Sen. Marco Rubio would have voted against the catch-all spending bill Congress passed Friday – had he been here.
"Washington's leadership has created another massive spending bill in secret and rammed it through Congress, hoping that the American people don't notice or have become numb to this kind of business as usual," Rubio said in a statement released by his office. "This is what a broken Washington looks like under President Obama and what Congress reverts to without conservative presidential leadership."
The Florida Republican was on the campaign trail in Iowa Friday and decided not to return to Washington to vote on the spending bill and a package of tax breaks, both of which passed the House and Senate by majorities.
As the only Republican to skip the vote, Rubio's absence was notable. All four other senators running for the White House showed up: Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and independentBernie Sanders of Vermont.
Rubio has said his time is usually better spent on the campaign trail, but he's willing to return for roll call votes where his choice would be meaningful to the outcome.
Paul lampooned Rubio's absence, tweeting a photo of Rubio on a milk carton with the phrase, "Have you seen me?"
"If you have any information, please contact the American taxpayers," Paul's tweet said. "They would like to know why Marco Rubio refuses to show up to oppose reckless spending in Washington."
The vote on the Senate bill, which included $1.1 trillion in spending with $622 billion in tax breaks, included a Rubio-authored provision that prevents the government from compensating insurance companies that incur large losses on health exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
"While stopping ObamaCare's taxpayer-funded bailout of insurance companies is an important win, I strongly oppose this bill because it keeps spending money that we don't have, grows our debt, and concedes far too many of President Obama's and liberal Democrats' big government spending priorities," Rubio said.
Nelson wants relief for Puerto Rico
Sen. Bill Nelson had hoped a provision allowing Puerto Rico the right to declareChapter 9 bankruptcy would be included in the catch-all spending and tax bill Congress approved Friday.
It was not, leaving the issue to be litigated in next year's session.
"It appears that Congress is going to go home without having done the bare minimum for Puerto Rico," the Florida Democrat said on the Senate floor Thursday. "How in the world can we fail our fellow Americans like this?"
Puerto Rico owes about $70 billion to bondholders, and opponents of allowing the U.S. territory to declare bankruptcy are concerned those bondholders will lose money.
Earlier this year, Nelson and other senators introduced a bill giving Puerto Rico the right to declare bankruptcy, a right that, Nelson noted, all 50 states enjoy.
He also joined three fellow senators in introducing legislation to improve the treatment of Puerto Rico under Medicare and Medicaid. And earlier this month, he filed a bill to help the island's low-income seniors afford the cost of their prescription drugs.
Nelson, who met with government officials in Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan last month, said the problem is spilling into Florida. Thousands of Puerto Ricans are moving to the Sunshine State to escape an uncertain economy back home.
"In the meantime, Puerto Rico is going to start the New Year on the verge of default, as the governor faces the troubling choice of… paying for essential public services… or that he makes a billion-dollar debt payment to Wall Street creditors." Nelson said. "Public services -- health, fire, police, water, et cetera – versus paying the bonds that are coming due."
Bipartisan Bob Graham
Over the past two decades, no senator from Florida can claim the mantle of bipartisanship more than Bob Graham.
That's according to a just-released analysis by the Lugar Center, led by former Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
Graham, a Democrat and popular ex-governor, ranked 35th of the 227 senators who have served since 1993.
The Bipartisan Index is designed to measure how much senators work across party lines. It gauges how often members co-sponsor bills introduced by the opposite party, and how often their own bills attract co-sponsors from the other party.
Lugar, a Republican known for reaching across the aisle, said the index used bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships for two reasons.
"First, they allowed us to construct a highly objective measure of partisan and bipartisan behavior," he said. "Second, sponsorship and co-sponsorship behavior is especially revealing of partisan tendencies.
"Members' voting decisions are often contextual and can be influenced by parliamentary circumstances," he said. "Sponsorships and co-sponsorships, in contrast, exist as very carefully considered declarations of where a legislator stands on an issue."
Here are the rankings for the other five senators who represent Florida now or did at one time: Republican George LeMieux (67th), Republican Connie Mack III (82nd), Democrat Bill Nelson (83rd), Republican Mel Martinez (84th), and Republican Marco Rubio (170th).