Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 5, 2015

Posts in "Marco Rubio"

March 4, 2015

Rubio, Lee Unveil Tax Code Overhaul, Welcome Critics

Lee and Rubio prepare to hold a news conference on their tax plan rollout. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lee and Rubio prepare to hold a news conference on their tax plan rollout. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Say this much about Sen. Marco Rubio: He’s not afraid to put ideas on the table.

The Florida Republican joined Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to present an outline for overhauling the tax code Wednesday morning that — scored statically and in a vacuum — would be sure to reduce the government’s revenue by tens of billions of dollars and eliminate or restrict a slew of popular tax credits and deductions.

But, the pair is floating a white paper and welcoming the critics, even if it would expose them to criticism in future political endeavors. Both Lee and Rubio have Senate seats that are up for re-election in 2016, and Rubio appears to be laying the groundwork for a White House bid.

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February 17, 2015

Democrats Escape Cold, Spend Part of Recess in Cuba

McCaskill, center, and Klobuchar, right, were part of a CODEL to Cuba. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

McCaskill, center, and Klobuchar, right, were part of a CODEL to Cuba. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats from both sides of the Capitol have been spending parts of their Presidents Day recess in Cuba as relations between the communist nation and the United States begin to thaw.

The trips weren’t designed to be a means of avoiding the bitter cold, but that might be a much appreciated side effect. A House delegation led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrived on the island Tuesday, just as a trio of senators wrapped up their trip of a few days and prepared to return to the U.S. Full story

February 6, 2015

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, left, and Graham are two senators seen as potential Republican candidates for the White House in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.

The issue will provide opportunities for jockeying among those senators seeking their party’s nomination for president, including Lindsey Graham, who recently announced his intention to explore the possibilities.

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January 26, 2015

Senate Absences Begin for 2016 (Updated)

elections 2016

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:15 p.m. | It may be January, but the Senate absences for potential presidential candidates have already begun.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky opted against attending the joint House-Senate Republican Republican retreat in Pennsylvania, and now it’s been reported that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., could miss a week’s worth of business on the floor.

ABC News reported that Rubio would spend the week fundraising, with several events in California. Rubio is among those in the Senate Republican Conference mulling a White House bid. His Senate seat is also on the ballot in 2016.

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December 19, 2014

Paul Challenges Rubio Over Obama’s Cuba Plan

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky trolled Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, his potential rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, on Twitter Friday over Rubio’s opposition to President Obama’s plan to normalize relations with Cuba.

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December 17, 2014

Rubio Threatens To Unravel Obama Cuba Deal

Rubio adjusts his tie ahead of a press conference blasting President Barack Obama's deal with Cuba. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio adjusts his tie ahead of a press conference blasting President Barack Obama’s deal with Cuba. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., excoriated President Obama’s plan to normalize relations with Cuba and threatened to hold up efforts to confirm an ambassador and fund an embassy.

“This president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the White House in my lifetime who has basically given the Cuban government everything it asked for and received no assurances of any advances of democracy and freedom in return,” ripped Rubio, who may run for president in 2016, at a press conference. Full story

December 14, 2014

How Big Is the Ted Cruz Caucus?

Ted Cruz

Eleven Republicans sided with Ted Cruz on all three key votes on the ‘cromnibus.’ (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a question that will prove crucial next year when Mitch McConnell takes the reins of a new Senate: Just how big is the Ted Cruz caucus?

Three votes on the “cromnibus” late Saturday night suggest it could be as large as 22 senators — a dangerously high number for McConnell — or as few as a handful.

Let’s break down the three votes — on filibustering the $1.1 trillion package, on Cruz’s point of order aimed at targeting the president’s immigration action, and final passage. Full story

December 12, 2014

Paul and Rubio Spar Over Foreign Policy, ISIS AUMF

Marco Rubio has staked out a more hawkish foreign policy than rival Rand Paul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marco Rubio has staked out a more hawkish foreign policy than rival Rand Paul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The nation may have gotten a little taste of 2016 Republican presidential politics Thursday as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky squared off with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on foreign policy.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee markup, Paul, a potential 2106 presidential candidate, offered an amendment setting geographic limits to an Authorization for Use of Military Force cleared by the committee that would set parameters on the nation’s fight against the terror group known as Islamic State, ISIS, or ISIL.

The amendment failed on a 13 to 5 vote. But the preceding debate, which was respectful, saw Paul and Rubio, who may also seek the Republican nomination for president, disagree over how much Congress should rein in the commander in chief.

The split highlights a debate within the party over America’s role abroad that will likely play out in the run up to 2016. Full story

October 30, 2014

McCain, Graham and Rubio: No Executive Immigration Relief

immigration reform 2014 mccain rubio

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three Republican architects of the Senate’s immigration bill are warning President Barack Obama not to give relief without Congress to immigrants here illegally, warning that would “open the floodgates” to more illegal immigration.

“We write to you today to strongly discourage such action,” John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida said in a letter Thursday.

“Providing legal status by executive order to people who entered this country unlawfully will only incentivize illegal immigration and open the floodgates to more visa overstays and illegal entries over our southern border,” the letter continued. Full story

September 4, 2014

Rubio Asks Reid to Bypass Landrieu on Venezuela Sanctions

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio wants Majority Leader Harry Reid to bypass one of his vulnerable incumbent Democrats in a bid to impose sanctions on Venezuela.

The Florida Republican sent a letter to Reid calling for the Nevada Democrat to use his prerogatives as leader to get a sanctions bill to the floor. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., opposed granting unanimous consent to advance the measure before the August break.

Full story

July 10, 2014

Rubio Calls for Obama to Help Vet in Mexican Jail

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voiced concerns Thursday about a Mexican judge’s decision to return Afghanistan war veteran Andrew Tahmooressi to jail for breaking Mexico’s strict gun laws.

“I am very dismayed by the judicial order to continue detaining Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi in Mexico,” Rubio said. “Sgt. Tahmooressi has been languishing in a Mexican prison long enough.”

Tahmooressi is from South Florida, according to Rubio’s office.

“My office met with Sgt. Tahmooressi’s mother in Florida last week and has been in contact with the family from the start of this ordeal,” Rubio continued. “We remain committed to doing whatever we can to assist them during this difficult time.”

Rubio also called on action from President Barack Obama to help secure Tahmooressi’s release. Full story

By Humberto Sanchez Posted at 12:20 p.m.
Marco Rubio

March 6, 2014

Ukraine Bill Could Attract Amendments on Iran Sanctions, Natural Gas Exports

John Thune

Thune said an aid package for Ukraine could draw amendments related to Iran. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Some Senate Republicans said the upcoming aid package for Ukraine could draw an amendment adding sanctions on Iran, although others cautioned against that approach.

“It could be,” Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said when asked if such an amendment would come up. “I am sure there will be some interest.” Full story

November 6, 2013

Supreme Court Invokes Senate Pages in Prayer Case

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning about a case involving prayers at town board meetings in Greece, N.Y., the potential implications for Congress rang through the packed chamber.

The case pits the town against members of the public who contested the overwhelmingly Christian bent — with frequent direct reference to Jesus Christ as the savior — of the town board’s opening proceedings.

Speaking for the federal government, Deputy Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn argued against some of the prayer opponents’ positions. At one point, he specifically referenced a concern about a potential ruling that children could be unduly coerced by hearing prayers at legislative sessions.

“We think the other elements that the respondents have pointed to for coercion are ones that trouble us because they are things that have analogs in our history. So, for example, they point to the presence of children. But, of course, on the Senate floor are the Senate pages, who are all high-school juniors,” Gershengorn said. “And as the reply brief points out, there are often children in the galleries at state legislatures being acknowledged.”

Full story

August 13, 2013

McConnell: ‘Shutting Down the Government Will Not Stop Obamacare’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd at a health care forum in Kentucky on Tuesday that while he does not like the president’s health care law, shutting down the government over funding it “will not stop” it from existing.

“I’m for stopping Obamacare, but shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare,” McConnell told the audience at Baptist Health Corbin, according to a WYMT-TV reporter at the event.

Several conservative senators — including Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida — have said the GOP should not vote to fund the government unless they can stop money from flowing to Obamacare. Of course, the effort is likely to go nowhere, given that the Democratic-controlled Senate would never approve such a measure and President Barack Obama certainly would never sign it into law. Full story

August 5, 2013

Senate Prayer at Risk? 34 Senators File Court Brief

Thirty-four senators are concerned an upcoming Supreme Court case could affect one of the Senate’s long-standing traditions — the daily Senate prayer.

On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., led the filing of an amicus brief in a case involving the town of Greece, N.Y., where the local board’s monthly meetings begin with a prayer (as do the meetings of the House and Senate).

“The Court of Appeals’ decision was flawed in its interpretation of the founders’ intention for religious liberty,” Rubio said in a statement. “America was founded on the ideal that Americans have the right to practice or not practice any religion, not that public forums should be free from religious expression or limited to court-approved prayer.”

The senators argue that “the practices that the court found unacceptable generally reflect the practice of legislative prayer in Congress.”

Full story

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