'I Cannot Really Remember': GOP Rep. Busted For Taking Credit For Bills She Voted Against

"I need to ask my staff," Florida Rep. Maria Salazar said as a reporter listed off times she bragged about getting money for her district that she opposed.

Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) on Sunday got called out for routinely taking credit for delivering money to her district — after opposing the bills that provided that money.

During an interview on CBS News Miami, host Jim DeFede asked Salazar about a ceremony she attended last month where she presented a check for $650,000 to help small businesses at Florida International University.

“You voted against the bill that gave the money that you then signed a check for and handed and had a photo op,” said DeFede, the host of CBS’s show “Facing South Florida.” “The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, right?”

She did vote against that $1.7 trillion government funding bill. It was a massive and memorable bill that almost every House Republican opposed.

Salazar said she couldn’t remember that vote.

“Right now, you have to give me more details,” she said. “But I do know that every time I have an opportunity to bring money to my constituents, I do so. I just did $400,000, but look—”

“But you voted against the CHIPS and Science Act, right?” DeFede interrupted.

“Listen, I— right now, I need to, I need to ask my staff,” Salazar said. “Why don’t we look at the $40 million that I have brought to this community. Aren’t you proud of me?”

"Aren't you proud of me?" Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) asked CBS host Jim DeFede.
"Aren't you proud of me?" Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) asked CBS host Jim DeFede.
Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

DeFede pressed on: “The money that you talk about — the $40 million that you bring back to the district — sometimes that money comes from bills that you voted against.”

He pointed out that Salazar voted against the CHIPS and Science Act, but has celebrated the fact that the South Florida Climate Resilience Tech Hub is being launched in Miami. That hub was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act. He also noted that Salazar voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but has touted all the money that law provided to Miami International Airport.

“At the same time that you’re taking credit for the money that you bring back to the district, in Washington, you’re voting against these projects on party-line votes,” DeFede said.

Salazar said she forgot about all those votes.

”Listen I, that was, I think, last cycle. I cannot really remember right now,” she said. “But just look at the Americas Act, which is what I’m—”

“So you don’t want to explain why you voted against things?” DeFede asked.

“I really cannot, I mean, right now, and I’m not trying to be a politician, there’s so many bills that I’ve introduced that I know that many of them―” she continued, before DeFede jumped in again.

“But these are bills you voted against,” he said.

“I understand. But it’s, it’s — OK. Sometimes I vote and sometimes I don’t,” the Florida congresswoman finally said. “But let’s look at the positive.”

Salazar’s office did not respond to a request for comment on whether she remembers the bills she voted against but took credit for the way they helped her district.

You can watch their full exchange here:

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