TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made a stop in the Tampa Bay area on Friday.
Rubio, who is up for re-election in November’s midterms, held a roundtable discussion about supply chains and economic development at Port Tampa Bay.
Container volume at the port has increased nearly 30% over the past year, largely due to the worldwide supply chain issues. With the growth comes more challenges, and strain on infrastructure.
“It’s one thing to get something to a port, but then you gotta get it from the port to where it needs to be distributed from. And the one thing that Tampa Bay has going for it is it’s geography,” said Sen. Rubio.
Port officials and Rubio agreed the port needs better infrastructure to allow for bigger ships, and more imports from around the country.
State Democrats criticized Senator Rubio’s visit, pointing out that he voted against infrastructure legislation.
“Some of us are focused on fixing the damn roads and he’s been a speed bump to progress the entire time,” said State Rep. Andrew Learned, a Democrat who represents House District 59 in the bay area. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill is paying to improve every interchange on I-75, parts of the Howard Frankland bridge. Projects across Tampa Bay are getting built because of bipartisan infrastructure dollars and Marco Rubio voted against it. And now he wants to come to Tampa and take credit for something he actively stood against.”
Rubio defended his decision after the roundtable discussion.
“Florida got screwed by that bill. Number one, the money was distributed along a formula that benefits states that aren’t growing. That’s number one,” he said. “Number two, the bill was linked to a broader bill which spent $1.9 trillion and fueled our inflation.”