Following Rick Santorum’s inability to name a single achievement of Sen. Marco Rubio, 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 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 Rob Portman.
(3) Blocking Curbs to Muslim Immigration
Rubio told Sean Hannity he’d “hate” to block funding for Obama’s refugees, and suggested that curbs on Muslim migration would be unconstitutional. This pro mass-migration offensive helped give Paul Ryan the space he needed to wave in a vast new group of Muslim migrants.
Rubio further lent aid and comfort to Paul Ryan by joining a large group of Senators in voting down a proposal offered by Sen. Rand Paul to curb Muslim migration. Sen. Paul’s amendment would have suspended visa issuances to more than 30 Muslim countries with active Jihadist populations.
Rubio has been one of the most ardent champions for increasing Muslim migration. The U.S. has admitted roughly 1.5 million migrants from Muslim countries since 9/11 on a permanent lifetime basis. Yet Rubio has sought to grow that number vastly. In 2015, Rubio introduced an immigration bill which would have allowed for an unlimited increase in Muslim migration.
(4) Enabling His Corporate Backers to Replace Americans With Foreign Workers
In 2015, Florida Disney laid off scores of Marco Rubio’s constituents and replaced them with low-wage foreign workers brought in on H-1B visas. However, before terminating their American employees, Disney forced Rubio’s constituents to train their lesser-skilled foreign replacements.
If Rubio had spent his political capital in 2013 trying to reform the H-1B program, instead of massively expanding it, he could have saved these careers of these Disney workers, instead of enabling their termination by leading the charge for more foreign workers. In 2013, Rubio’s aide even told Ryan Lizza that “There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it. There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly because–.”
At this point another Rubio aide jumped in, asserting, “But the same is true for the high-skilled worker,” to which the first Rubio aide replied, “Yes, and the same is true across every sector, in government, in everything.”
Shortly before the Disney workers got the axe, Rubio introduced legislation in January of 2015 to massively expand the H-1B program. Rubio’s 2015 Immigration Innovation Act would have tripled the number of H-1B visas. Interestingly, the bill was endorsed by Disney’s CEO Bob Iger via his immigration lobbying group, the Partnership for a New American Economy. According to Open Secrets, the Walt Disney Corporation is one of Rubio’s biggest financial backers, having donated more than $2 million.
Unfortunately, Rubio’s success in protecting his corporate backers’ ability to increase their bottom line has gone virtually unreported in the corporate media. This perhaps explains why so few are able to list his Senatorial achievements.
For instance, Julia Preston of the New York Times has written multiple articles about the Florida Disney’s H-1B scheme. Yet Preston fails to mention the fact that Florida Senator Rubio introduced legislation to triple the H-1B program, nor does Preston like to mention that Disney is one of Rubio’s financial backers. To demonstrate, here are several stories in which Preston writes about Rubio’s corporate backer replacing Rubio’s constituents with H-1Bs, yet makes no mention whatsoever of Rubio nor Rubio’s H-1B legislation:
Senator Seeks Inquiry Into Visa Program Used At Disney [The Senator mentioned here in Preston’s story is Florida’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. In contrast to Sen. Rubio — who provided cover to Disney’s cheap-labor practices by pushing to expand H-1Bs — Sen. Nelson joined Jeff Sessions to propose legislation that would reduce the number of H-1Bs and eliminate visas for low-wage jobs. Preston’s story makes no mention of Sen. Rubio nor his desire to expand H-1Bs.]
(5) Blocking Food Stamp Reform
In 2011, Marco Rubio voted against a Republican proposal which the Congressional Budget Office projected would save the U.S. government $10 billion by reining in the abuse of the food stamp program. The measure was backed by almost all Republicans and opposed by virtually all Democrats. The measure, as Sen. Jeff Sessions explained when he proposed it, would have eliminated what is known as the “categorical eligibility” for food stamps, which makes people “automatically eligible” to receive government benefits even if that household has “substantial assets.” Rubio was one of only seven Republicans to oppose the measure, but his no vote helped stall momentum for food stamp reform– which remains elusive.
Rubio’s campaign did not respond to Breitbart’s request for explanation as to why Rubio voted against the 2011 food stamp reform.
As George Will pointed out, Sen. Rubio gave his “enthusiastic support of the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton intervention in Libya.” Indeed, as the Washington Examiner wrote at the time in a piece entitled “Rubio takes the lead to support Obama’s war in Libya.”
“Rubio proposes that the Senate authorize the president’s use of force in Libya, and that the authorization state that the aim of the use of force should be the removal of the Qaddafi regime,” the piece said.
George Will notes that “Rubio supported this third adventure in regime change in the Muslim world since 9/11, perhaps on the principle that practice makes perfect.”
The destabilization and chaos that resulted from the overthrow of Qaddafi not only provided an operating ground for ISIS, but also provided the conditions that led to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.
(7) Worst Attendance Record
Reports note that Sen. Rubio has amassed one of the worst attendance records in the Senate, which is quite an achievement. The Washington Post writes, “Since the beginning of the year, Marco Rubio has cast votes about two-thirds of the time he could have — the worst attendance of any senator seeking a presidential nomination.” The Sun Sentinel editorial board noted, “Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he’s MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead… But two other candidates — Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders — have missed only 10 Senate votes during their campaigns for the White House. You, on the other hand, have missed 59, according to a tally by Politico.”
By contrast, Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley set the record for the “longest temporal stretch of perfect attendance in senatorial history,” as Roll Call reported earlier this month. Roll Call notes that the Senator has “not missed a recorded vote in 22 years, six months and six days.”
Given the media’s reluctance to report on the young Senator’s achievements, it is perhaps understandable why Santorum was unable to identify any of Rubio’s achievements when put on the spot.
Although the media seems loath to report it, Sen. Rubio has been one of the most ardent and successful champions of the donor-class’s open borders trade and immigration agenda. While other establishment Republicans such as Jeb Bush, John McCain, or Lindsey Graham have been unsuccessful in promoting the donor-class’s priorities, Rubio has repeatedly demonstrated his adept ability to deliver for his donors — evidenced by his ability to win praise from prominent conservatives like Rush Limbaugh even as he pushes policies that Limbaugh and others have warned would wipe out conservatism.
This perhaps explains why Rubio’s campaign has been enthusiastically embraced by some of the most powerful mass migration advocates, like Paul Singer and Larry Ellison.