Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was the lone Gulf State senator to vote against the two-year re-authorization of a transportation bill that also addresses student loan interest rates and directs billions of dollars in BP oil spill fines to Florida and other states harmed by the spill.
The bill passed Friday in the Senate 74-19; it passed 373-52 in the House and is on its way to the president.
All the other Republican senators from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi supported it, and Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., voted for it. "This is going to send billions of dollars in fines against BP directly to Florida and the other Gulf Coast states that were harmed by the oil spill," Nelson said.
As has become customary, Rubio offers a lengthy explanation for his "no" vote. He says he opposed it because it lumps in "a wide range of unrelated ideas into one giant bill."
"As a result, I voted against final passage because, while it contains some policies I support and that are good for Florida and our nation, as a whole, the bill spends too much and relies on budget gimmicks as spending offsets that will ultimately lead to a federal bailout down the road," he said.
UPDATE: Five Florida House Republicans, including Senate candidate Connie Mack, voted against the bill. They are Reps. Sandy Adams, Dennis Ross, Rich Nugent and Bill Posey.