Leaders from across Florida held a virtual press conference today to discuss how the recently passed Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act will benefit their communities. From funding to fix crumbling roads and bridges that will lower commute times and save Florida drivers money, to investments in ports and airports to strengthen supply chains and prevent disruptions that have caused inflation, the new law will create good paying jobs and help grow the state’s economy.
Meanwhile Marco Rubio and every Florida Republican in Congress voted against the bill. Rubio’s failure to support what’s best for Florida is another example of him putting his self-serving political interests ahead of the needs of millions of people he represents.
See below for highlights from the press call and watch the full recording here
“I feel that this is bringing so much help to our communities, especially here in central Florida where we have the rail system…I’m looking at the job aspect, how many jobs will be opened up for our community in the building trades…I think this is a positive and dynamic move, and you know when you say not only Rubio but the rest of the Republicans and Congressional Republicans in the state of Florida did not support this infrastructure…that says a lot. We talk about how we need to get people back on their feet after this pandemic and what this money means to have better paying jobs and a future for our families. This is going to change the outlook here in central Florida,” said Senator Victor Torres.
“Look, here in south Florida we know a bit about having a crumbling infrastructure and we’ve been waiting for help for a long time…As a matter of fact, we always know about infrastructure because we experience hurricanes every other year that are categories three to five, and we’re always thinking about how to rebuild back bigger and better. […]
And so that’s why it was a little disappointing that Senator Rubio did not support this great piece of bipartisan legislation. This was an opportunity for us to come together…and do what’s best for the people. That’s what they’ve been asking for…It’s disappointing that our U.S. Senator, who’s from Miami-Dade, who’s represented Miami-Dade, coming from a local government background, didn’t think that it was important enough to help us with the infrastructure problems we have in south Dade and south Florida that he knows too well,” said Representative Kevin Chambliss.
“At one point I was on disability quite a few years ago with a very compromised immune system…not having the income and being on disability, it didn’t allow me to afford access to internet which I needed to complete my masters degree program…That was very devastating to me…It’s very unfortunate that many many Floridians, millions of Floridians, are in my situation now. They can’t afford the access to quality or even stable internet. […]
I’m very very disappointed in my representatives in the Senate, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott…To not vote for a bill that would help all of the citizens of Florida just made no sense to me. And then to say that they support infrastructure, support broadband access, and to not vote for those things, that’s very disappointing. And that hurts Florida in such a major way, from employers to employees to students…we all deserve to be included digitally,” said Jacksonville resident Sasha Wilson.
Burmese American Advocate Blasts Marco Rubio For Failing To Support The Burmese People
In another sign that Marco Rubio’s self-serving political agenda is alienating immigrant communities across the state, Burmese American leader Daniel Nay Hlaing, the founder of the Jacksonville Myanmar Association, called out Marco Rubio for failing to stand with the Burmese people in a new op-ed in the Miami Herald.
Even worse, Hlaing faults Rubio for prioritizing partisan politics over his support for those suffering under the brutal repression of the Burmese military, accusing him of “snubbing The Burma Act of 2021 for partisan reasons.”
Read highlights from the op-ed below:
Miami Herald: Op-ed: Floridians from Myanmar hope Rubio have not abandoned their crippled country By Daniel Nay Hlaing
- The Burmese community in Florida was disheartened when the most consequential piece of Burma legislation since the early 2000s was introduced earlier this month without Rubio as a co-sponsor. More surprising, he seems to be snubbing The Burma Act of 2021 for partisan reasons.
- Large numbers of Burmese refugees began moving to Florida in the early 2000s, with thousands of us settling in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota and Miami. Thoroughly grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy in America and deeply tied to our Christian and Buddhist faiths, many of us have found a home in the Republican Party.
- Many activists are losing hope and giving up their pro-democracy efforts so that they can survive and make ends meet for themselves and their families. The international community must support and encourage these activists and civil societies in the strongest ways possible.
- We feel helpless, wondering what more we can do and who will help. At the same time, Congress has given us a rare reason for hope. Introduced on Oct 5 by Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Maryland, the Burma Act provides some hope to our communities through increases in humanitarian aid and targeted sanctions on key sectors and individuals.
- Republicans in the House have lent their support through cosponsoring and allowing the bill to pass through committee with the unanimous consent of all of both Democrats and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But while we wait for the Senate to agree on this bill, our families in Burma are dying. We need Rubio to live up to his image and reach across the aisle to bring a resolution to the gridlock in the Senate over what should be an easily bipartisan bill…Otherwise, he stands to alienate thousands of Burmese Republicans in Florida on the issue that is most dear to them.
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