As a member of the controversial "Gang of Eight" working up comprehensive immigration reform three years ago, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio blocked bipartisan efforts to reform the worker visa program to make sure American workers get first dibs on jobs, according to a top Senate Democrat.

At a hearing on H-1B worker visas Thursday, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois said that "a junior senator from Florida" fought to kill visa changes in the legislation that would have limited the ability of firms to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor.

"In 2013, I was part of the Gang of Eight. Democrats and Republicans sat down and wrote, kind of, the comprehensive immigration reform. One member of the Gang of Eight, a junior senator from Florida, fought hard to keep H-1B reforms out of the bill. Nonetheless, we made several important changes in the program," said Durbin.

It comes at 29 minutes in the video here of the hearing of the Judicary subcommittee on immingration and the national interest.

The Democrat has teamed with Republicans, notably Sens. Jeff Sessions and Chuck Grassley, to put the brakes on the visa worker system, believing that it encourages U.S. firms to replace more expensive American workers.

Sessions has also teamed with Florida's senior senator, Bill Nelson, on similar legislation.

Rubio has been dogged by his participation in the Gang of Eight, though he has laid out a tough immigration proposal on the campaign trail.

In fact, at Thursday night's GOP presidential debate, he whacked Donald Trump for using foreign workers on his projects.

In one of the recent GOP debates, Rubio defended his support for the H-1B visas which are supposed to be used by firms to filled high level jobs with foreign workers when an American can't be found.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at