Rubio uses Senate perch to further big donor’s financial gains

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). REUTERS/Jason Reed

I’m no choir boy.

Perhaps this is just business as usual on Capitol Hill, but to regular Americans, it stinks. Sen. Marco Rubio has been using his influence on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to further the financial ambitions of one of his biggest donors, Paul Singer, who just endorsed Rubio for president.
Singer makes a lot of his money by buying up foreign debt and then suing countries for the full amount if they default on it. That’s exactly what happened in Argentina and Rubio’s done everything in his power to make Argentina pay up, reports International Business Times.

Bloomberg reports that Singer’s firm, Elliott Management — through a subsidiary called NML Capital — invested in the country’s bonds, and after the country defaulted on its debts in 2001, Singer’s firm was one of a few creditors to decline Argentina’s request to reduce its repayments by 65 percent. Instead,

firm went to court to try to get a full repayment of up to $1.6 billion, at times attempting to seize the country’s assets. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called Singer a “financial terrorist” who is pushing her country to the brink of financial collapse.

Singer’s firm, which was the third-largest donor to Rubio’s senate campaign, and the lobbying group he backs, American Task Force Argentina, have spent $9.3 million over the past eight years to cudgel Congress and the White House into pressuring Argentina to hand over the bacon. And here’s some snippets of what Rubio did in kind:

•In February 2014 during the confirmation hearing for the U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Rubio questioned the country’s status as an ally of the United States on the basis that it “doesn’t pay bondholders.” He called Argentina “the most peculiar ally in the world, because it doesn’t pay its debts and doesn’t cooperate militarily.” […]
•Rubio sent a letter in July 2014 to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requesting he “counsel Argentina to honor its outstanding legal and financial obligations to its U.S. and international private creditors.” […]

•Earlier this year, Rubio called for the U.S. State Department to support launching an international investigation into the Argentine government, following the death of a prosecutor who had accused the country’s president of covering up the details of a deadly terrorist attack two decades earlier.

That’s a lot of action for a guy who can’t be bothered to show up for Senate votes.

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