Jury duty keeps Rubio from sanctions vote

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) will be back in the Senate on Thursday after being dismissed from jury duty in his home state of Florida on Wednesday. 

The case Rubio was assigned to did not go to trail, and he and others on his panel were excused, according to his office. It was the first time Rubio had ever been called for jury duty. 

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The trip back to Florida prevented Rubio from voting on a bill passed through the Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that approved a loan guarantee to Ukraine and authorized sanctions on Russian or Ukrainian officials responsible for threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine, among other things. 

It also included reforms to the International Monetary Fund that the Obama administration has pushed; some Republicans oppose them. 

Rubio did not vote by proxy Wednesday. When asked how he would have voted, his office referred back to a statement released before the vote in which he expressed his opposition to the IMF provision. 

He called the IMF language “unnecessary and detrimental” to the goals of the United States. 

“I support tough sanctions against Russia because of its activities in Crimea, but I won't support flawed legislation that is divisive and actually undermines our efforts to provide quick support to the Ukrainian people in their hour of need,” Rubio’s earlier statement read in part. 

The bill eventually passed with a 14-3 vote, as four Republicans voted with Democrats despite the IMF provision.