Former Governor Rick Scott has finally been sworn in as the newest U.S. Senator from Florida, helping to solidify the Republican majority in the senate.
Even though Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2018 mid-term elections, the GOP was able to add to their slim senate majority, keeping the door open for President Trump to possibly appoint 1-2 future Supreme Court justices before the 2020 presidential election.
Before Trump took the stage to proclaim victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, Republicans succeeded in barely retaining their senate majority 52-48.
Considering that moderate Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are not considered shoe-in votes for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 re-election is that much more important.
During the administration’s first two years, Senate Republicans were able to help Trump forward his legislative agenda, including voting to pass tax reform, and confirm both of Trump’s SCOTUS justice, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
Murkowski was the only Republican to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Back to Rubio.
Rubio’s decision to run for re-election several months after losing his presidential bid saved the GOP majority in the senate.
It took a lot of persuading from McConnell and the rest of the Republican leadership to convince Rubio to run against the popular and well-funded Democratic senatorial candidate Patrick Murphy.
Rubio was eyeing several public sector opportunities after his senate career, but after McConnell made the hard sell, and he himself realized how important it was for Republicans to hold his seat, Rubio made the move to run for re-election.
If Rubio would have decided to pass on the senate, Murphy would have beaten anyone in the field of senatorial candidates, including now-Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Justice Gorsuch would have still been confirmed by the senate even with a “Nay” vote from Murphy, but Kavanaugh would have been voted down.
Rubio is now ranked among the most influential and powerful members of congress. After he leaves the White House, you can bet your last dollar that Rubio will be at the top of everyone’s choice to succeed Trump.