Tampa Bay Times Editorial Slams Marco Rubio for “Galling” Debt Ceiling Hypocrisy
Marco Rubio’s vote against funding the government and raising the debt ceiling on Monday night moved the country closer to a catastrophic default that would cost millions of jobs and threaten Floridians’ livelihoods. Now, a new Tampa Bay Times editorial is calling out Rubio’s vote for what it is: shameful, weak, and politically motivated hypocrisy.
As the editorial notes, Rubio was happy to raise the debt ceiling under Donald Trump. But in a “reckless and self-serving” attempt to score political points, he’s now refusing to pay for trillions of dollars in spending that he previously supported.
Tampa Bay Times: Blocking the debt ceiling is a reckless move by Senate Republicans
- But there is no reason to block an essential vote on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Doing so is as reckless and self-serving as it is hypocritical. Both parties added to the debt — the Trump tax cuts, anyone? — and now they need to pay for it. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida are particularly brazen for ignoring this shared sense of responsibility.
- Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars when their party was in control, and the current increase is needed to cover spending under previous administrations of both parties, not to pay for new spending bills working through Congress. And neither party wins by playing chicken and threatening the nation’s full faith and credit with default.
- That’s why it’s galling to see the very politicians who’ve bellied up to the buffet now attempt to dine and dash. Rubio and Scott both voted Monday against proceeding to raise the debt limit. Where was that fiscal restraint in March 2020, when both voted to send the $2 trillion pandemic-relief CARES Act to President Donald Trump’s desk? Or back in December 2017, when Rubio voted for Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, which then-Gov. Scott supported?
- In reality, the Republican hard line on spending often hinges on who is president and what the money’s for. Rubio and Scott, for example, have lobbied for hundreds of millions of dollars toward Everglades restoration in South Florida. And in June, Scott co-authored a resolution blasting President Joe Biden’s $715 billion defense budget as inadequate, calling on “all the necessary resources” to sustain America’s “overwhelming military might.”
- Republicans had a hand in amassing this debt, and they need to put the nation’s interest before any perceived partisan advantage.”