that Rubio is still taking advantage of the taxpayers who fund his salary and failing to show up for work yet again. In recent months, Rubio has missed important Foreign Relations Committee hearings and skipped out on meetings covering issues vital to seniors and small businesses. 

Orlando Sentinel: Demings rips Rubio for skipping 14 Senate hearings amid GOP boycotts
By Steven Lemongello 

Key points:

  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has missed as many as 14 Senate hearings over the past two months, a practice the Republican was criticized for six years ago as he launched a bid for the presidency.
  • Rubio did not appear at nine Foreign Relations hearings since Sept. 22, most of which focused on Biden nominations.
  • Rubio also missed all three hearings of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee in September and October
  • Rubio also missed both hearings of the Special Committee on Aging in September and October.
  • Rubio has gotten in hot water before over his attendance record. In 2015, Politico called him an “absentee senator” who “has been playing hooky more than the rest of the 2016 class.”
  • Rubio at the time was running for president instead of reelection, saying of the Senate, “I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word. I’m frustrated.”
  • A 2015 story noted how he had been critical of the Obama administration over hostages in Iran but skipped the resolution calling for their release.
  • A review by the Tampa Bay Times in early 2016, spurred by criticism from presidential rival Jeb Bush, found Rubio had missed 68% of his committee hearings, including 80% of Commerce hearings and 85% of Small Business.

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