Fighting for Florida

This past weekend, I traveled to Europe as part of an official Senate delegation.  The first stop was Spain, where we received a country team briefing from the U.S. Embassy, and then met with the new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.  Later that day we traveled to Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference.

As a member of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence, this was an invaluable opportunity for me to meet with foreign leaders and discuss the global security threats we face and how our nations can better address them.  At a time when Iran is determined to become a nuclear power, President Assad in Syria is allowed to massacre the Syrian people with the blessing of China and Russia, and Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt remain unstable, I was reminded of the indispensability of the United States as a force for good in an unpredictable and dangerous world.  The U.S. – NATO alliance has been instrumental in bringing peace and freedom to millions of people in the world.  Going forward the U.S. will need to strengthen this alliance, and others in the Middle East and Asia while calling on our allies to do more at a time of economic uncertainty, to ensure a prosperous and free 21st century.   

Below are some photos from the trip: 

 

With Germany's Defense Minister Thomas de Maziere

 With Germany's Defense Minister Thomas de Maziere

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

 Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

His Royal Highness Prince Faisal of Jordan

His Royal Highness Prince Faisal of Jordan

Photo with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

Photo with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

Senator Rubio co-sponsored of S.RES.368, which recognized the anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, honored those who lost their lives in the earthquake, and expressed continued solidarity with the people of Haiti. On February 6, this resolution passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent.

This week, I had the privilege of meeting with President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and discussing strengthening our bilateral relationship through economic and security ties. We discussed the benefits of a possible free trade agreement and my commitment to urging our NATO allies to deepen and enhance Georgia's ties with NATO during the Chicago summit in May. 

Rubio Meets With President of Georgia

Senator Rubio joined Senators Kyl, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, and Ayotte in introducing The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act, legislation which overrides the automatic, across-the-board cuts to our nation's defense capabilities, which are scheduled to take effect in 2013 unless Congress acts. Instead of making severe cuts to the Department of Defense that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned would be "devastating to the defense budget" and would "weaken our national defense," This bill replaces the scheduled cuts by reducing the federal workforce and extending the current pay freeze for federal workers. By doing so, the legislation ensures the debt reduction targets laid out in the Budget Control Act are still on track to be met --without endangering our national security at a time when threats both at home and abroad remain very real.
On Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senators Rubio and Menendez honoring the life of dissident and democracy activist Wilman Villar Mendoza.
 
Mendoza died on January 19 after a 56-day hunger strike to bring attention to his unjust imprisonment. He was arrested in November 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison for his participation in a peaceful demonstration. Mendoza was a member of Unión Patriótica de Cuba, a group the Castro regime considers illegitimate because the members criticize the leadership.
 
Mendoza will be remembered for his sacrifice on behalf of the cause of freedom.
 
Senate Resolution 366 is available here.
After co-sponsoring the Earmark Elimination Act, a bill introduced by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to permanently ban earmarks and institute a strict two-thirds point of order against pork-barrel projects contained in legislation, Senator Rubio has joined with Sens. Toomey and McCaskill again as a co-sponsor of S. Amdt.1472. S.Amdt. 142, like the Earmark Elimination Act, would permanently end earmarks.

Constituent Corner

Jan 27 2012

In this week's installment of Marco's Constituent Mail Box video series, Marco responds to letters about the PROTECT IP Act and SOPA sent by two constituents that reflect the diverse opinions expressed in the thousands of letters received.

Senator Rubio signed on with 10 of his colleagues to be a co-sponsor of S.2040. This bill amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to establish a point of order to prohibit an increase or other modification of the public debt limit unless a concurrent resolution on the budget has been agreed to and is in effect.

Earlier today, Senator Rubio introduced a Senate Resolution honoring Wilman Villar Mendoza. The Senate Resolution, introduced with Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Nelson (D-FL), condemned the oppressive Cuban regime and honored the life of Cuban Dissident Villar Mendoza.  Cuban political prisoner Wilman Villar Mendoza was arrested in November 2011 for holding a peaceful demonstration and sentenced to four years in prison. He died last week after a 56-day hunger strike protesting his unjust imprisonment.
 
Senate Resolution 354 is available here.