GOP lawmaker called out after claiming credit for projects she voted against

Florida GOP Rep Maria Elvira Salazar is facing criticism after claiming credit for projects made possible by bipartisan legislation that she didn’t support.

The CHIPS & Science Act as well as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has enabled a number of new projects to get underway in Ms Salazar’s district, Florida’s 27th in southern Miami.

CBS Miami investigative reporter Jim DeFede pressed the lawmaker on her record, saying “Last month you were at [Florida International University] when 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. You voted against that bill”.

“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,” she responded.

“You voted against the CHIPS & Science Act, right?” Mr DeFede asked, to which Ms Salazer argued that she had brought $40m back to the district.

“The money that you talk about, the $40m that you bring back to the district – sometimes that money comes from bills that you voted against,” the reporter responded. “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. You voted against the infrastructure bill and you talk about all the money that comes back to the airport. 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.”

New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen wrote on X that the interview is “one you want to watch, not only for the correspondent’s simple act of persistence, but also for the incredibly weak response from Republican Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar, who at one point almost busts out laughing at her own absurd and witless self”.

Global Politics professor at University College London Brian Klaas added: “This is such a basic aspect of journalism, so effectively done here, and so bizarrely rare in American politics.”

Singer-songwriter Ricky Davila said: “Well done to CBS Miami’s Jim DeFede for refusing to allow MAGA lunatic Maria Elvira Salazar to take credit for money and projects that she voted against as well as refreshing her “lost memory” on air of every bill that she voted against. We need much more of this journalism.”

“Now THIS is how a real reporter pushes back against a politician who is lying to everyone. It’s hilarious to watch Congresswoman Salazar give up at the end, as if to say, ‘You got me!’ What makes this even more delicious is that Salazar is a former journalist!” Russell Drew noted.

The Independent has attempted to reach the office of Ms Salazar for comment.