Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure

Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure
© Greg Nash

A Democrat vying to take on Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever The Memo: GOP and nation grapple with what comes next House Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members MORE (R-Fla.) criticized the incumbent on Tuesday for backing a government spending measure after vowing to vote against one that did not include provisions to protect "Dreamers."

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former state Senate candidate, ripped Curbelo for “empty promises.”

“After his latest broken promise to Dreamers, we know where his loyalties actually lie: with Speaker [Paul] Ryan [(R-Wis.)] and Washington Republicans,” she said.


Mucarsel-Powell is considered the favorite in a Democratic primary to take on Curbelo, a top target of Democrats this fall.

Joanna Rodríguez, a spokeswoman for Curbelo, said the two-term congressman "has leveraged his vote to bring us closer to an immigration compromise that secures a future in America for young immigrants brought to our country as children. He will not be deterred or distracted by anyone who despicably tries to leverage Dreamers for personal political gain in a desperate attempt for attention."

Curbelo vowed in December not to vote for any spending bill that did not include protections for immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

He reversed course early this month as Congress passed a wide-ranging bipartisan spending bill that covered a slew of priorities for members on both sides of the aisle.

Rodríguez said that following Hurricane Irma, it's "a telling sign" that "someone would be attacking their representative for supporting robust, multi-billion dollar disaster relief spending to help them get back on their feet before the next hurricane season begins."


Curbelo has been the most vocal House Republican on legislating a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, rescinded by President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE in September.

A fiscal conservative, Curbelo voted with a majority of Democrats against three spending bills earlier this year as part of an effort to force Republicans to negotiate the fate of Dreamers under threat of a government shutdown.

But the bipartisan deal and promises by Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit MORE (R-Ky.) convinced Curbelo to drop opposition earlier this month.

“Today the Speaker delivered his strongest commitment yet that legislation will be considered on the floor of the House,” Curbelo said in a statement. “Paired with the certainty the Senate will be holding a fair and open debate on immigration legislation next week, I am now more hopeful than ever a solution on [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] is within reach.”

The Senate did vote on four different immigration bills last week, but came up empty-handed as none of the bills got the 60 votes necessary to advance.

In 2016, Curbelo defeated former Rep. Joe GarciaJose (Joe) Antonio GarciaOvernight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Biden pays tribute to McCain at emotional memorial service Mueller indictments: Congressional candidate asked Russian operatives for info on opponent MORE (R-Fla.) after unseating him in 2014. The 2016 race was among the top 10 most expensive that cycle, costing all candidates and outside groups nearly $20 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.