- Rand Paul used the terror attacks on Saturday to criticize rival presidential candidate Marco Rubio over the failed 2013 immigration bill
- Paul said that Rubio blocked his amendment that could have added more scrutiny of people coming into the United States
Paul said Rubio blocked his amendment that could have added more scrutiny of people coming into the United States.
"I introduced this to Rubio and (Sen. Chuck) Schumer's immigration bill and yet Rubio, Schumer and all authors voted against any conservative amendments," Paul said at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, a Republican gathering hosted by the Florida GOP.
"And I think that was a mistake, not only for the bill, but also for national security," Paul added.
Rubio was part of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that proposed a comprehensive immigration plan that, among other things, would have included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. (Schumer, a New York Democrat, was also a member of the group.) The Senate passed the bill but it failed to advance in the House, and it has since been a political thorn in Rubio's side.
Paul said he was "always disappointed that Rubio voted against" his amendment and accused him of having a secret deal to block all amendments.
"We want to make sure every Republican across the country knows that he blocked conservative amendments to the immigration bill. And that in particular my amendment would have provided more scrutiny on people who might be coming here to attack us," Paul said. "So mine was a national security amendment, as well as an immigration amendment, and Marco blocked it."
His comments reflect increased tension between not only Rubio and Paul, but also between Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz, who have been sparring over a separate amendment that Cruz proposed to the immigration bill.
"I don't know what Senator Paul is talking about," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant responded. "The Senate voted on amendments, including conservative ones. It would appear Senator Paul is trying to change the subject away from his dangerous isolationist agenda and proposals to cut defense spending."