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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio meeting with tea party today



Sen. Marco Rubio later today will face some of his toughest critics: the tea party.

The Florida Republican, who has faced intense criticism for his role in immigration reform, will attend a closed-door "Tea Party Legislative Forum," on Capitol Hill.

Organizers said the meeting is "to discuss the ongoing targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, the future of immigration reform, and the implementation of the failed Obamacare legislation."

"The resurgence of the Tea Party movement is evidenced by the outpouring of support at our meeting earlier this year, where over 20 members of Congress and more than 40 staff members gathered to discuss the challenges facing conservatives," Todd Cefaratti, founder of, said in a statement.

Tea party members have been some of the most vocal critics of the immigration bill, which they said grants amnesty, and during a rally in June boos could be heard directed toward Rubio. Tea party groups have also protested him in Florida, though those gatherings have been relatively small.

Rubio responded with a remarkable speech on the Senate floor on June 26. “Getting to this point has been very difficult," he said. "To hear the worry, anxiety and growing anger in the voices of so many people who helped me get elected to the Senate, who I agree with on virtually every other issue, has been a real trial for me,” he said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 2:19pm]


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