With Democrats in control of the White House and Congress for the first time in more than a decade, Florida’s two Republican senators are beginning a new chapter in the minority, with significantly less power and influence.
What You Need To Know
- Sens. Rubio and Scott discuss what it’s like returning to a GOP minority
- Rubio said he has experience working across the aisle to get things done
- Scott is focused on gaining back the Republican majority
“I started here in the minority, so it’s back to that in the future, I guess,” said Senator Marco Rubio in a Skype interview with Spectrum News.
Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are adjusting to a shift in minority status. The Senate is politically split with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. However, Democrats have a slight edge from Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
"One Senator in either party can tip the outcome on any given issue,” Rubio said.
"When we have chances to push on policy to get things done, it’s a little harder when you don’t have the majority. But, at the end of the day, we didn’t have the House last time either so we had to work across the aisle to get things done,” he added.
After Democrats regained control of the Senate, Senator Rubio lost his influential posts, leading both the Small Business and Intelligence panels.
“Now, I’ll just be the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, which I think is the best functioning committee in Congress,” Rubio said. “Intelligence issues shouldn’t be and aren’t partisan. I have a good partner in Mark Warner from Virginia, the Democrat who will now be the chairman.”
.@marcorubio believes former President Trump will continue to play a major role in GOP. "He is the most well known, popular and influential Republican in America & that’s probably going to be the case for the foreseeable future. That's an important role to play," Rubio told me. pic.twitter.com/Sz0JyiLpKg— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) February 8, 2021
Members of the minority party often utilize their limited power to object to the priorities of a president of the opposite party.
"I’ve supported some and voted against others, and that’s how I’m going to do my job,” Senator Rick Scott said, describing the confirmation process for President Biden’s cabinet picks.
"I’m primarily a Senator from Florida, and I’m going to represent the 23 million people who live in my state,” he said in an interview with Spectrum News.
Regaining the Senate Majority in the future is Senator Scott’s top priority with his new role as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman
“I want to make sure Republican senators get elected so we have a Republican majority because I think that’s better for my state and the country,” Scott said.
I'd like to be transparent & show the FULL exchange with @SenRickScott, in which I ask him about the future of the GOP. Unfortunately, with TV we don't have the luxury of using such a long soundbite, which is why I tweeted a shorter version. Cc: @McKinleyPLewis pic.twitter.com/9szajc42sM— Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) February 9, 2021
However, Republicans still are confronting questions about what the party stands for without Donald Trump in the White House.
“Joe Biden is making it easy for us. We are the party that cares about you as an individual to get a job,” Senator Scott said in response to a question, asking whether former President Trump remains the leader of the Republican Party.
"I’m very clear, the next two years we are going to have a great debate on where this country wants to go,” Scott said, dodging the question again.
Senator Rubio believes former President Trump will continue to play a major role in the GOP.
“He is the most well-known, popular and influential Republican in America, and that’s probably going to be the case for the foreseeable future. And that’s an important role to play,” Rubio said.