WSJ Hides Rubio's Obstructionist Past


The Wall Street Journal ignored key parts of Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) Senate record to promote him as "bipartisan" and in "pursuit of legislative harmony." In fact, Rubio has a history of obstructionism, voting against major bipartisan legislation, blocking nominations, and filibustering Democratic initiatives in the Senate.

Wall Street Journal Pushes Image Of Rubio As "Bipartisan"

Wall Street Journal: Rubio's Image Is "A Conservative Leader With A Bipartisan Bent." The Wall Street Journal claimed Rubio's speech following the president's State of the Union address Tuesday would allow him to "build his image as a conservative leader with a bipartisan bent" who is in "pursuit of legislative harmony." [The Wall Street Journal, 2/11/13]

In Fact, Rubio Has History Of Obstructionism And Partisanship


Rubio Helped Senate Republicans Block Critical Bills Addressing Unemployment And Economic Recovery. Rubio supported filibusters and other maneuvers to disrupt the democratic process and kill proposals that otherwise would have passed the Senate:

  • The American Jobs Act would have boosted the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending designed to specifically impact employment at the state and local levels. [United States Senate, 10/11/11]
  • Paying A Fair Share Act Of 2012 proposed that taxpayers with incomes over $1 million to pay at least a 30 percent tax rate. [United States Senate, 4/16/12]
  • Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act would have taken away several tax breaks for oil companies. [United States Senate, 3/29/12]
  • The Bring Jobs Home Act intended to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs to the U.S. while ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. [United States Senate, 7/19/12]
  • The Disclose Act required greater transparency in the finances of campaign advertising. [United States Senate, 7/17/12]
  • The Small Business Jobs And Tax Relief Act would have offered job creation incentives like tax credits. [United States Senate, 7/12/12]
  • The Paycheck Fairness Act sought to require employers to prove that discrepancies between male and female employee wages were not based on gender, and to protect employees who share salary information from employer retaliation. [United States Senate, 6/5/12


Rubio Pledged Not To Raise The Debt Ceiling. In a March 2011 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Rubio wrote that he would never vote to raise the debt ceiling, which allows the government to issue debt to pay for spending already authorized, unless the Senate agreed to never raise the debt ceiling again:

In a few weeks, we will once again reach our legal limit for borrowing, the so-called debt ceiling. The president and others want to raise this limit. They say it is the mature, responsible thing to do.

In fact, it's nothing more than putting off the tough decisions until after the next election. We cannot afford to continue waiting. This may be our last chance to force Washington to tackle the central economic issue of our time.


I will vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit unless it is the last one we ever authorize and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. [The Wall Street Journal, 3/30/11]


S&P Sovereign Ratings Committee Chairman: U.S. Downgrade Due To Debate Over Debt Ceiling. In an August 5, 2011, Wall Street Journal article discussing Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, John Chambers, the chairman of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, cited political paralysis over the debt ceiling as a reason for the decision to downgrade. He claimed the "conclusion was pretty much motivated by all of the debate about the raising of the debt ceiling ... It involved a level of brinkmanship greater than what we had expected earlier in the year." [The Wall Street Journal8/5/11]

Roosevelt Institute's Jeff Madrick: "S&P Downgrade Brought On By Republican Obstructionism." In a post for the Roosevelt Institute where he is a senior fellow, former New York Times economics columnist Jeff Madrick wrote that the S&P downgrade was due to Republican obstructionism over the debt ceiling increase:

For all of S&P's handwringing about the nation's debt problems, Congressional recalcitrance was the driving issue. So when the press says neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can escape blame, it is in truth nonsense. The showdown caused the downgrade, not the nation's financial liabilities, and Republicans deliberately caused it in pursuit of their own political and ideological goals. [The Roosevelt Institute, 8/8/11]

Bipartisan Policy Institute: Credit Downgrade Cost Taxpayers Billions. In a report on the economic consequences of the 2011 debt ceiling debate, the Bipartisan Policy Institute estimated that the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt will likely cost $18.9 billion over ten years due to elevated interest rates. [Bipartisan Policy Institute, 11/27/12]


Rubio Voted Against Recent Bipartisan Compromise To Delay Debt Ceiling Deadline. In January 2013, Rubio voted against the bipartisan compromise to delay the deadline for extending the federal government's ability to borrow new money and pay off debts until May 2013. [United States Senate, 1/31/13]

CNN: Bipartisan Delay "Will Give The U.S. Treasury The Ability To Meet All Federal Spending Obligations Through At Least The End Of July." CNN reported that the deal passed by the Democratic Senate and Republican House, which Rubio voted against, allowed the Treasury to meet its spending obligations through July:

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed legislation on Thursday extending the federal government's ability to borrow new money through mid-May, delaying a partisan standoff that some analysts warn could derail a fragile economic recovery.

The bill, which passed in a 64-34 vote, cleared the Republican-run House of Representatives last week. It now advances to President Obama's desk to be signed into law.

While the measure suspends Washington's $16.4 trillion debt ceiling through May 19, some budget analysts estimate it will give the U.S. Treasury the ability to meet all federal spending obligations through at least the end of July. [, 1/31/13]

Rubio Obstructed Obama Administration Nominees

Rubio Threatened To "Hold" Chuck Hagel Nomination For Secretary Of Defense. In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, Rubio communications director Alex Conant stated that Rubio might put a hold on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to secretary of defense, noting that the senator has "put holds on other administration nominees over the issue" of promoting democracy in Latin America. [Washington Free Beacon, 12/20/12]

Rubio Filibustered Nomination Of U.S. Ambassador To El Salvador. The Washington Post's In the Loop blog reported that Rubio was "under fire" from Latinos and fellow Republicans for filibustering the nomination to allow the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador to remain in her post:

Latino lawmakers and organizations are furious over the Senate's failure to break a GOP filibuster of the nomination of recess appointee Mari Carmen Aponte to remain in her post as ambassador to El Salvador.

The Obama administration and Senate Democrats fell 11 votes short of the 60 needed to bring the nomination to a vote. Without confirmation, Aponte will lose her ambassadorship at the end of this year.

Latinos specifically singled out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for blame.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (R-N.Y.) said he "promised to be the voice of Puerto Ricans in the Senate" but declined to "use that voice in support of a Puerto Rican woman who has shown she is immensely qualified."

Rubio, who voted to maintain the GOP filibuster, said he wasn't opposed to Aponte but was blocking her nomination and a couple of others to protest administration policy in Latin America. [The Washington Post, In the Loop, 12/14/11]

Rubio Temporarily Blocked Nominee For U.S. Ambassador To Vietnam. The Hill's Global Affairs blog reported that the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, David Shear, had his nomination "held up temporarily by Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over concerns that Vietnamese children in the process of getting adopted by U.S. citizens were being left in limbo." [The Hill, Global Affairs, 5/23/11]

Rubio Voted Against Major Legislation That Had Bipartisan Support


Rubio Voted Against Bipartisan American Taxpayer Relief Act. Rubio was one of only eight senators to vote against the Senate's deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases planned for early January 2013. [United States Senate, 1/1/13

Wash. Post: Bipartisan Deal Helped Working Poor And Small Businesses. The Washington Post's Wonkblog reported that the deal allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire on incomes above $450,000, included a one-year extension on unemployment insurance, and significantly benefited the working poor, due to an extension of tax breaks for low-income families. The deal also continued targeted tax breaks for businesses, and virtually exempted small businesses from the estate tax. [The Washington Post, Wonkblog, 12/31/12]


Rubio Voted Against Bipartisan Violence Against Women Act In 2012. In April 2012, Politico's On Congress blog reported that Rubio voted against the Senate bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Fifteen Republicans supported the bill. [Politico, On Congress, 4/27/12]

Rubio 1 of Only 8 Senators Against Reconsidering VAWA. In February 2013, Rubio was one of only eight senators to vote against reconsidering VAWA, while 85 senators voted in favor. [United States Senate, 2/4/13]

American Bar Association Official: "VAWA Has Been The Single Most Effective Federal Effort" Against Domestic Violence. Debbie Segal, who chairs the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, said of VAWA:

"VAWA has been the single most effective federal effort to respond to the epidemic of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in this country."


The act has ensured that "legal and social services are available to survivors, and that law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, attorneys and advocates are well-trained with cutting-edge resources to effectively address these crimes in their own communities." [American Bar Association Journal, 1/1/12]

Since VAWA's Original Enactment, Domestic Violence Against Women Has Fallen By More Than Half. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

The rate of intimate partner violence against females declined 53% between 1993 and 2008, from 9.4 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older to 4.3 per 1,000. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 10/23/09]

For more information on right-wing media misinformation on the Violence Against Women Act, CLICK HERE

Posted In
Economy, Government, The Senate
The Wall Street Journal
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.