Senator Rubio on FL's Cuba-Syria Bill

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Excerpts from The Miami Herald:

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.”

“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.

Rubio and others say the new Florida law does not conflict with federal law, which holds that Cuba and Syria are state sponsors of terror along with Iran and Sudan.

“When I was the speaker of the House, we passed a bill that divested the state’s investment plan from investments with Iran — a very legitimate position to take,” Rubio said, noting this bill adds Syria and Cuba to the list.

“The criticism has been: ‘states don’t set foreign policy.’ Well, they don’t,” Rubio said. “And I don’t think they’re doing that in this case. They are only reflecting existing foreign policy that says the Syria and Cuba are states sponsors of terrorism.”

The law’s supporters also point to another Cuba-related state law, passed in 2006, prohibiting Florida colleges and universities from using state funds or tapping into their budgets for travel to Cuba and other countries the United States considers sponsors of terrorism — Iran, Sudan and Syria.

The federal courts upheld that law.