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Sen. Marco Rubio refutes Gov. Rick Scott on Cuba crackdown law

Sen. Marco Rubio joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers who disagree with Gov. Rick Scott for calling a Cuba-crackdown bill unenforceable and unconstitutional.

“I believe that it’s constitutional,” Rubio told The Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News, “but I don’t sit on the Supreme Court. So it’s not going to be my decision to make.”

Asked if Congress and the president are needed to act to authorize the controversial Florida law — as Scott believes — Rubio said, “I don’t think so.”

Rubio’s stance was the gentlest of rebukes of Scott, who incensed his fellow Republican lawmakers from Miami-Dade on Tuesday when he signed the crackdown law with great fanfare at a public event at the Freedom Tower — only to issue a signing statement moments later that essentially called the law meaningless.

The lawmakers, all members of Miami’s Cuban exile community, felt betrayed by the statement, in large part because Scott didn’t tell them he would issue it. They said the statement undermined the law, which prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies that have business operations in Cuba or Syria.

One of Rubio’s close friends and allies, Congressman David Rivera, even threatened to sue the governor if the law didn’t go into effect on the scheduled July 1 date.

Scott retreated somewhat from his signing statement the following day, Wednesday, when he agreed with the lawmakers that the law is valid and would become effective in two months.

“I think the governor has, from what I’ve read briefly, restated his position in a way that I think is more appealing to people here who are concerned about it,” Rubio said.

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