Palm Beach Post Editorial Board: Florida Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott On Wrong Side Of Voting Rights Issue

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After spending the past week attacking efforts to protect voting rights and restore the bipartisan Voting Rights Act while voting to make it more difficult for Floridians to cast their ballots, Marco Rubio is getting slammed for opposing voting rights legislation. As the Palm Beach Post editorial board wrote recently, Rubio’s vote “insulted the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the very week when the nation paused to celebrate him.” 
Read more from the Palm Beach Post below:  Palm Beach Post: Editorial: Florida Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott on wrong side of voting rights issue
Key points: 

  • Not only did our Florida senators join their 48 GOP colleagues in lockstep against the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act this week but they actively railed against the bills, whose only goals were to advance democracy for all, regardless of skin color or political party.
  • They insist Americans only really care about inflation, crime and breached borders. What’s more, Rubio said, Democrats only care about election law as pretext. 
  • As his words betray, for Rubio it’s about stirring insecurities and resentments to manipulate public opinion, to benefit a political party that reads its future in the tea leaves of changing demographics, and that would rather suppress Black votes than win hearts and minds by reconsidering policies so obviously tilted against them.
  • Espouse this kind of propaganda long enough, demonize your opponents so remorselessly and it becomes impossible to believe the sincerity of their mission for social justice. Either that or Scott and Rubio just don’t care, which is far more evident, as they accuse Democrats of the cold power plays to which they devote their own careers, to the detriment of people of color.
  • The voting rights bills the GOP stymied this week wouldn’t usurp states’ rights to supervise elections but would counter state laws that limit Black or Latino votes, of the kind enacted in many GOP-majority state legislatures in recent months.
  • The loss insulted the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the very week when the nation paused to celebrate him.
  • Our senators’ words and votes showed them to be duplicitous and mean-spirited and, figuratively speaking, headed into history the wrong way on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. If they resent being considered racist, they should turn around.

Fact Sheet: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is Already Delivering for Florida

When President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last fall, it was with the explicit promise that it would create good-paying middle-class jobs and fix crumbling infrastructure across Florida. Every single Florida Republican voted against the bill. And though there is still much work to be done, just two months since the bill was signed into law, we are already seeing the results of President Biden’s investment in rebuilding our infrastructure and reshaping our economy. Here’s what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already doing for working Floridians:

  • In Florida alone, the BIL is delivering $13.1 billion in federal funding to repair highways and $245 million to repair bridges that desperately need it. Florida is one of the states that will benefit the most from this investment, with more than 3,564 miles of highway and 408 bridges in poor condition. These repairs will sharply cut commute times and reduce onerous vehicle repair costs (an average of $425 per year) that working Floridians incur from driving on crumbling roads.
  • The BIL includes the largest investment ever, more than $1 billion, to revitalize and restore the Everglades by combating pollution, rising sea levels, and droughts, providing drinking water supply for over 8 million Floridians, and supporting Florida’s tourism economy.
  • The BIL contains the largest investment ever in public transit, $2.6 billion of which is going toward expanding and improving public transit in Florida. This investment will create safer and more efficient public transit options to reduce commute times and better connect Floridians with their friends and family.
  • For the first time ever, the BIL will create a true state-wide and national network of charging stations for electric vehicles, which will create thousands of jobs for electrical workers and reduce pollution in our state. 
  • Bringing high-speed internet access to at least 707,000 Floridians who currently lack access to broadband. The BIL will finally close Florida’s digital gap by ensuring that broadband is accessible and affordable for everyone in the state.
  • Investing $1.6 billion in Florida to eliminate 100% of the state’s lead pipes and provide clean drinking water to Floridians who lack it. Every child in Florida will soon be able to turn on the faucet and drink clean water – and tens of thousands of plumbers and pipefitters will work good-paying jobs.
  • Building up our resilience for the next superstorm or hurricane. The BIL is going to modernize and reinforce Florida’s bridges, water systems, and levees to ensure that we are as prepared as possible when the next storm hits.
  • And no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny more in federal taxes.

Thanks to the above investments, working Floridians are on track to getting the help they need. In fact, this year will mark the first time in 20 years where America’s infrastructure investments will grow faster than China’s. While Florida Republicans unanimously voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and have repeatedly failed to actually articulate what they stand for, President Biden ran on rebuilding this country – and rebuilding our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is already delivering on that promise. 

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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