U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) did not have much advice for his GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives, recommending only that they should “figure it out” in choosing a new speaker.
Rubio didn’t even think House Republicans cared what he or other senators thought about their ongoing battle to fill the seat vacated by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy who was ousted almost two weeks ago when eight Republicans joined Democrats in a vote. The Florida lawmaker was asked about the “chaos” and any message he may have for House Republicans during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“The House of Representatives is now on day 12 without a speaker which hinders all of Congress’ ability to do anything. It is unclear whether any of the current candidates will get 217 votes,” Tapper began.
“This means that the House can’t even pass a resolution condemning Hamas let alone support for Israel let alone all of Congress being able to pass any new aid packages for Israel or for Ukraine. At what point does this chaos within the House Republican conference start to jeopardize national security or American leadership in the world and what is your message to your House Republican colleagues?” he asked.
“I don’t vote in the House. I’m not a House member. I don’t think they listen or care what senators think about their affairs,” Rubio replied. “I can’t control what happens there, so they need to obviously work through that process and figure it out. And I hope that they do, obviously.”
He went on to explain that some policies were already in place as regarding Israel and would not be affected by the lack of a speaker in the lower chamber of Congress.
“With Israel, much of our aid and support to Israel is codified. In fact, we codified it along with my bill along with Senator Coons two years ago,” he said referring to a bipartisan bill with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) codifying $3.3 billion minimum in funding to Israel on an annual basis.
“The reason why we codified that support is because I always suspected and feared that a crisis involving Israel would move much faster than the ability of Congress to respond,” Rubio explained.
He then reiterated the need for Republicans to get it together in the House so the business of government can resume.
“At some point here soon we will need a speaker, we will need a functioning House…including fund the government in less than 35 days and keep it open,” Rubio said.
“So that’s all going to have to happen and I’ll watch and hope like everybody else that the House will be able to work through that process. I’m not going to try to steer it or influence it. I don’t think I have any influence over what the House does,” he continued. “And hopefully we’ll be in a situation soon where that won’t be a factor.”
“The good news is the administration has ample authorities to do what they are doing and that is position not just the equipment that’s already accessible but resupply should Israel need it here over the next couple of weeks,” he concluded.