Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) voted against a resolution authorizing a military strike in Syria, during a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. Rubio’s vote put him in the minority and on the side of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an uncommon ally. But Rubio sought distance from Paul after the vote, saying that he opposed the measure because he is “unconvinced” that a military strike will work. Rubio: “Those who argue that what happens in Syria is none of our business are wrong. … [I]f we follow the advice of those who seek to disengage us from global issues, in the long run we will pay a terrible price.” (Palm Beach Post)
STILL FOCUSED ON OBAMACARE. Rubio sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday, calling on the department to cancel a planned $8.7 million ad buy promoting the Affordable Care Act. Rubio wrote: “Until critical questions can be answered regarding the availability and type of health insurance to be provided by ObamaCare, it is unconscionable to spend taxpayer dollars to promote and advertise ObamaCare plans that have yet to be finalized.” (Talking Points Memo)
NEW MESSAGE ON IMMIGRATION. Rubio is profiled in Sunday’s upcoming Parade magazine, in which he addresses his push for immigration reform. Rubio: “It’s one thing to consider immigration reform as a theoretical policy issue, and another to meet real people whose lives are impacted by it. As a senator, I interact with people who flat-out tell you, ‘Look, my kids were hungry. And I am going to do what it takes to feed them.’ You think, ‘If I had been in that position, would I have done something different?’” (release)
— Sarah Mimms
What We're Following See More »
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley "decided Thursday to delay markup" on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller until next week. But he remains steadfast in his support for a committee vote, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "pledge to kill it" if it gets to the floor.
North Korea has expressed its commitment to 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday. ... South Korea announced on Wednesday that it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with North Korea into a peace agreement as it prepares for the North-South summit this month." The leaders of the respective countries are also expected to connect a phone line so they can communicate directly.
"California reached an agreement with the federal government that the state’s National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers, Gov. Jerry Brown said. ... Brown said Wednesday he secured federal funding for terms similar to those outlined in last week’s proposed contract: The Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement."