Florida Sens. Nelson and Rubio explain their opposing votes on deal to end shutdownby George Bennett | October 17th, 2013
Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio were on different sides in the Senate’s 81-18 vote Wednesday to end the stalemate that created a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government.
Democrat Nelson supported the deal and lamented that “a couple of senators and a handful of House extremists have managed to embarrass America in front of the world.”
Republican Rubio opposed the agreement “because it postpones any significant action on pro-growth and spending reforms and does nothing to provide working class Americans even one shred of relief from Obamacare’s harmful effects.”
Rubio joined two other potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — in opposing the agreement, which was later approved by the House.
Read statements from Nelson and Rubio after the jump…
Statement from Sen. Bill Nelson: “Thank goodness, not just for the thousands and thousands of Americans who have been hurting because of the disruption in government services, but thank goodness for our nation’s economic well-being.
“I’m relieved about this shutdown being over and certainly relieved that we have avoided a default of the financial integrity of this country, but this never should have happened in the first place. A couple of senators and a handful of House extremists have managed to embarrass America in front of the world.
“And with this government shutdown and coming right to the precipice on a default, they showed a lack of compassion but they also showed a lack of understanding about what it means to be a public official and what it means to represent and serve the interests of all, not just a few.
“A public office is a public trust. And no public servant should ever deny government services to people in need. No public servant should ever take his own country hostage to advance his own narrow, selfish ideology.
“So for now, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But this is going to crank up again, starting in December, January and February – the deadlines of this agreement. We just can’t keep continuing putting our country in situations like this. We’ve got to find a way, right soon, to govern ourselves without being at the mercy of a few partisan extremists. Congress has a responsibility to cast aside extremism and reach out to find common ground, reason and common sense. We owe no less to our people in this country.”
Statement from Sen. Marco Rubio: “This debate has never been about whether to have an open federal government, but about whether we are going to fix it so that it stops spending more money than it takes in. To save the American Dream, we need decisive action to create millions of middle class jobs and stop Washington politicians from wasting taxpayers’ money on a government we can’t afford.
“I cannot support this deal because it postpones any significant action on pro-growth and spending reforms and does nothing to provide working class Americans even one shred of relief from ObamaCare’s harmful effects.
“Until we tackle the real threats to the American Dream, we are going to continue finding ourselves in these kinds of messes. America is better than this, and the American people deserve better.”