UPDATE: Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant reached out to Breitbart News after the publication of this article to clarify the senator’s position.
“Senator Rubio does not support shutting down DHS,” Conant said in a statement. “But he does support stopping the new executive order on immigration and is willing to support any approach we could get passed to stop it. But the President had made clear he will veto any effort to stop his unconstitutional order. And Senate Democrats have made clear they will not even end their filibuster on the DHS funding bill. The result will be a DHS shutdown which would be harmful to our national security. The answer is not for Republicans to surrender and pass a clean funding bill. The answer is for the President and Senate Democrats to abandon the executive order and cooperate in passing a series of immigration bills beginning with real border security.”
Conant also provided the entire transcript of Rubio’s remarks, which includes the exact quote from above and means the meaning of this story and the context in which it was put are accurate.
The original story begins here. The full transcript appears blockquoted at the end of the article.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has officially caved to President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, another immigration fail for the once-promising potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
“During a visit to Las Vegas, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday Congress should pass a bill to fund Homeland Security without conditions, essentially stepping back from a battle with President Barack Obama over his executive actions on immigration,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reports. “The possible Republican presidential candidate said national security is too important to hold up funding, although he disagrees with Obama’s moves to go around Congress to halt deportations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.”
“We have to fund Homeland Security,” Rubio said in a press conference there. “We can’t let Homeland Security shut down.”
Rubio was the face of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill in the last Congress, a bill that passed the Senate thanks, in large part, to his efforts to push Republicans to support it. Rubio took a dive in the polls because of his efforts to get the amnesty bill through Congress—and specifically the fact he misled many in order to get it passed.
But, after it passed the Senate, Rubio turned on his own bill. He worked to help undermine its chances in the House of Representatives.
Now, his support for DHS funding without restrictions on Obama’s executive amnesty runs in contravention to almost every Republican member of Congress. It comes at an odd time, since federal district Judge Andrew S. Hanen just put an immediate halt to amnesty through an injunction that the administration has now been forced to comply with. Republican leaders across Capitol Hill have stood by their push to block any funding for the president’s amnesty action.
Senate Democrats have been blocking any efforts by the Senate GOP majority to consider the legislation, using a procedural filibuster led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Hanen’s ruling means there’s no reason to maintain that filibuster.
“This ruling underscores what the President has already acknowledged publicly 22 times: He doesn’t have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as ‘ignoring the law’ and ‘unwise and unfair.’ Senate Democrats–especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the President’s executive overreach—should end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding,” McConnell said.
Senate GOP conference chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD) backed him up, as did Senate GOP whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), among others.
Even House Speaker John Boehner and his entire leadership team have backed the conservative position on this, which Rubio now stands in contravention of while he joins the Democrats’ opposition to the House-passed bill.
“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” Boehner said on Wednesday. “We will continue to follow the case as it moves through the legal process. Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department.”
It remains to be seen what ramifications this will have on Rubio, should he decide to seek the White House, but the Democrats already clearly smell weakness in him as Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is actively considering a U.S. Senate bid for his seat.
TRANSCRIPT OF RUBIO’S REMARKS:
Yeah, we have to fund homeland security. Look, I’m in favor of any measure that has a chance of succeeding that could stop the new order, but the truth of the matter is the president’s not going to sign it and we don’t have the votes to pass it in the Senate. We can’t let homeland security shut down.
DACA and the new one are different. What I’ve said about DACA is that people that have already signed up, that program’s gonna – I’m not talking about repealing that program today. I think it would be very disruptive to yank DACA away from people who are already working and have received their permits. Even though I don’t agree with it, it would be disruptive to do that.
What I’ve talked about repealing is the new order that’s been issued, but I think we need to do this legislatively. I still think we have to deal with that issue, but the only way to deal with that issue is in three steps. We do not have the votes or the support to do it in a comprehensive fashion. We’ll have to do it in three steps. Step one is to show the American people that we’re serious about bringing future illegal immigration under control. Step two is reforming our legal immigration system so that it works better. So it’s less costly, more efficient and better for our country. And step three is dealing reasonably with the people that have been here for a long period of time, have not otherwise violated our laws, allowing them to come forward, undergo a background check, pay a fine, and in return receive a work permit. They’ll have to be in that status for about ten years and after that, they’ll be allowed to apply for permanent residency. But we have to do it in those steps. That’s the only way possible moving forward. There’s been three efforts to do it in a comprehensive bill, and all three have been met with failure here in the last decade.
Well there’s been efforts to go to a vote on the DHS issue, and I think that’s a place where we can perhaps put in place step one of the three step process. Unfortunately, so far the Democrats refuse to give us the votes necessary to go on the bill. By the rules of the Senate, you need 60 [votes] to begin debate and without the 60 votes to begin debate, they won’t even give us the 60 votes to begin debate on the topic.