GOP’s Salazar says she can’t recall how she voted on CHIPS, appropriations bills

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) said Sunday she could not recall how she voted on two key pieces of legislation that she has since touted as victories that she brought home for her district.

In an interview on CBS News Miami, Salazar dodged repeatedly when asked about her votes against certain legislation, including the CHIPS and Science Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.

Throughout the interview, Salazar said she did not remember how she voted, said she needed to consult her staff, and tried to redirect the conversation to focus on other bills she introduced.

“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. You voted against the CHIPS Act and yet you praise the fact that the south Florida climate resilience tech hub is going to be started in Miami, right? You voted against the infrastructure bill and you talk about all the money that comes back to the airport,” the anchor said.

“So, 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,” he added.

Salazar responded, “Listen I, that was, I think, last cycle, I cannot really remember right now, but just look, just look at the Americas Act—”

“You don’t want to explain why you voted against [these bills]?” the anchor asked, cutting her off.

“I mean right now, and I’m not trying to be a politician, there’s so many bills that I’ve introduced and I know that many of them—”

The anchor cut in: “These are bills that you voted against.”

“I understand and, but, the, it’s OK. Sometimes I vote, and sometimes I don’t, but let’s look at the positive,” she said, before pivoting.

The contentious exchange came after the local anchor pressed the former TV journalist about her votes, specifically raising a recent photo-op at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami last month, when Salazar signed a check to the school.

“Last month you were at FIU, and you presented a check for $650,000 to help small businesses at FIU, but you voted against the bill that gave the money that you then signed a check for and handed and had a photo op, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, right? You voted against that bill,” the anchor said.

Salazar replied, “Right now, you have to give me more details, but I do know that every time I have an opportunity to bring money to my constituents, I do so.”

“But you voted against, you voted against the CHIPS and Science Act, right?” he asked again.

“Listen, right now I need to, I need to ask my staff,” Salazar said, before adding the “$40 million that I have brought to this community. Aren’t you proud of me? Aren’t you proud of the $40 million that I brought? Aren’t you proud that I wrote the Dignity Act, haven’t I … let’s talk about the Americas Act,” she said.

The Hill has reached out to officials from Salazar’s office for comment.

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