Before trying to pass an anti-immigration bill today, Marco Rubio had not showed up for work since September 24th. The Florida senator has completely abandoned his duties on the Hill for the campaign trail. Not only has he been absent to vote on a number of important topics, he has also missed briefings and hearings. This is not just negligent; it is clear that because of this he is also blatantly uninformed.
In spite of missing nine votes in almost a month (much more than his running mates who are also senators) Rubio had the audacity to speak to an audience about how government employees who do not work should be fired. “All we’re saying here is if you … aren’t doing your job, they get to fire you,” declared Rubio. “This should actually be the rule in the entire government – if you aren’t not doing your job, you should be fired.” Maybe he is giving us a hint?
Fortunately, Rubio has said he will step down from the Senate next year, whether he wins or loses. Until then, he is receiving a six-figure salary, in spite of not doing his job or showing up for work. The fact that Rubio voted yesterday is not redeeming. He cast a ballot on a stringent anti-immigration bill that aimed to strip funding to “sanctuary cities” –those that do not help the federal government deport illegal immigrants. The bill also sought to establish harsh prison sentences for undocumented aliens who return to the US after being deported.
As predicted, the measure failed along party lines, with Democrats coming ahead 54-45. Rubio showed up merely to petition anti-immigration fanatics, to put his priorities on display and of course, to complain about government officials not doing their jobs. In true Republican fashion, this hypocrisy has been long standing. These are not Rubio’s first comments championing the firing of government officials that are not performing. Just last year he complained, “Why do you get paid to be here, then, if you’re not going to vote on anything?”
It’s a good question—we only wish Rubio would realize he should ask himself.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.