Next up in our series looking at the potential Republican Party vice presidential candidates is the freshman U.S. Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. Even before he arrived in Washington in 2010, Senator Rubio was already seen by many as a rising star in his party and national politics. Let’s look at where he stands on issues of importance to the tech community.
Senator Rubio has been an outspoken advocate of reforming the U.S. tax code, supporting a reduction in corporate tax rates, and commenting in a Wall Street Journal editorial last year that, “Current federal policies make it harder for job creators to start and grow businesses. Corporate taxes will soon be the highest in the industrialized world.”
Senator Rubio, a child of immigrants, is an active proponent of immigration reform. He has driven efforts to draft an alternative to the DREAM Act and been a strong voice for skilled immigration reform -- a major priority for the tech community. Senator Rubio is one of the original Senate cosponsors of the Startup Act 2.0, which would provide permanent resident visas for those who earned a master’s degree or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) from an American college or university. The bill also would provide provisional visas to eligible foreign entrepreneurs who pledge to start and grow new businesses in the United States.
As a representative in the Florida State Legislature, Senator Rubio understood the importance of STEM education to our nation’s economy, putting forward a 12-point plan to improve education that emphasized the need to “Overcome the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Crisis.” The Senator stated, “I believe that research and development results in innovations that help drive America's economic edge. However, we must continue to invest and improve our education system, space exploration and other programs to ensure our continued success.”
On trade, Senator Rubio voted for the recent South Korea, Colombia, and Panama free trade agreements. In a foreign policy speech this year, Rubio said, “[W]e must reject protectionism and instead embrace the ultimate goal of a free trade area of the Americas. The recently approved free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama were a good step. We need to move forward to bring both Canada and Mexico into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Also, Senator Rubio is on the record as a supporter of tax incentives for energy-efficient appliances.
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