Some might say he needed to miss those votes because he is currently running to be the GOP presidential nominee -- but that is a rather disingenuous argument. Other senators running for president have not missed anywhere near that many votes.
For instance, Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul have only missed 10 votes -- and they are running at least as credible campaigns as is Rubio (and in Sanders case, probably a much more credible campaign).
And this rather cavalier attitude toward his Senate duties has not been ignored by those in his home state. In fact, one newspaper (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) is calling for Rubio to resign his Senate seat. Here is that paper's editorial on the subject:
After five years in the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio does not like his job. A long-time friend told The Washington Post "he hates it." Rubio says hate might be too strong a word, but he sure acts like he hates his job.
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.
"I'm not missing votes because I'm on vacation," he told CNN on Sunday. "I'm running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again."
Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.
If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.
Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day's work. Don't leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so.
You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy — declined by some in the Senate — to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare.
You are ripping us off, senator.
True, it's not easy to raise money and run a presidential campaign while doing your day job. 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. This includes votes on the Keystone pipeline, the Export-Import Bank and trade, to name just a few.
It is unpersuasive — and incredible, really — that you say your vote doesn't matter. "Voting is not the most important part of the job," you told CNN.
And it is unconscionable that when it comes to intelligence matters, including briefings on the Iran nuclear deal, you said, "we have a staffer that's assigned to intelligence who gets constant briefings."
And you want us to take you seriously as a presidential candidate?
Two weeks ago, you took to the Senate floor to excoriate federal workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to do their jobs. You said, "there is really no other job in the country where if you don't do your job, you don't get fired."
With the exception of your job, right?
Look, a lot us are frustrated by our jobs and office politics. But we still show up for work every day to earn a paycheck.
By choosing to stay in the Senate and get the publicity, perks and pay that go with the position — without doing the work — you are taking advantage of us.
Jeb Bush is right to call you out. "What are high standards worth if we don't apply them to ourselves?" our former governor said in August. "Consider a pattern in Congress of members who sometimes seem to regard attendance and voting as optional — something to do as time permits."
Your job is to represent Floridians in the Senate.
Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.
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