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State Senator Debbie Mayfield – Mayfield Minute 08/07/2022

National Kid’s Day!

Today, August 7th, is National Kid’s Day. Established in 1994 by the National Children’s Charity, KidPeace, National Kid’s Day celebrates the children in our lives. 

It was a day created to encourage parents to spend more time with their children. The founders of KidPeace established three main goals for the charity, and for this national awareness day.

 

  • Create awareness of the needs and values of children.
  • Change the way people look at and treat children.
  • Contribute to a world in which children can be safe, feel loved, have the freedom to grow and enjoy being young.

“The best thing that we can give our children is time.” – Arnold Glasglow

 

I consider it a great honor to represent District 17. Please share this link with your friends and family so they too, can sign up for the Mayfield Minute.

 

If you or someone you know needs my assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to serve you.

Statewide Update

Scams Targeting College Students

Whether your college student is just beginning their freshman year, or returning to college this upcoming fall, they may be at risk of being scammed as they search for scholarship opportunities and financial aid. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services warns that fraudulent websites advertising false scholarships are common, so here are some things to keep in mind as they begin their online search.

  • Free scholarship and financial aid help is available from many sources, so be wary of any services that charge high prices to help you with your applications.
  • Complete your financial aid application on the official Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
  • Be wary of giving out your bank account information and never give out personal information over the phone. 
  • Always double check to ensure the website is credible.

To learn more about FAFSA, and opportunities for financial aid, click here.

AG Ashley Moody: Beware of Seven Summer Scams

Attorney General Ashley Moody highlights seven main scams that can affect Floridians during these summer months.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “We are near the midway point of the summer season. Vacations are coming to an end as families prepare to send students back to school, but don’t count on scammers slowing down. Please keep your guard up and take precautions to avoid falling prey to scams through the remainder of this summer and beyond.”

See the following tips to help you avoid these scams.

  • Vacation Rental Scams: Fake vacation home or hotel offers listed online may require an application fee, security deposit or personal information to reserve. Be sure to do proper research before providing any money or information to potential accommodation hosts.
  • Free Wi-Fi Scams: When traveling, people typically connect to public Wi-Fi to save data. There are a multitude of ways hackers take advantage of public Wi-Fi, but all are easily avoidable if the correct precautions are taken.
  • Front-Desk and Fake-Menu Scams: Travelers should be aware that scammers may impersonate hospitality staff, who call targets at random and claim a credit card payment is being declined. After establishing trust, these fraudsters will ask for confirmation of the credit card number, expiration date, and verification code.
  • Online ‘Summer Deals’ Scams: Many online retailers host huge summer sales, and scammers may mimic these events to target consumers with malware, phishing texts, and other messages designed to steal personal or financial information.
  • Storm-Preparation Scams: Hurricane season is underway and unscrupulous contractors may offer phony stormproof products or construction services for a huge deposit. Check a contractor’s credentials and online reputation. Research stormproof product claims. Get multiple written estimates and be cautious before paying money upfront. 
  • Low-Cost Moving Scams: Summer is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year to move since it falls between academic school years. Knowing the most common signs of moving scams can help prevent unexpected high costs, lost items or even property being held for a ransom.
  • Summer-Employment Scams: Students out of school looking for summer jobs may be at risk of employment scams—this scam can also emerge as high schoolers and college students look for part-time jobs during the academic year. Receiving a job offer is exciting, but Attorney General Moody recommends Floridians do research on the perceived opportunity before answering personal questions or providing sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers.

To report scams, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or MyFloridaLegal.com.

Governor DeSantis Announces Opioid Recovery Program

On August 3rd, Governor DeSantis, along with Florida healthcare officials, announced a new expansion to the addiction and recovery programs to help combat the ongoing Opioid crisis. This network of addiction care, known as Coordinated Opioid Recovery (CORE), is the first in the nation. Successfully piloted in Palm Beach County, it will now be expanding to 12 counties in order to help with overdose cases. In 2022, there have been almost 2,000 fatal overdose cases in Brevard County alone, with a majority of the cases tied to Opioids and Fentanyl.

“Biden’s border crisis has caused a massive infusion of drugs coming into our state,” saidGovernor Ron DeSantis. “This year we increased the penalties for individuals trafficking drugs in our state, and now we are giving Floridians the tools they need to break the substance abuse cycle. Substance abuse can affect any family at any time, so from education to law enforcement to treatment we are going to make sure that Floridians can take advantage of this new addiction recovery model.” 

Floridians battling addiction can report to a CORE treatment site in order to gain medical attention and the skills needed to combat addiction.

For more information on CORE, click here.

The Florida Python Challenge

August 5th marked the start of the annual Florida Python Challenge, a yearly event meant to help remove the population of the invasive Burmese Python. 

Each year, hunters, enthusiasts, and reptile experts alike travel to the Everglades to participate in the 10-day challenge. During this time, Burmese Pythons can be humanely captured and killed in an effort to preserve the wildlife that is native to Florida.

Burmese Pythons, while non-venomous, are destructive to the Everglades eco-system and often grow to over 15 feet. Snake owners will occasionally release these animals into the wild, where they feed off of native animals such as birds, fox, rabbits, and alligators as they continue to grow larger. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Burmese Python is larger than any of Florida’s native snakes, typically ranging between six and 15 feet, yet they are capable of growing to over 20 feet long.

Along with playing a part in protecting the Everglades’ eco-system, hunters who compete in the challenge can win cash prizes by capturing the largest number of snakes, as well as the largest in size. 

For more information of the Florida Python Challenge, click here.

First Lady Casey DeSantis Launches Cancer Connect

Florida is second in the nation in the highest number of new cancer cases.  On August 3rd, First Lady Casey DeSantis launched the Florida Cancer Connect, an initiative that focuses on cancer treatment resources, caregiver tools, and stories from cancer survivors on 

one website.

First Lady DeSantis said, “When I was going through my cancer fight, I saw the need for a centralized hub that housed everything patients and caretakers could need while dealing with this disease. Florida Cancer Connect arms Floridians with valuable knowledge while instilling hope into the lives of those facing cancer by sharing positive survivor stories. Our mission with this website is simple – make the cancer battle easier and instill hope in those fighting.”

The Florida Cancer Connect website, offers tools that help Floridians to:

  • Understand cancer research and prevention programs,
  • Locate a health care provider specializing in cancer care,
  • Navigate the complexities of cancer related insurance coverage,
  • Obtain caregiver resources, and
  • Hear testimonials from Floridians who have fought this disease.

This website provides resources and support to Florida cancer patients.

For more information on the Florida Cancer Connect, click here.

Constituent of the Week

Betsy DeVos

Our Constituent of the Week is Betsy DeVos. A native of Holland, Michigan, she graduated from Calvin College with a degree in business economics. Mrs. DeVos has been a resident of Vero Beach since 1997.

Mrs. DeVos is a philanthropist and the former United States Secretary of Education under President Trump. She has advocated for the Detroit Charter School System and is a former board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Mrs. DeVos is one of the country’s most influential advocates for educational reform from school choice to charter schools. Her new book, “Hostages No More” highlights the need to protect freedom of speech for students, and focuses on common sense improvements throughout our education system. She is also an advocate and staunch supporter of teachers, educators, and parents.

Mrs. DeVos said, “Education broadens our horizons, and enables us to confront realities we’d never before anticipated.” 

District 17 is privileged to know Betsy DeVos, a lifelong educator and steadfast supporter of students seeking to better their lives and opportunities through education.

District Highlights

It’s Back to School for Brevard County and Indian River County Students and Teachers!

Wednesday, August 10th marks the first day of classes for the 2022-2023 School Year for Brevard County and Indian River County students and teachers. We wish all families a smooth transition and a very successful academic year.

For information on bus routes, bus safety, and frequently asked questions:

Brevard County school bus Information, click here.

Indian River County school bus Information, click here.

Brevard County Public Schools are working together with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department, and Indian River County Public Schools and the Indian River County Sheriff’s Department are doing the same, to provide your children with a safe school experience.

To learn more about school security for Brevard County, click here.

To learn more about school security for Indian River County, click here.

Brevard Zoo New Additions

On July 28th, the Brevard Zoo welcomed its newest members, two White-Nosed Coati, named Sky and Rita. Coati are members of the racoon family, and native to South America and the Southwest region of the United States. 

Sky and Rita were born in Texas and brought to the Brevard County Zoo as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ White-Nosed Coati Species Survival Plan. They will join the existing five members of the Coati family, and can be seen in the Rainforest Revealed Exhibit at the Brevard Zoo.

For more information on the Brevard Zoo, click here.

Agency Highlight

Department of Education

As our teachers, students, and parents are preparing for the new school year, I wanted to provide you a quick update from the Florida Department of Education on their newly appointed Commissioner, State Senator Manny Diaz.

On June 1st, Governor Ron DeSantis recommended State Senator Manny Diaz to be appointed as the Commissioner of Education. Senator Diaz had served in the Florida Legislature since 2012 and most recently sponsored education legislation supporting students and families including:

  • Eliminating the FSA,
  • Creating the Charter School Review Commission,
  • Establishing a proclamation on “Victims of Communism Day”,
  • Reforming higher education,
  • Requiring financial literacy teaching in schools, and
  • Expanding access to Family Empowerment Scholarships.  

Commissioner Diaz worked as a public-school teacher, coach, assistant principal, and school administrator. His classroom experience helped to prepare him to serve as Commissioner of Education. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University, a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University, and completed a Harvard Graduate School of Education program for school principals.

 

“Manny Diaz has done a great job in the Legislature on education issues ranging from teacher pay to parental rights and choice,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am confident that he will serve our state well as the Commissioner of Education.”

 

“It is an honor to be recommended by Governor DeSantis to serve as the Education Commissioner,” said Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. “For my entire career I have worked to improve the education system to serve Florida’s students, parents, and teachers. I am excited to get to work continuing the mission of the Governor to make Florida the Education State.”

Commissioner Diaz went on to say, “Florida will continue to serve students, parents, and educators in our quest to provide students with a world-class education that meets the unique and individual needs of all students.”

In the coming weeks, I will share more on the mission of the Florida Department of Education and the vast educational services they provide from K-12, post-secondary, career and technical, teacher certifications, exceptional student needs, scholarship programs, and much more. 

Upcoming Events

Indian River Lighted River Boat Parade

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce is promoting the Indian River Lighted Boat Parade which will take place on August 12th at Burt Lake next to DeVoe Beach. The parade route will begin at 9:30 p.m. There is no fee to enter a boat in the parade and it is open to the public to watch and enjoy. In case of rain, the parade will take place on August 13th.

For more information, please call (231) 330-6833 or (313) 720-3052.

Florida Department of Transportation Meetings

BREVARD COUNTY: The Florida Department of Transportation is hosting a meeting to discuss the project plans regarding West Haven Avenue from I-95 to Babcock Street. The meeting will take place at the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. in Melbourne on Tuesday, August 16th at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting may be attended:

  • In person
  • By phone (listen only) by calling, 877-309-2074 (enter passcode 279-070-496)
  • Virtually; for this option advanced registration is required, click here. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY:  The Florida Department of Transportation is hosting a meeting regarding proposed improvements for the new interchange at I-95 and Oslo Road and the widening of Oslo Road from East of I-95 to SW 58th Avenue. The meeting will take place at the Richardson Center at Mueller Campus (IRSC), 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach on Wednesday, August 17th at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting may be attended:

  • Virtually on Monday, August 15th at 5:30 p.m. please register using the link here:
  • By phone on Monday, August 15th at 5:30 p.m. by dialing in to +1 (562) 247-8321, Access code 934-051-552
  • In person on Wednesday, August 17th at 5:30 p.m. at the Richard Center at Mueller Campus (IRSC)

For more information or assistance regarding the Brevard County or Indian River County FDOT meetings, contact Kelli Lane at Lane.Kelli@flsenate.gov.

Brevard’s 2nd Annual Back to School Skin Fair for Teens

The 8 Esthetics Spa and Wellness Center, located at 6050 Babcock Street SE, Palm Bay, is offering free back to school facials for teenagers August 1st to August 15th.  Teens ages 13 to 18 are invited to receive a therapeutic facial treatment as well as complimentary skincare advice.  All facials are provided by a licensed esthetician.  

Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling 321-345-3559. 

Staff Highlight

New Staff- Joshua McWilliams

I am happy to announce the addition of a new staff member to my team: Joshua McWilliams. Joshua is a native of Versailles, Kentucky, but grew to love Florida when he visited his grandfather here as a child. Joshua has his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Kentucky. He has also earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2009.

Prior to joining my team, Joshua practiced civil, criminal, estate, probate, and family law for 13 years. 

In his spare time he is an avid fisherman and enjoys restoring classic cars.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and visit my Senate website

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  

Contact Information

Melbourne Office 

900 East Strawbridge Avenue

Melbourne, FL 32901

(321) 409-2025

 

Tallahassee Office

330 Senate Office Building

404 South Monroe Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

(850) 487-5017

Vero Beach Office

Administration Building B

1801 27th Street

Vero Beach, FL 32960

(772) 226-1970

Staff:

Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

Ariana Aubuchon

Joshua McWilliams

US Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review 08/05/2022

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This week, Senator Rick Scott, a member of the Senate Aging Committee, called on Democrats to hold an immediate hearing on their partisan, reckless tax-and-spending spree that launches a war on seniors by cutting $280 BILLION from Medicare, raising the tax burden on almost all Americans and supersizing the IRS to go after families and small businesses.

Senator Rick Scott said, “American families are sick and tired of listening to Joe Biden’s lies. He lied about Afghanistan. He’s lied about inflation. He’s lied about his crisis on the border. Now he’s lying about this bill. Here’s the truth: Democrats have launched a WAR ON SENIORS and WAR ON AMERICAN JOBS in their latest reckless tax-and-spending spree. Think about this…Democrats are cutting Medicare by $280 BILLION and raising taxes in a recession. And their attack on American innovation will mean the creation of fewer life-saving drugs. It’s terrible for our seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, who are already being hit by Biden’s raging inflation crisis. This is the worst idea imaginable, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Biden’s been supporting cuts to Medicare and Social Security for DECADES. Sadly, the Democrats aren’t stopping there. As Biden’s inflation rages and his recession begins, does the Democrat’s tax-and-spending spree help small businesses? NO. It sends a bigger, badder IRS after every penny they have. Florida families and businesses, and the millions of seniors that call the Sunshine State home, have had enough of Democrats stealing from them to appease the radical liberal elites.”

See more from Fox News HERE or in the video below:

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See more of what Senator Scott has been up to this week below.

Sen. Rick Scott Votes to Pass the PACT Act

Senator Rick Scott released the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Honoring our PACT Act, known as the PACT Act.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Tonight, I was proud to once again vote to pass the PACT Act which will deliver needed and deserved care and resources to veterans in Florida and across the nation. As both Florida’s governor and U.S. Senator, I have fought to make sure the Sunshine State is the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation, and my vote tonight continues this work. We owe our veterans endless gratitude for their service and sacrifice to protect our freedoms, and while we can never repay them, especially those who have suffered life-long health impacts from their service, the PACT Act upholds our commitment to ensure these men and women have the care, support and service they have earned and are owed.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Calls for Hearing on Democrats’ Reckless Tax-and-Spend Spree: It’s a War On Seniors

Senator Rick Scott, a member of the Senate Aging Committee, released the following statement calling on Democrats to hold an immediate hearing on their partisan, reckless tax-and-spending spree that launches a war on seniors by cutting Medicare, raising the tax burden on almost all Americans and supersizing the IRS to go after Americans.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Democrats have launched a WAR ON SENIORS in their latest reckless tax-and-spending spree. Before it moves forward, we must have a hearing in the Aging Committee to get answers on how this hurts American seniors. Think about this…Democrats are cutting Medicare and raising taxes in a recession. It’s terrible for our seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes, who are already being hit by Biden’s raging inflation crisis. This is the worst idea imaginable, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Biden’s been supporting cuts to Medicare and Social Security for DECADES. Sadly, the Democrats aren’t stopping there. As Biden’s inflation rages and his recession begins, does the Democrat’s tax-and-spending spree help small businesses? NO. It sends a bigger, badder IRS after every penny they have. Florida families and businesses, and the millions of seniors that call the Sunshine State home, are sick and tired of Democrats stealing from them to appease the radical liberal elites.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott’s Bipartisan END FENTANYL Act to Help Border Patrol Stop Drug Smuggling Advances in Senate

Senator Rick Scott’s bipartisan legislation, the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act, passed out of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and advances in the Senate. This legislation would require the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to update its policies at least once every three years to ensure drug interdiction guidance is up to date. This legislation builds off the 2019 GAO report, “Land Ports of Entry: CBP Should Update Policies and Enhance Analysis of Inspections,” that found drug interdiction guidance has not been updated in 20 years. This legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Braun, Maggie Hassan, Dianne Feinstein and Jacky Rosen.

Senator Rick Scott said, “For too long, the crushing heartbreak felt from losing a loved one to a drug overdose, and the opioids that cause them, have plagued American families. This epidemic, fueled by the massive amounts of fentanyl flowing illegally over our southern border into our communities, has only grown worse under Joe Biden’s failed open border policies. Every life taken by an accidental drug overdose is a preventable tragedy and we must do everything in our power to stop them. Today, is a big win in our fight against the lethal opioid epidemic, but it is not the end. We must see the END FENTANYL Act passed and signed into law, and continue our work to support our brave CBP agents, and all who are on the frontlines of this battle, ensuring they have every tool needed to fight back, keep these dangerous drugs out of our country and save lives.” Read more HERE.

Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio Join Colleagues in Introducing the Lifting Local Communities Act

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Marco Rubio and colleagues in introducing the Lifting Local Communities Act to make it easier for faith-based organizations to apply for, and receive, government grants and other types of funding without fear of arbitrary religious limitations and vindictive litigation. Currently, faith-based organizations are some of our nation’s best social service providers, but they often face unjust barriers and uncertainty when applying to administer federally-funded services in their communities.

Senator Rick Scott said, “During my years as both Governor and Florida’s U.S. Senator, I’ve seen the incredible positive impact that faith-based groups and charities have on Florida’s families and communities in times of need. These groups deserve more of our support, not less. The Lifting Local Communities Act ensures that federal grant programs respect the First Amendment and do not unfairly discriminate against religious groups that dedicate themselves to serving others.” Read more from Senator Rubio’s office HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Joins Sen. Tim Scott in Introducing Bill to Empower Parents to Solve the Learning Loss Crisis

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tim Scott and their colleagues in introducing the Raising Expectations with Child Opportunity Vouchers for Educational Recovery (RECOVER) Act to empower parents to solve the learning loss crisis facing today’s students. Read more from Senator Tim Scott’s office HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott joins Sen. Cotton and Colleagues in Demanding Biden Deny Iranian President Raisi Visa to New York

Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Marsha Blackburn and Ted Cruz in sending a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that he deny visas for Iranian President Raisi and his delegation to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in September. Read more from Senator Cotton’s office HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Leads Colleagues in Resolution Recognizing One-Year Anniversary of Cuban Freedom Protests

Senator Rick Scott led a resolution with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Mike Braun marking the one-year anniversary of last July’s historic democracy demonstrations in Cuba and condemning the illegitimate communist Cuban regime’s horrific oppression aimed at silencing Cubans as they demand freedom on the island. Senator Scott continues to be a voice for the Cuban people, bringing awareness to the inhumane treatment they face and calling for support of freedom fighters like José Daniel Ferrer and the hundreds of others, including children, who have been unjustly imprisoned for months by the regime. A companion resolution was introduced by Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart, María Elvira Salazar, Carlos A. Giménez, Rick Crawford and Michael McCaul in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read the full resolution HERE.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Since the July 11th demonstrations, the Cuban people’s fight for ‘patria y vida’ and democracy in Cuba has only grown stronger. We will never rest until the freedom-loving people of Cuba are liberated from the illegitimate communist regime that continues to oppress and torture them. For decades, we have seen how the cowardly regime attacks, kidnaps, tortures, jails and murders the brave people of Cuba whose only ask is for their God-given basic human rights. These attacks and oppression must end. A new day of freedom in Cuba is closer than ever before, and I won’t stop fighting until we see an end to the Castro/Díaz-Canel regime.” Read more HERE.

El Senador Rick Scott lidera a sus colegas en una resolución que reconoce el primer aniversario de las protestas por la libertad de Cuba

El Senador Rick Scott encabezó una resolución con los Senadores Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz y Mike Braun para conmemorar el primer aniversario de las históricas manifestaciones democráticas de julio en Cuba y condenar la horrible opresión del ilegítimo régimen comunista cubano que busca silenciar a los cubanos que exigen libertad en la isla. El Senador Scott continúa siendo una voz para el pueblo cubano, creando conciencia sobre el trato inhumano que enfrentan los cubanos y pidiendo apoyo para los luchadores por la libertad como José Daniel Ferrer y los cientos otros, incluidos niños, que han sido encarcelados injustamente durante meses por el régimen. Una resolución complementaria fue presentada por los Congresistas Mario Díaz-Balart, María Elvira Salazar, Carlos A. Giménez, Rick Crawford y Michael McCaul en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos. Lea la resolución completa AQUÍ.

El Senador Rick Scott dijo: “Desde las manifestaciones del 11 de julio, la lucha del pueblo cubano por democracia, ‘patria y vida’ en Cuba no ha hecho más que fortalecerse. Nunca descansaremos hasta que el pueblo cubano amante de la libertad sea liberado del ilegítimo régimen comunista que continúa oprimiéndolo. Durante décadas, hemos visto cómo el régimen cobarde ataca, secuestra, tortura, encarcela y asesina al valiente pueblo de Cuba que exige sus derechos humanos básicos otorgados por Dios. Estos ataques y la opresión deben terminar. Un nuevo día de libertad en Cuba está más cerca que nunca y no dejaré de luchar hasta ver el fin del régimen de Castro/Díaz-Canel”. Lea más AQUÍ.

Senator Rick Scott: The United States Stands with Taiwan, Will Not Bow to Communist China’s Threats

Senator Rick Scott released the following statement after Communist China announced economic sanctions on Taiwan and ordered three days of live fire drills in six maritime areas surrounding the island immediately after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit there.

Senator Rick Scott said, “When I was in Taiwan, Communist China flew sorties over the Taiwan Strait to show its displeasure with my visit. Now Xi Jinping is huffing and puffing again because Speaker Pelosi rightly traveled to Taiwan and again expressed America’s unwavering commitment to the security of our democratic partner. Xi is showing the world exactly what he plans to do when he attempts to take Taiwan by force, but the United States will never be intimidated by weak, overly-sensitive dictators. No American is going to be intimidated by Xi, or allow his threats to weaken our resolve to support democracy in Taiwan and security in the Indo-Pacific. Here is my message to Xi and the People’s Liberation Army: these actions earn you nothing but embarrassment and worldwide condemnation. It is now more important than ever for the Senate to quickly pass my Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act and Deterring Communist Chinese Aggression against Taiwan through Financial Sanctions Act. We must be absolutely clear about where we stand, end our policy of strategic ambiguity and put Beijing on notice that the consequences of invading Taiwan will be devastating.” Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Issues Weekly Update on Biden’s Inflation Crisis

Senator Rick Scott released a weekly update on his actions to address America’s debt crisis and rising inflation. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott in National Review: Standing with Taiwan Means Delivering Strength in Both Arms and Trade

Senator Rick Scott wrote an op-ed for National Review about his recent trip to Taiwan, the need for the United States to demonstrate support for thus democratic partner with action, and the legislation he introduced to end the policy of strategic ambiguity toward Taiwan. The op-ed comes as Communist China levies economic sanctions on Taiwan and has ordered three days of live fire drills in in six maritime areas surrounding the island.

Read Senator Scott’s full op-ed in National Review HERE or below:

“Last month, I traveled to Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan to meet with high-level government officials, business leaders, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. My trip to Asia underscored the peril and promise that this part of the world holds for us as Americans, and served as a reminder that in Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo, we are blessed with strong partners who share our commitment to freedom and democracy. Perhaps most important, my discussions revealed how important it is for our own national interest that we do everything possible now to support our partners and allies — diplomatically, militarily, and commercially.

Since February, the world has watched Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine with horror. Freedom-loving nations, such as the United States and our NATO allies, have met this moment with unprecedented support for Ukraine and brutal punishment of Vladimir Putin’s evil Russian regime. Russia’s war has not only reminded the world of the true intentions of thugs such as Putin, but has also served as a preview of communist China’s likely invasion of Taiwan. Furthermore, it has shown that “integrated deterrence” only works when taken up early, comprehensively, and with a steely eye toward meaningful leverage.

My years in business taught me that measurement and results are what move us ahead, not mere visions and rhetoric. Although it occupies an island just one quarter the size of my home state of Florida and is separated from the growing threats of communist China by no more distance than is between Miami and Havana, Taiwan has grown to be America’s eighth-largest global trade partner. Its strategic trade importance is just another reason why we cannot leave any doubt that the United States fully supports Taiwan. We must demonstrate this support with action.

One way to do this is through strong economic agreements such as the new U.S.–Taiwan Initiative for 21st Century Trade. Our trade negotiators in the United States Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) must aim high with this new initiative to strengthen Taiwan’s economy, maximize technology collaborations with the United States, and further cement Taiwan’s place in a free and stable Pacific. But trade agreements alone are not enough. That’s why we must pass my Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which pairs military strategy with clear trade policy, a pairing meant to strengthen Taiwan and improve its standing on the world stage.

For decades, the United States has fully supported the military operations of Israel, with the understanding that Israel will fight for itself so long as it has the resources and support to effectively do so. Similarly, the chief responsibility to equip, train, and deter must continue to rest with Taiwan. Thankfully, like the Israelis, the Taiwanese are stepping up. In addition to ending the United States’ current policy of Strategic Ambiguity with Taiwan and making clear that the U.S. will militarily intervene in the event of a Chinese invasion of the island, my Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act urges USTR to initiate a bilateral free-trade agreement with Taiwan. Again, trade agreements without strong military strategy will never be enough to deter communist China, and the Biden administration’s reluctance to embrace this needed two-prong strategy threatens the national security of the United States as well as the future of democracy in Taiwan.

In addition to its failure to embrace my pro-Taiwan legislation, the administration missed an opportunity when it neglected to include Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) — a free and open economic alternative to communist China’s extractive and domineering model. While the administration will claim that the U.S.–Taiwan Initiative for 21st Century Trade is a worthy alternative, I fear that, like many of President Biden’s foreign-policy initiatives, it will be nothing more than lip service. A weak attempt to say something has been done when there is actually no intention for real change. I urge the administration to prove these fears wrong and take strong action to unapologetically support Taiwan.

Standing with Taiwan and employing a truly effective strategy of “integrated deterrence” means delivering strength in both arms and trade. It is essential to the national security of the United States, and the preservation of freedom and democracy in Asia, that we seize the opportunity before us to deter and combat communist China’s aggression. I urge President Biden to support the immediate passage of my Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act and make it clear that America will no longer appease China’s communist regime.

Fox News: Sen. Rick Scott labels Democrats’ social spending bill a ‘war on seniors,’ calls for hearing

CNS News: Sen. Rick Scott: U.S. Leaders Need to Support Taiwan’s Democracy

Forbes: ‘Why Do Democrats Have This War On Seniors In Florida?’: Rick Scott Denounces Biden

Fox Business: Rick Scott: This is a complete war on seniors

Newsmax: Sen. Rick Scott to Newsmax: China ‘Has Decided to Be Our Enemy’

Florida Daily: Rick Scott, Marco Rubio: Water Resources Development Act Will Help Florida

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Gets END FENTANYL Act to the Senate Floor

El American: ‘Gustavo Petro Is A Far-Left Socialist’: Sen. Scott Reacts To Colombia’s New President

Alberto Rod News: Senador Rick Scott sobre presidencia de Petro: «Ahora vemos a dictadores, terrorista y carteles de la droga celebrando»

La FM: Ahora vemos a dictadores, terrorista y carteles de la droga celebrando: Rick Scott sobre presidencia de Gustavo Petro

Sen. Rick Scott’s Office in Fort Lauderdale

This week, members of Senator Scott’s office attended the commissioning ceremony of USS Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale.

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Sen. Rick Scott’s Office in Jacksonville

Members of Senator Scott’s office also met with the Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, and Hispanic leaders in Jacksonville.

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US Senator Marco Rubio Newsletter 08/05/2022

Marco Rubio - U.S. Senator for Florida E-Newsletter

THIS WEEK IN THE OFFICE OF SENATOR MARCO RUBIO

August 1-5, 2022
 

Remembering Former Rubio Staffer 
  • Senator Rubio joined Fox & Friends where he paid tribute to former Rubio staffer Emma Thomson, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and her district director after a tragic car crash took both of their lives. 

Senate Democrats Jeopardize Florida’s Citrus Industry 
  • Senator Rubio spoke on the Senate floor after Senate Democrats blocked his bill to protect Florida citrus growers and orange juice industry.  

At Last, Veterans Receive Vital Care
  • The Senate passed the PACT Act , ensuring veterans will be able to obtain benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Senator Rubio’s bipartisan legislation, Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act , introduced with Senator Gillibrand (D-NY), provided the key provisions for the PACT Act .   

Protecting Florida’s Energy
  • Senator Rubio introduced a bill this week to protect Florida’s energy grid and fix supply chain issues involving electric grid products, especially transformers. Senator Rubio explained the urgency to pass his bill in his op-ed on RealClear Florida .  

U.S. Military Goes Woke, Recruitment Drops
  • A video released by Senator Rubio’s office exposes the U.S. military’s woke recruitment strategy as every branch struggles to meet recruiting goals. 

9/11 Terrorist Extinguished 
  • Senator Rubio released a statement following the strike that took out Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a co-conspirator of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

Rubio Urges FBI to Investigate Puentes de Amor 
  • Senator Rubio called on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray to immediately investigate the activities of Puentes de Amor and its members, which are tied to the communist regime in Cuba. 

  • In an op-ed in the Miami Herald , Rubio provided more insight into the dangers of letting Puentes de Amor continue to operate unscrutinized.

Holding the United Nations Accountable 
  • Senator Rubio demanded High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet release the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report on the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region before her term ends on August 31, 2022. 

Op-eds
  • Senator Rubio explained in the Washington Examiner how a stronger NATO allows America to focus on the threat of Communist China. 

  • In RealClear World , Senator Rubio argued that the Left’s climate policies are enabling Vladimir Putin to unleash famine on the world.

  • On Fox News and in Diario Las Americas , Senator Rubio exposed the hypocrisy behind President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act , explaining how it will actually hurt Americans and provide a handout to China. 

  • Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of former guerrilla member Gustavo Petro as President of Colombia, Senator Rubio wrote a piece in Colombia’s Revista Semana highlighting the threat the Far Left poses to U.S.-Colombia relations.

Letters
  • Senator Rubio sent a letter demanding answers from Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) Chairman Michael Gerber on protecting military retirement funds from blacklisted Chinese companies.

  • Senator Rubio and Senator Risch (R-ID) sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting his administration exercise extreme due diligence of any lending to Argentina given its long record of defaults, anti-growth economic policies, and cooperation with authoritarian dictatorships in Russia and Iran.

  • Senators Rubio and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that he deny visas to the President of Iran and his delegation.

  • Senator Rubio sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to support Central and Eastern European countries bullied by China. 

  • Senator Rubio and Senator Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding sanctions be placed on those responsible for the imprisonment of Russian Opposition Leader Vladimir Kara-Murza. 

Legislation 
In the News
“Rubio Introduces Bill to Ensure Religious Organizations Operate on Same Footing As Secular Ones” (Townhall , 8/2/2022) 

“Rubio urges FBI to investigate Cuba’s ties to U.S.-based anti-embargo group Bridges of Love”(Miami Herald , 8/2/2022)

“U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the “Lifting Local Communities Act” to codify and clarify that faith-based groups can receive federal funds ‘ensuring that these protections are clearly stated and enshrined in federal law rather than subject to the back and forth of rulemaking.’” (New bill would codify religious groups ability to receive federal funds for social service programs, The Center Square , 8/3/2022)

“Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, continued his support of the bill with a “yes” vote. He and Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand last year introduced the “Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act,” which provided the foundation for the PACT Act.” ( WTSP Tampa Bay , 8/3/2022)

“Marco Rubio on ‘Fox & Friends’: This should be a wake-up call for Biden’s ‘woke’ military”(Fox News , 8/4/2022)

“Rubio calls out military’s woke recruiting videos amid China tensions: ‘It’s dangerous’” (Fox News , 8/4/2022)

“Marco Rubio Introduces the Community Mentors for Moms Act” (Florida Daily , 8/4/2022)

“Rubio: China Will ‘Launch Rockets over Taiwan’ While Our Military Focuses on Pronouns, Booting Unvaccinated” (Breitbart , 8/5/2022)  

“A group of seven Republican senators including Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Tuesday sent a letter to Biden urging him to deny visas for the Iranian delegation to prevent them from attending the U.N. General Assembly.” (Senators, experts urge Biden to deny visa to Iran’s president ahead of UN General Assembly, Fox News , 8/4/2022) 

“Marco Rubio pidió a Biden estar alerta por el giro a la izquierda en Colombia” (Miami Diario , 8/2/2022)

Keep up with Senator Rubio on Facebook , Twitter , andInstagram .