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ICYMI: Rubio Joins WFLA Orlando
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Good Morning Orlando on News Radio Orlando WFLA to discuss the government spending deadline, USA Boxing allowing men to compete in women’s boxing, and harmful chemicals found at Florida military bases. See below for highlights, and listen here.
On the upcoming government spending deadline:
“The way the government is funded is, you pass these appropriations bills. Now, in fairness, the Senate has done that, although it hasn’t moved them on the [Senate] floor except for three of them…. Obviously, we [Republicans] are not in the majority, so we don’t control that process. But it comes down to doing that work. And when you don’t do that work, you hit these deadlines. That’s kind of where we are right now, unfortunately, and that’s no way to run the most important government in the world. But it’s where we find ourselves.”
On working through the legislative process to avoid last-minute backroom deals:
“What ends up happening is, you have these bills, and they work their way through committee. We did all of them here in the Senate. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but what happens is, if you don’t do it, then you’re left with these deadlines. And when you have these deadlines, what ends up happening is, just a handful of people in leadership and their staff go behind closed doors while everyone’s gone, and they come up with what they call ‘omnibuses,’ basically these funding bills. Then they put it on the floor and say: ‘Here’s the deal, take it or leave it. You’re either for opening the government, or closing it.’
“Not having appropriations bills empowers a handful of people in leadership and their staff to basically decide what we do. And that’s happened repeatedly over the last few years. I think it’s become sort of a habit that is manipulated by some leadership to put us in that spot. That’s something we have really got to get away from. A lot of people here complain about it, but no one seems to be willing to do what it takes to stop it from happening.”
On Rubio’s letter to USA Boxing about the organization allowing men to compete in women’s boxing:
“It’s stupid. I mean, nobody would listen to that and say that makes any sense. No one is talking about women deciding that they’re men and going to fight against men. It’s the other way around…. The biological advantages and differences really come into play, and people can be badly hurt. That’s what we’re talking about here.
“If you take the best MMA fighter on the planet who’s a woman, she will tell you herself that there is an unfair biological advantage in a fight against a man in a cage. I think it extends to boxing. This is not basketball, soccer, track, swimming, or something else. People can get hurt here, [and they] can get hurt badly.
“I think one of the impacts this could have is to destroy women’s boxing. If you’re a fan of women’s boxing, this could destroy it. If just a handful of men decide, ‘We’re now women, we’re going to go and fight women,’ it’ll destroy the sport.”
On Rubio’s letter seeking answers about “forever chemicals” at Florida military bases:
“Unfortunately, these installations have been places where both [the government] and commercial contractors have dumped stuff into the ground for a long time. We have unusually high levels of PFAS [per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances]. Men, women, and their dependents who live on base have been taking this stuff in for a long time. We’re beginning to see, potentially, some of the health impacts of it.
“[Investigation] is a good place for us to start, particularly because the people who are stationed are living there because they’re told they have to live there, [while] they’re serving our country in the process. Years later, they’re manifesting health conditions, and oftentimes don’t get it covered because [the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] argues it’s not service-related. My hope is that we’ll put a real emphasis on helping that, because we’ve got a lot of people who served our country that now have all kinds of conditions, some of which medical experts are attributing to these chemicals in these sites. 40 years ago, when they were doing this stuff, nobody knew what the impacts would be. But now we do.”