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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, I support budgets that make tough but necessary spending reductions, save our safety net programs, and preserve our commitment to protecting Americans and our interests at home and abroad.

Facing our current debt disaster, there should be no sacred cows in the Federal budget. If there is waste, it should be eliminated. If government dependency is depressing individual initiative, we must reform those programs. Where important and valid programs are destined for bankruptcy, we must save them.

Senator Paul deserves lots of praise for taking our debt problem seriously and coming up with a plan to solve it. While there are many objectives I support in his budget--including the repeal of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, allowing the Keystone Pipeline to move forward, and bringing our regulations under control through the REINS Act--I could not support it tonight.

One of the most solemn promises I made to Floridians was to work to save Social Security without implementing personal accounts, which would actually make it harder to get the programs finances in order. This budget plan calls for Social Security personal accounts, something I do not support.

On national security issues, we also can't walk away from our commitments abroad, which this budget would do by drastically reducing the size and scope of the U.S. military by ending agreements with foreign partners, closing many overseas installations, and bringing troops home from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Military reductions would also result from a policy of attrition, a concerning factor because it means we would not be not be replacing the officer corps that leads our brave men and women.

Whereas the current fiscal year 13 budget for the Defense Department is $614 billion, this budget would be $546 billion, with $554 billion in fiscal year 14--figures that would further strain readiness and impair force projection.

Especially during this dangerous time when our enemies would be emboldened to see us abandon our allies around the world, I cannot support a budget that would make the world less safe place because the U.S. defense capabilities and our ability to influence events around the world are diminished.


Mr. RUBIO. This is a very interesting debate. It is a very interesting topic to talk about. I have talked to a few Members who have had this debate internally with their staff, and from an intellectual perspective it is a very interesting issue. But I want Members to understand what they will have to explain to people in their States.

If something like this were to happen, there will be businesses in your State that at the end of the year will have to be audited by or interact with States across the country, on the other side of the country; places where they don't know anybody, places where they don't have a lawyer or a lobbyist or anybody representing them. They will have to deal with States they have nothing to do with. That is what Members will have to explain to the businesses in their States.

The businesses in your States are going to have to comply with laws and courts and regulatory agencies and others they have nothing to do with, other than the fact that someone who lived there happened to buy something from them. So try explaining that. It sounds great here, but try to explain that to a business man or woman in your community or in your State, and I guarantee you are going to get puzzled looks.

Here is another thing I will tell my colleagues, because I understand there is an exemption for businesses with $1 million in revenue, but depending on what you sell, it may or may not be that much. I would say that over time, that figure is going to be less and less in terms of who doesn't have to comply.

I dealt with this issue when I was in the State legislature in Florida, especially the last 2 years when I was the Speaker. I will be frank. This is about the fact that according to some, there is $23 billion of what they claim is uncollected sales tax receipts across the country. You don't think that gets their attention? You don't think that is what this is about? That is what this is about. I am not saying that on the retail side they are not interested in the way the business is conducted and what it means in comparison to their competitors, but I promise my colleagues from the governmental side this is about the money they think they can get their hands on and what it would mean for their government and their ability to function.

I yield back the remainder of my time.


Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, abortion is a divisive issue in this country, and I deeply respect everyone's opinions with regard to this issue. But there is one thing that is not dividing us. There is one thing we are united upon as a people, and that is the idea that parents should know what their children are being involved in, especially when it comes to a medical procedure of this magnitude. That is why so many States have passed parental notification laws that require parents to be notified before their child--a minor--undergoes an abortion.

Unfortunately, in this country there are people who are transporting these children across State lines in order to avoid these notification laws. This sense of the Senate is based on a bill I have filed, and others have supported in the past, that makes that illegal, that does not allow that to happen.

You will hear arguments against this in terms of maybe the child is living in a very unstable environment or a dangerous environment. Maybe one of the parents--God forbid--is involved in the pregnancy that led to this, and that is why there are judicial overrides at the State level, so they can go to courts to override it. That is why this sense of the Senate is built on a bill that has exceptions for things like rape or incest or medical emergencies or a hostile home. So this is an important point, and I hope it can garner the support of as many Members as possible.


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