Marco Rubio returned to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to vote on a Senate bill to defund sanctuary cities, after weeks of being criticized for missing votes on Capitol Hill.
Rubio voted yes for the bill introduced by Sen. David Vitter, but it failed to advance after Democrats filibustered it. The White House had threatened a veto of the legislation if it reached President Obama’s desk.
In the past, Rubio defended his missed votes on defunding Planned Parenthood and the defense spending bill, arguing that winning the presidency was more important.
“If there’s a vote where my vote is going to make a difference or an issue of major national significance and importance, we do everything possible to be there,” Rubio said in an interview with CNBC earlier this month, defending his absence in the Senate.
But it appears that Rubio could not afford being absent for a vote on illegal immigration, particularly on legislation that he co-sponsored with Sen. Ted Cruz.
Rubio has also faced criticism from grassroots activists in the Republican party for working with Democrats to pass the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill in the Senate, a looming threat to his campaign for president.
Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul also joined Rubio and Cruz to vote for the bill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, however, was absent.