True conservative? eh ….no, vote Ted Instead!
Following Rick Santorum’s inability to name a single achievement of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 79% , the media sought to answer the question for themselves. Yet many reporters appear to have come up empty handed.
As The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes, a “major part of the problem is that Rubio doesn’t have all that many accomplishments in the Senate.”
“When Rubio is asked to name his single greatest achievement in the Senate, do you hear crickets?” tweeted the National Journal’s Ron Fournier.
Though Rick Santorum was unable to name the accomplishments of the man he just endorsed, there are indeed several accomplishments that are quite noteworthy. Below are a few of Sen. Rubio’s achievements that Rick Santorum could have identified on MSNBC this morning:
(1) The Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight Bill
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York has described the 2013 Rubio-Schumer bill as Rubio’s “signature accomplishment.” Although Santorum seemed reluctant to mention it, Rubio’s immigration bill is probably the first accomplishment that comes to mind when anyone thinks of Rubio’s very brief career in the U.S. Senate.
Rubio’s immigration bill would have tripled the issuances of green cards, doubled the dispensation of foreign worker visas, and granted citizenship — and, thereby, welfare access and voting privileges — to illegal immigrants.
Reports ranging from the The National Review, to the Tampa Bay Times, to the Washington Post, to the New Yorker have all suggested that the Gang of Eight bill would have likely not passed the Senate if not for Sen. Rubio’s tireless efforts. Indeed, Rubio was the key salesman of the Obama-backed immigration agenda. As Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker reported at the time, Rubio served as “the Gang’s official ambassador to the right,” and was able to convince prominent conservatives to promote the open borders legislation.
Lizza wrote: “[Democratic Senator Bob] Menendez told me that Rubio’s role was to ‘work over the conservative universe, particularly the conservative opinion-maker universe,’ in order to ‘neutralize them’ and, in some cases, ‘proselytize them.’ Schumer said, ‘He’s the real deal.’”
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin told Lizza, “[Rubio] has been invaluable… He’s willing to go on the most conservative talk shows, television and radio, Rush Limbaugh and the rest.”
Moreover, Rubio was also able to successfully strike down all conservative amendments to the Gang of Eight’s proposal. As Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 94% pointed out, ““Marco and Schumer basically had a secret deal to block all amendments.” Indeed, Rubio joined Chuck Schumer in voting down an amendment offered by Sen. Thune, which would have required the completion of a double-layer border fence. He also successfully defeated an amendment offered by Sen. Vitter, which would require the implementation of an exit-entry tracking system in order to prevent foreign nationals from illegally overstaying their visas.
Sen. Rubio cast the 60th and deciding vote to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. By giving President Obama fast-track powers, Rubio essentially helped to ensure the passage of not only the TPP, but all subsequent trade pacts, which are now liberated from Senate filibuster, amendment process, and constitutional treaty vote.
This represents a significant legislative victory for the young Senator, who previously endorsed TPP and described Obama’s trade deal as the “second pillar” of a President Rubio’s three-pillar foreign policy strategy.
Moreover, Rubio was also successful in promoting foreign currency manipulation by helping to vote down a provision to crack down on the illicit practice that had been proposed by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 50%.
(3) Blocking Curbs to Muslim Immigration