U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wants the federal government to fast-track aid to hurricane-ravaged Florida, which he represents in the Senate.
He says it’s the government’s responsibility to help Americans in distress from natural disasters.
I agree with the Republican lawmaker. He is right. But let’s remember that when Super Storm Sandy pounded New Jersey in 2012, Rubio wasn’t quite so quick to rush to New Jersey residents’ aid. He voted against an appropriation to assist Sandy victims, citing “pork barrel” spending provisions buried deep inside the bill.
It reminded me of the time then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pushed back against relief for victims of a tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo. The Virginia Republican argued that Congress needed to cut money from other programs to pay for the Joplin relief package.
I have an idea. Why doesn’t Sen. Rubio insist publicly, clearly and loudly that any Hurricane Michael relief aid is free of the kind of excessive and non-essential spending he alleged was contained in the Sandy relief legislation?
If it does contain that kind of excess, would the senator then be willing to vote “no” in the name of fiscal responsibility?
I doubt he would do that. Serious political courage, though likely would require Sen. Rubio to speak the truth about the way Congress doles out relief aid.