Yesterday, the Senate held a cloture vote on a bill that would fund the United States Government via continuing resolution. This is not a vote on the bill itself, but rather a vote to close the current bill off to further amendments. Essentially, the vote allows the spending bill to continue, and provide continued government funding for Planned Parenthood.
The vote itself passed 77-19, with [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] and his gang of moderates joining hands with Democrats to pass the measure. After McConnell’s repeated white flags to Democrats, the continuation of this bill comes as little shock. What does come as a shock, is the fact that [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] joined Senator’s Corker, Graham, and Blunt in not casting a vote on the measure. Rubio himself was not in attendance for the vote.
Of course, many are going to note that these four votes would have been of trivial importance, since the measure would have still passed even if all four senators had voted ‘no’. One would be led to believe, however, that Rubio, who himself wrote, “We must defund Planned Parenthood and make sure that taxpayer dollars are never spent on abortions or organizations that demonstrate such a callous disregard for basic human dignity.” Strong rhetoric from the Senator that failed to show up and vote to stop a measure that funds PP.
When examining why the Senator would miss this vote, a couple factors are important to remember. The first of which being that Senator Rubio has the worst attendance record in the current senate, as noted by Donald Trump. From January first of this year, to September 16, Rubio missed a total of 77 roll call votes. The Senator next in line for truancy is Texas [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] who has missed 62 roll call votes during the same time period.
Rubio has stated that he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, but at the same time he is looking ahead to the Republican nomination, and even the general election. He has mentioned that he does not believe a single organization to be worth shutting down the federal government. The Senator noted, “I don’t think there is any single organization in the country that’s worth shutting the government down over, and that’s what the President is threatening to do. But here’s the bigger problem among the base and the conservatives in the Republican Party, it’s that they never even tried.” Of course, the “never tried” line is interesting coming from the candidate who did not cast a vote. Rubio does not wish to catch grief for helping cause the government shutdown, as he most certainly would from the liberal media. Catching the banner of aiding the government shutdown would almost certainly hurt Rubio’s chances in the general election.
As I afore mentioned, this vote was not one on the bill itself, but rather a vote concerning whether or not to move the bill forward in its current language. Rubio, absent as he has been so many times in the past, will be able to plead ignorance on the subject. What will be interesting to watch is when the CR itself is voted on, then Rubio better be prepared to back up his words with action.