Senator Marco Rubio

 
 

Marco Rubio launches 2016 Presidential bid

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination At The Freedom Tower at Freedom Tower on April 13, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  Larry Marano/FilmMagic

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination At The Freedom Tower at Freedom Tower on April 13, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Larry Marano/FilmMagic

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced the long-awaited big announcement on Monday night that he will be running for president in 2016 and he isn’t going to look back.

The first term Senator from Florida has now become the third Republican to officially enter the 2016 primary fray joining his two other Senate colleagues, Ted Cruz from Texas and Rand Paul from Kentucky. Rubio, 43, the youngest candidate in the field, chose the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami just weeks before his announcement. Located in his hometown, it’s historically known as an iconic Ellis Island landmark for Cuban immigrants in the 1960s that fled the Castro regime. The site holds personal importance for Rubio when it comes to his family and the Cuban-American community.

“In this very room five decades ago, tens of thousands of Cuban exiles began their new lives in America,” Rubio said. “Their story is part of the larger story of the American miracle. United by a common faith in their God-given right to go as far as their talent and work would take them, a collection of immigrants and exiles, former slaves and refugees, together built the freest and most prosperous nation ever.”

The timing of Mr. Rubio’s kickoff was seen as a risk of being overshadowed by Hillary Clinton, who formally announced her candidacy the day before in a video that was tweeted online. Rubio didn’t see this as a threat and took a direct swipe at the Clinton announcement emphasizing that he is a new crop of leader. “Yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday,” Rubio said. “Yesterday is over and we’re never going back.”

Rubio also took an implied swipe at former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, his former political mentor. It was rumored that he would sit out of running for president if Bush joined the race. “I have heard some suggest that I should step aside and wait my turn, but I cannot, I believe our very identity as a nation is at stake and I can make a difference as president.”

Framing his speech of his message of the “New American Century”, Rubio said it has been left behind by the political establishment. ““The time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new American Century,” Rubio said to an audience of over 1,000 supporters. Giving a narrative of his life by telling the story of his Cuban immigrant parents and being an example of what the American Dream looks like. Drawing the loudest cheers when Rubio mentioned the struggles his family endured when arriving in Miami from Cuba in the 1950s. “I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.” Rubio argued that now the dream is slipping away for many Americans who are now facing unequal opportunities to succeed.

Rubio’s impeccable announcement energized the crowd positioning himself as the young face and the ‘generational choice’. “After months of deliberation and prayer about the future of our country, I have come here tonight to make an announcement on how I believe I can best serve her.”

In regards to policy, Rubio touched on America returning to prosperity by “reforming the tax code, reducing regulations, controlling spending, modernizing immigration laws and repealing and replacing Obamacare.”

Rubio is a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s damaged foreign policy. Laying out the foreign policy errors of its “dangerous concessions to Iran and hostility toward Israel.” “The United States must abandon the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and renew its commitment to Israel,” Rubio said.

Rubio is currently trailing behind the increasingly crowded field of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul along with a host of other bigger-name candidates announcing in the upcoming weeks ahead. In order to stand out, Rubio must repair the name damage he created in 2013 for his efforts in sponsoring an immigration reform bill. The stakes remain high for Rubio to win the Republican nomination.


How the Senate voted for the passing of the Keystone XL

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WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to approve the authorization of the construction of Keystone XL pipeline on a 62-36 vote.

The approval of the Senate will now set up a clash of many battles with President Obama as this will be the third time the president has vetoed this bill in the past six years.

After the GOP took over the Senate in November, it became a top priority as it became the first time the Senate was able to pass the three-week work of authorizing the pipeline. The construction of the 1,179-mile pipeline would carry oil from Canada through Nebraska and from there would connect with existing pipelines to the refineries of the Texas Gulf Coast.

Nine Democrats joined with the 53 Republicans to back this measure, but it is still several votes shy of the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto. No Republicans on the Senate floor voted against this measure, while Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) missed the vote due to traveling. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also missed the vote due to recovering from an eye surgery from a gym accident earlier this month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before the vote boosted the need to pass this bill by stating, “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who defeated longtime Democrat Mary Landrieu in a December runoff election due to her failures to pass this bill on the Senate floor in November touted the bill approval by saying, “We’re doing what’s right by the American people. This is so right in so many ways.” Cassidy also added a jab to the president on the halt of the project, stating, “He doesn’t tell why he doesn’t oppose it, he always gives a glib answer and skips on.”

First proposed in 2008, the $8 billion project was put on hold by the president even though Congress forced him to make a decision on this matter. It was returned in 2012 and rejected by Obama due to Congress adding a measure of a payroll tax cut extension.

Obama stated he would not be forced to make a decision like previous times on the pipeline. The approval of the president is needed since the creation will cross international border. The bill will be on Obama’s desk as early as next week as the State Department’s final comments on whether the project is in the national interest are due on Monday.

Here is the list of Senators of how they voted for the Keystone XL:

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Ayotte (R-NH), Yea
Baldwin (D-WI), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Nay
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Booker (D-NJ), Nay
Boozman (R-AR), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Nay
Brown (D-OH), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Capito (R-WV), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Nay
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Cassidy (R-LA), Yea
Coats (R-IN), Yea
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Nay
Corker (R-TN), Yea
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Cotton (R-AR), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea
Cruz (R-TX), Yea
Daines (R-MT), Yea
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Ernst (R-IA), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Nay
Fischer (R-NE), Yea
Flake (R-AZ), Yea
Franken (D-MN), Nay
Gardner (R-CO), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Heinrich (D-NM), Nay
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Yea
Hirono (D-HI), Nay
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Yea
Kaine (D-VA), Nay
King (I-ME), Nay
Kirk (R-IL), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Lankford (R-OK), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Nay
Lee (R-UT), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
Markey (D-MA), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
Merkley (D-OR), Nay
Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
Moran (R-KS), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Murphy (D-CT), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay
Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Paul (R-KY), Yea
Perdue (R-GA), Yea
Peters (D-MI), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Nay
Reid (D-NV), Not Voting
Risch (R-ID), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Rounds (R-SD), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Not Voting
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Sasse (R-NE), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Scott (R-SC), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Yea
Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Sullivan (R-AK), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tillis (R-NC), Yea
Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Warren (D-MA), Nay
Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Nay