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Sen. Marco Rubio calls marriage equality bill 'a fake problem'

The U.S. Senator said there are other national issues to address.

TAMPA, Fla — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed reporters Friday after a visit to Port Tampa Bay to discuss supply chain economics.

Among comments made, the senator shared his thoughts on the Respect for Marriage Act that recently passed the U.S. House with support from dozens of Republicans.

Rubio called the bill "a fake problem," stating that the chance of gay marriage being outlawed "is zero."

"The chances that Nancy Pelosi will endorse me in my Senate reelection are higher than the chances of that going anywhere," Rubio said. "I don’t think we should be spending time on a non-issue and a non-problem. It’s as simple as that."

The Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect same-sex and interracial marriages was drafted and submitted to the House amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardize other rights criticized by many conservative Americans. The vote was 267-157, with dozens of Republicans joining Democrats for passage.

Rubio stated as opposed to focusing on the bill, lawmakers could address other national issues like gas prices, inflation, the border crisis and the fentanyl-opioid problem. 

RELATED: Sen. Marco Rubio visits Port Tampa Bay to talk supply chain economics

"These are serious problems that we’re facing in our country and they’re all being ignored and we’re wasting time on non-existent problems," Rubio stated while speaking to media outlets.

While the Respect for Marriage Act was expected to pass the House, with a Democratic majority, it is almost certain to stall in the evenly split Senate, where most Republicans would likely join a filibuster to block it. It's one of several bills, including those enshrining abortion access, that Democrats are proposing to confront the court's conservative majority. The House also passed another bill guaranteeing access to contraceptive services.

Rubio said if the Respect for Marriage Act reached a Senate vote, he would not participate. 

"I don’t vote for bills that solve non-existent problems," Rubio said. "This is a bill that solves non-existent problems."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

RELATED: How Florida lawmakers voted on marriage equality

RELATED: House approves bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriages amid SCOTUS fears

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