Carlos Curbelo: South Florida’s fake ‘moderate’ Republican

The Miami press is making much noise about the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ recent denial of entry to Congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL – 26th District). The Miami Herald, and its Spanish language counterpart El Nuevo Herald, has opined that all Hispanics should be allowed to become part of the Caucus. That insistence is in spite of the fact that this specific Member (Curbelo) stands against the basic interests of the Hispanic community.

And even though Curbelo has cultivated the image of a moderate, in reality, he is far from one. For example, Curbelo voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though 20 percent of his district’s non-elderly population is enrolled in the ACA. He then turned and voted in favor of that monstrosity once-called Trumpcare, which would have left a huge number of his constituents without health care.

Curbelo succumbs to pressure and votes against his constituents

The Caucus is correct in rejecting Curbelo’s entry. Caucus members should be there to further the interests of Hispanic people — not undermine them. If Curbelo had taken a position against Trumpcare, like Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine did, then I could see merit in the complaint.

Curbelo’s moderation should also be called into question for other reasons. He voted for Trump’s tax cuts, for example.

Working hard at exposing Curbelo should also be a major task for Democrats in his congressional district. There is no reason for Curbelo to be holding a seat in a district that is majority Democrat. The 26th is the nation’s congressional district with the largest majority of Democrats, but with a Republican congressperson.

Let it also be known that the “Moderate” Curbelo has voted with the Republican Party 86.3 percent of the time, while voting with President Trump’s position 83.6 percent of the time. One of his few votes against Trump was for the TPP ratification, which most progressives agreed with Trump on.

Curbelo has cultivated his moderate reputation cleverly, but there is no substance to his overall standing as one. He voted for the tax cuts at the last minute, because as the Miami New Times reported, Curbelo’s wife, who owns a pass-through Limited Liability Company, would financially benefit from a last-minute provision inserted in the bill which enabled such companies to deduct a larger portion of their profits from the taxes. It was inserted in the Act to favor his wife’s company.

We can then safely say that Curbelo is a typical Republican. In other words: his creed is Greed Over People (GOP).

Curbelo is supported by hard right Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Maybe the most important feature in exposing the real Curbelo (who used to say that he would not vote for Trump) are his votes on the issue of Trump and the release of his tax returns. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Curbelo voted against a measure that would have led to a request of the Treasury Department for Trump’s tax returns. Curbelo also voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump’s tax returns, which would have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.

Heck! With enemies like Curbelo, Trump can tiptoe through the tulips.

Here are a few more truths about Curbelo for you to ponder: He passes as a friend of the environment, but he supported building the Keystone Pipeline; he supports increased American involvement in Syria and Iraq; and he supports diverting a portion of our Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts. In short, Curbelo supports privatization of Social Security.

Curbelo has no business representing Florida’s 26th District in Congress. Democrats need to work hard to expose this fake moderate.

Lorenzo Cañizares is retired and lives in Miami. He is an activist and organizer who co-founded and co-directed the Cuban-Americans for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential elections.

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