Marco Rubio ad blasts Val Demings’ support for COVID-19 relief — which he also supported

In fact, he was a co-sponsor for the CARES Act, the source of payments to criminals and immigrants.

A negative ad released by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio blasts opponent Val Demings for voting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But on one of the votes prominently called out in the 30-second spot, Rubio also voted with the Congresswoman.

Rubio released a new ad Thursday that attacks the Orlando Democrat for her voting record in the House. It calls out Demings for voting “100%” with the controversial Speaker.

“Demings joined Pelosi to give a billion in stimulus checks to convicted criminals and illegal immigrants,” the ad states.

But that calls out provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (S 3548), better known as the CARES Act. Rubio voted to pass that legislation in a 96-0 vote in the Senate in March 2020, in the immediate wake of COVID-19 cases surfacing in the United States.

In fact, Rubio was among just six co-sponsors on the measure, which was sponsored by then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.

That bill provided $1,200 to prisoners in relief checks. The revelation that inmates could collect became controversial a year later, when some Republicans criticized another round of pandemic relief after President Joe Biden was elected and Democrats won majorities in both chambers of Congress.

But a fact check by CNN at the time showed the funding had first been authorized by the CARES Act, and even though the IRS initially tried to stop checks from going to prisoners, courts said they were eligible to receive the funding.

As for undocumented immigrants, the Congressional Research Center concluded in May 2020 that while benefits were not meant for anyone in the U.S. unlawfully, payments would not be denied to unauthorized immigrants who had a Social Security Number, including those with expired work visas who remained in the country.

Indeed, it’s another CNN fact check confirming that some illegal immigrants would receive CARES Act funding that Rubio’s campaign cited in the criticism of Demings’ vote. The spot simply fails to mention Rubio’s vote went the same way.

That was just a first round of federal spending that put money in the accounts of inmates. Congress in December of 2020 also passed the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021, which included authorization of $600 checks on top of the $1,200 already received by prisoners. Again, Rubio voted for the bill, this time in a 92-6 vote.

When the Biden-era American Rescue Plan won approval, that did pass along party-line votes. Indeed Demings voted “yes” while Rubio voted “no”.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom

    September 16, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    That’s a lie.
    There were separate votes, amendment was made by Repubs to take it out. Dums voted for it as is. They’ve purposefully inmates, known facts! Dumings is a terrible member if Congress, she’d be a horrible senator,

    • Mr. Haney

      September 16, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      Keep trying Tom, your lies get more lame daily.

      Where do you live in Florida?

      • Avy115

        September 16, 2022 at 3:31 pm

        I actually have even produced $32800 best in thirty days simply running some clean responsibilities from a laptop. Immediately as soon as I’ve misplaced my preceding position, I became very distressed and luckily I actually have observed this pleasant on line possibility that’s why I should make heaps (cdr-05) staying at home. Everyone can virtually be part of this pleasant work & accumulate greater bucks online with the aid of using.

        checking this page———->>>

      • Tom

        September 16, 2022 at 4:06 pm

        How’s Arnold the pig, Haney?
        You like that, LMAO.

        You are a dumb ass, trailer park idiot.
        Go to Tuscaloosa ass wipe.

        I watched the debate you moron, Marco is correct! Cruz offered the amendment, Dem Dum Durbin fought it. Marco is right. Dems Senators all voted for it, as did the Dum Dem Demings.

        You incompetents can’t roll with me.
        I conquer soros Manchurians happily.

        Where r u moron? I’m in West Palm.

        • Tom’s Mom

          September 21, 2022 at 5:44 pm

          Please don’t wet you bed again and stop being so nasty and immature with you comments.
          You spend too much time making childish comments and I think it is making your bladder overactive. I have changed your bed sheets over 20 times this month, and I am curious about the white pillow case with the two eye holes.

    • Joe Corsin

      September 16, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      Far right propaganda Tom at it again. A vote for the GOP is a vote for Tom’s stupidity.

    • VoteMAGA2022

      September 17, 2022 at 12:50 am

      Prez. Trump 2016:

      “Little Marco Rubio is just another Washington D.C. politician that is all talk and no action #RobotRubio”

    • Frank

      September 17, 2022 at 3:17 pm

      No, that’s not correct. You and Rubio are full of shit and make things up. That’s what happens when dull people face complicated situations. Too lazy to do real research, so just make shit up.

      • Tom

        September 18, 2022 at 9:50 am


        Dumings Pelosi puppet voted and all Senate Dems, excluding manchin voted for 9 month abortion.

        Shut the hell up Frankie.

  • Tom

    September 16, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Legend lives on.
    Can’t be stopped!
    You idiots made me. I owe you all a hot whiz.
    Joey you suck Haney’s ass.

    • Hannah

      September 17, 2022 at 12:59 pm


  • kurtoc

    September 17, 2022 at 12:44 am

    Did Little Marco pull his head out of Trump’s ass already? Give Hypocrite boy a bottle of water and ask him shut up.
    Can we ask shameless garbage to be taken back by Cuba?

  • VoteMAGA2022

    September 17, 2022 at 12:53 am

    Prez Trump 2016:
    “I have never seen a human being sweat like this man sweats. … It looked like he had just jumped into a swimming pool with his clothes on.”

    Who wants this Clown as a Florida Senator? Not me

  • GOSenRubio

    September 17, 2022 at 12:57 am

    Trump is a Bum.. Idiot and a Moron..

    Sen.Rubio called him out many times when he was spewing his garbage on Twitter. Now Twitter is clean without Donald shitting there..
    Sen Rubio Sir:
    “How does this guy, not one tweet, but three tweets, misspell words so badly? And I only come to two conclusions. Number one, that’s how they spell those words at the Wharton School of Business, where he went, and number two, just like Trump Tower, he must have hired a foreign worker to do his own tweets.”

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704