This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., campaigned for President Donald Trump in a conference call with the Florida media and tore into his colleagues on the other side of the aisle, saying they’ve decided against a backing another coronavirus relief bill.
Rubio came out swinging at the Democrats on Monday.
“Ultimately the best thing for the country is to be able to pass a compromise like we did the first couple of times. This time, I guess it is too close to the election, and they’ve decided that they’re better off by doing nothing at all. I disagree, and I think the voters are going to disagree,” Rubio told the media.
Rubio said he is incensed that talks on providing relief to the American people have gone nowhere. He blamed the Democrats, not the Republican majority led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Rubio jabbed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, on the matter.
“Frankly, I think that the speaker and Senator Schumer, I’m not sure that all of their members agree with their calculation, but they’ve made the calculation that no deal means that the country will suffer damage and people will get hurt and the more people are hurt, the angrier they’ll be, and they’ll take it out on Donald Trump during the election. I think that’s the calculus they’ve made,” Rubio said.
Rubio went on to say the GOP is trying to advance a relief package and has put forward “reasonable offers” to make something happen.
“I don’t think that calculus is the right one, and in time I think the American people are going to begin to realize as they have started to already that the only thing standing in the way of another round of PPP, of doing more for those people who haven’t been able to find a job, of providing funds for testing so we can reopen our schools safely, of all sorts of things such as this, is that the Democratic leadership right now refuses to make a deal,” Rubio said.
The Senate has refused to take up the “HEROES Act” that passed in the House. Pelosi and House Democrats passed a $3 trillion relief effort, trying to spur the economy which the pandemic has stalled. However, there has been little common ground between that proposal and the $1 trillion package being pushed by McConnell and the GOP.
“If this was a compromise, I think we could have worked something out a long time ago,” Rubio told Florida Daily, adding he is not optimistic about a turnaround.
“Speaker Pelosi has been pretty clear it has to be in the $2.5 to $3 trillion range for her to even consider it. Senator Schumer has been very clear that it has to hit a certain target range for local governments in order for them to even take it up. That’s why we don’t have a deal,” Rubio said.
Rubio praised his old rival Trump who routed the Florida senator back in the 2016 primaries.
“People have seen that the president has done everything he possibly can within the constitutional powers given to the executive to try and deal with some of these issues in the absence of the willingness of the Democrats to do anything about it,” Rubio said.
While Rubio has not given up yet, he said he does not think the Democrats will shift before November. Rubio insisted the Democrats think “they politically benefit from no deal, and you’ve seen that in the posture that they’ve taken.”
Reach Mike Synan at firstname.lastname@example.org .