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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio knocks SBA for saying it had 'no problem' complying with Patrick Murphy request

Sen. Marco Rubio letter to SBA

Rubio's office

Sen. Marco Rubio letter to SBA



Sen. Marco Rubio admonished the SBA for saying it had “no problem” complying with a request from Rep. Patrick Murphy’s office to delay news about relief for businesses affected by the algae bloom.

“Please answer the following question: In times of disasters, such as the algae bloom in Florida's waterways, why would the SBA have ‘no problem’ delaying any form of relief to my constituents?

“Suffice it to say, this incident leaves a profoundly bad taste in the mouths of many Floridians who see this as an example of the SBA putting politics and publicity plans ahead of the needs of our people. As the SBA continues its efforts to provide assistance to Florida on this matter and others throughout our state, I ask that you act swiftly and not delay the immediate relief my constituents desperately need.

“I request an immediate response to my question.”

Murphy's other Senate rivals also jumped on the news. Republican Carlos Beruff said Murphy should resign for using his House office for political purposes, though it's not clear Murphy violated any rules. He wouldn't be the first politician to try to maximize news. But the request from his office looks bad amid the crisis.

Murphy's office last night defended the situation and said he supported the opening of an office to facilitate SBA loans.

Meantime Murphy took a shot at Gov. Rick Scott during a news conference this afternoon and said he would stage a rally in Tallahassee.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 14, 2016 2:19pm]


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