WASHINGTON, D.C. This week, Senator Marco Rubio suggested that he and other Senate Republicans are already planning to block nominees to President-elect Biden’s Cabinet and prevent the incoming administration from fixing the messes left by President Trump and delivering on the agenda that the American people just strongly supported.  

Senator Rubio’s comments stand in stark contrast to what he said just four years ago when, as chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship & Select Intelligence Committees, he stated, “I believe the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the Cabinet,” and it would be “against our national interests” to delay one of his nominees. 

“This is the height of hypocrisy and exactly why people across the country are sick and tired of the Senate’s gridlock and dysfunction,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig. “Nearly 80 million Americans chose President-elect Biden to help clean up Trump’s messes, but Senator Rubio is signaling his intent to obstruct and sabotage that work before he even admits that President Trump lost. This is just the latest example of Trump’s Senate allies putting the nation’s health and security at risk for their own partisan political interests – and it needs to stop.” 

According to Accountable.US research, Rubio is also one of 23 GOP senators, including 19 who are still serving, who sent a letter in December 2016 to President Barack Obama asking him to refrain from lame duck rule-making. This is quite different than the recent silence from Rubio and his colleagues in the face of the Trump administration’s last-ditch efforts to shove through harmful policies that would harm workers, immigrants, and the environment before Trump’s term expires. 

Earlier this month, Accountable.US launched its Senate War Room to hold lawmakers accountable for standing in the way of a smooth transition of power and the swift approval of nominees to staff the new administration. The project will also seek to limit the corrosive influence of special interests on the Senate as the new president seeks to address the public health and economic crisis left behind by President Trump’s administration.  

BACKGROUND:  

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Said, “I Believe The President Is Entitled To Significant Deference When It Comes To His Choices For The Cabinet,” In Declaring Support For Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson’s Nomination Despite Reservations. “I believe the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the cabinet. I also believe given the uncertainty surrounding the future direction of our foreign policy that a higher degree of scrutiny is justified in evaluating whoever is nominated to serve as secretary of state. […] Therefore, my consideration of Mr. Tillerson’s nomination focused not just on his qualifications, but also on his views about the role of democracy and human rights in shaping our foreign policy.” [Facebook Post by Marco Rubio, 01/23/17, accessed 11/06/20] 

  • Rubio Previously Had “‘Reservations’” About Tillerson’s Nomination. “U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will back Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state Monday, despite “reservations” exposed in the Florida Republican’s pointed, high-profile questioning of the Cabinet nominee two weeks ago.” [Patricia Mazzei, “Despite ‘reservations,’ Rubio will back Tillerson for secretary of state,” Lexington Herald Leader, 01/23/17] 

Rubio Added, “It Would Be Against Our National Interests To Have This Confirmation Unnecessarily Delayed Or Embroiled In Controversy.” “But in making my decision on his nomination, I must balance these concerns with his extensive experience and success in international commerce, and my belief that the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the cabinet. Given the uncertainty that exists both at home and abroad about the direction of our foreign policy, it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy.” [Facebook Post by Marco Rubio, 01/23/17, accessed 11/06/20] 

 Marco Rubio Was Chair Of The Committee On Small Business And Entrepreneurship And The Select Committee On Intelligence In The 116th Congress. [“Committees,” U.S. Senate, accessed 11/06/20]

###