Politics

Inactive Rubio-Led National Security Group Rakes In Hundreds Of Thousands

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore]-led Senate working group on national security is basically inactive, yet has raked in $700,000 worth of taxpayer funds a year.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio has served as co-chair of the bipartisan Senate National Security Working Group since 2013, which costs taxpayers $700,000 a year, USA Today reports.

This working group has produced no reports, the meetings are totally private and nobody keeps any records, shrouding the group’s activities in secrecy. It’s not even clear how the money is being spent.

But secrecy does not mean anything interesting is occurring — not a single meeting has taken place since April 2014. Prior to that date, the group met once in July 2013, another time in March 2014 and a third in April of that same year.

Despite the lackluster schedule, members of the group still receive generous reimbursements.

Rubio’s own office brings in $100,000 annually.

GOP Sen. [crscore]Rand Paul[/crscore] tried to shut the group down in 2013, noting that it does virtually nothing but drain public finances. Paul also said the group had not met since 2010.

“To fund a group that has no records and no records of them meeting and doesn’t tell you where they are paying the salaries I don’t think makes any sense,” he said in 2013, according to USA Today.

Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] sided with Paul, but Rubio voted against the proposal.

“It is vital to our country’s defense and foreign policy objectives that the Senate consider the wide range of issues that cut across different committees to advance America’s interests around the world,” said Rubio in 2013 as he took over as co-chair. “I look forward to working with Senator Feinstein to foster a productive working environment within the NSWG that that allows Senators to confront the many national security challenges facing our country.”

Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos does not believe allegations that the group has done nothing.

“Since Marco assumed his role in this group, its leaders have met both formally and informally on national security issues, with most of the work occurring on a staff level,” Burgos told USA Today. “Marco has engaged on a variety of topics central to the work of this group, including U.S.-Russia arms control, the nuclear deal with Iran and North Korea. His work on these vital national security topics has been aided by the resources provided by this group as well as the information he has obtained from the group’s discussions.”

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