Yesterday it became apparent that the $1+Trillion omnibus spending bill was heading to votes in the House and Senate today so that Congress could take off for home and leave our lives, liberty, and property relatively intact until January. In that bill is a provision essentially doubling the number of H2B visas that can be issued. We covered that yesterday and without an extensive recap, these visas enable workers to replace low-skill Americans and they lock the visa recipient into working for a single employer and if they lose their job they are sent home. All in all, it is a bad idea with nothing to commend it except it lets some major corporations, like Disney, to save a few bucks.
Even though it was late in the game, Senator Marco Rubio pledged to do what he could to slow down the bill.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 17, 2015
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday said he plans to try to delay the passage of a $1.8 trillion government spending package that he argues is too lax on foreign worker visas. But any efforts to slow down the bill would not be possible at this point under Senate rules, leadership aides said shortly after the remarks. “We can most certainly slow this process down and force them to go back and make changes to it. There’s no doubt that we can and we should and we will,” Rubio, who is running for president, said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday. “We should use every procedural aspect that we have to slow it down and perhaps force some changes on these things we’ve been discussing,” he added.
So what happened?
Senators not voting on cloture that was invoked 72-26: Boxer and Rubio.
— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) December 18, 2015
In Rubio’s defense, it wasn’t like he had the clout to really extract the H2B provision or stop the omnibus spending bill. Those trains had left the station. On the other hand, Rubio obviously is not a dumb man and he knew, when he spoke to FoxNews that a) he couldn’t pull the H2B provision and b) he couldn’t stop the bill. There was no reason for him to do this. There was even less reason for him to do this:
Asked why he wouldn’t make his point about the spending package by physically being on Capitol Hill, Rubio said his message was clear.
“In essence, not voting for it, is a vote against it,” said Rubio, who then took a jab at Paul, who voted against the $1.1 trillion package, which also included a set of tax extenders.
It gives the appearance of being disingenuous and of making a rather transparent ploy to run from the immigration vote kefuffle that is showing signs of beginning to stick to him. C’mon, man!