Senator Marco Rubio has been missing a lot of votes during his campaign for president. In fact, no senator missed more votes in 2015 than Rubio. As a result, he’s been coming under fire for it on the campaign trail from his rivals.
Well, Rubio had an answer, kind of, for his critics today.
It’s safe to say he didn’t do a good job quelling the criticisms.
The Hill reports:
“I have missed votes this year. You know why? Because while as a senator I can help shape the agenda, only a president can set the agenda,” Rubio said during the first of three town halls he planned to hold in Iowa on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to fix America with senators and congressmen,” Rubio added. “The only way to turn this country around is to reverse the damage this president has done to the United States of America.”
While the message distances Rubio from Washington in an election dominated by outsider candidates such as real estate mogul Donald Trump, Rubio’s opponents will likely use the remark against him.
Here’s the video of Rubio making his remarks:
While it is true that Congress has largely neutered itself at the expense of the executive for decades, it’s not true that Congress is powerless and does not set the agenda. For example, Congress has to pass any legislation.
Here’s a classic refresher of the process to make a law:
Rubio is not the only one who thinks the same way about Congress. President Obama promised in January 2014 to use his “pen and phone” to get around them. Congressman Justin Amash also noticed the similarity:
Here’s the “Saturday Night Live” take on the Rubio-Obama view of lawmaking.
Finally, here’s the logical conclusion of the Rubio-Obama view of lawmaking, from Star Wars.
Congress has as much power as it gives itself. After all, the United States government literally cannot function without the consent of Congress.
By continuing to believe that it is powerless, Congress only transfers power to the executive branch. That opens the door to despotism.
Perhaps Rubio would realize this if he actually bothered to show up to work.