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State Senator Debbie Mayfield Mayfield Minute 01/29/2023

Good Morning!

February is Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, took the lives of 697,000 Americans in 2020. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) was created on June 10, 1924 by physicians and social workers who believed individuals with a heart condition could overcome the deadly disease with early diagnosis, treatment, and proper care. Over the past nearly 100 years, the AHA has grown into an organization of more than 35 million volunteers and supporters dedicated to improving heart health and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Although the AHA has made huge strides in prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and the pursuit of a cure, more work needs to be done.

Cessation of tobacco use, reduction of salt in the diet, eating more fruit and vegetables, regular physical activity, and avoiding harmful use of alcohol are lifestyle habits that have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

To learn more about the warning signs of cardiac arrest or a stroke and when to contact 911 for yourself or a loved one, click here.

I consider it a great honor to represent District 19. 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.  

Committee Week Four Highlights

During Committee Week 4, I met with Wilfred Hart, Community Liaison Specialist for the Indian River County School District, and Germaine Johnson, Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher at Oslo Middle School, as they were touring our State Capitol.

Peter Lagomarsino, Senior Architect with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Alice Schultz, Senior Manager for Launch Support Facilities with RS&H Architects, visited to discuss AIA’s architectural interests and projects on the Space Coast.

Dr. Jane Benton and Johnette Grindling from the Space Coast Health Foundation stopped by to advocate for access to mental and behavioral health care, particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations.

Key O’Keefe, Partner with O’Keefe, Somerville, and Associates, and additional representatives of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, visited to discuss their priorities for the 2023 legislative session.

I also met with Satellite Beach City Manager Courtney Barker and Councilmember Mindy Gibson to discuss affordable housing. 

Many other District 19 constituents and advocacy groups made appointments or stopped by and I greatly appreciate the time, effort, and proactivity each are undertaking for the betterment of our communities.

Career and Technical Education Programs are Building the Workforce of the Future

The Florida Department of Education joined the Senate Committee on Pre-K–12 Education last week to deliver a presentation on Florida’s robust Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways program.

Currently, there are 17 CTE pathways that offer students educational programming on business management, construction, health science, manufacturing, and many other subject matters and career fields. CTE Programs begin as early as the 6th grade in an exploratory phase, then progress into career preparatory, and technical education.

CTE Programs in Florida are evaluated on a number of quality components such as workforce alignment and business involvement, engaging instruction, effective staff, and equal access, among others. These quality components help to ensure that every CTE student in the State of Florida is receiving a quality education that will lead to applicable workforce skills.

Since the 2009-2010 school year, Florida has seen tremendous growth in both the percentage and number of students who graduate with an industry certification. From around 6,000 students who graduated with a certification in 2009 to the 56,000 students that graduated earning 1 or more certifications in 2022, Florida is preparing its students for success whether they enter into the workforce or enroll in a postsecondary educational institution.

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo Unveils Comprehensive Statewide Workforce Housing Strategy

President Passidomo announced Senator Alexis Calatayud, Chair of the Committee on Community Affairs, will sponsor “Live Local” legislation (Senate Bill 102) creating attainable housing options, convenient for Florida workers who want to live in the communities they serve. 

Demand for additional rental units has increased across the state. Mortgage rates remain higher than in recent years, and many new residents, younger working Floridians, and seniors do not want the added costs and responsibilities that come with home ownership. These factors and others are driving the current demand for rental housing, which is outpacing supply, keeping both rents and occupancy rates high, and pushing rental prices beyond affordable prices for families with low-to-moderate incomes.

The proposed SB 102 addresses the following:

  • Continuing historic funding for workforce housing
  • Encouraging private sector investment to accelerate new workforce housing construction
  • Expanding workforce housing options for low and moderate incomes through new incentives
  • Reducing regulations and providing transparency to promote housing options

For the full press release, click here.

Statewide Update

Governor DeSantis Announced Unprecedented Legislation to Empower Educators, Protect Teachers from Overreaching School Unions, and Raise Teacher Pay

Governor DeSantis announced an unprecedented legislative proposal to create a Teacher’s Bill of Rights that empowers educators to be leaders in their classrooms, enact paycheck protection, reduce terms for school board members from 12 to eight years, and invest another $1 billion in teacher pay.

“This is a huge package to increase teacher pay, support teacher empowerment, and protect teachers’ paychecks by ensuring they have control over their hard-earned salary,” said Governor DeSantis. “We want more transparency into how school unions operate, and we are going to fight against school union haggling that holds teachers and their salary increases hostage. Partisan groups should not be given special privileges.”

Paycheck Protection: The Governor’s proposal will create more accountability and transparency for public sector unions, including K-12 teacher unions and higher education unions. This proposal will require school unions to represent at least 60% of employees eligible for representation, an increase over the current 50% threshold, and allow state investigations into unions suspected of fraud, waste and abuse.

Teacher Empowerment: Since the Governor took office, education has been at the forefront of policy making decisions. Florida law currently contains comprehensive legislation related to students’ rights and parents’ rights in education but does not have a clear compilation of teachers’ rights and authorities.

Raising Teacher Pay: Since 2020, the Governor has secured more than $2 billion in funding for teacher pay, the largest pay increase for teachers in Florida history. The Governor is proposing an additional $200 million to continue raising teacher pay, bringing the total to $1 billion for teacher pay in his recommended budget for the next year.

For a summary of the legislation, click here.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson Highlights Benefits of Prescribed Burns

Last week, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson and the Florida Forest Service highlighted the importance and benefits of prescribed burns during Florida’s Prescribed Fire Awareness Week.

“Florida leads the nation in the use of prescribed fire as a safe and controlled way to protect the lands we love and the communities we live in,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “Prescribed burns are a vital tool that protects our communities by clearing overgrowth that fuels catastrophic wildfires and our natural resources by fostering new growth to keep our forests healthy and biodiversity protected.”

In 2021, the Florida Forest Service administered the largest and most active prescribed fire program in the nation, issuing nearly 93,000 open burn authorizations for public and private land managers to treat more than 2.3 million acres with prescribed fire.

Managing these forests is essential to powering Florida’s economy, sustaining the ecosystem, and supporting the state’s infrastructure. Florida’s landscape is a fire-adapted ecosystem, depending on recurring fire to renew the forest and habitats that support native plant and animal species.

To learn more or to view scheduled prescribed burns, visit here.

AG Moody Joins Multistate Action Against President Biden’s New Unlawful Immigration Program

AG Moody is taking action to stop President Biden’s latest unlawful immigration move. AG Moody said, “Biden wants to stop illegal immigration by attempting to legalize unlawful entry for hundreds of thousands of immigrants.”

Just days before AG Moody took Biden to court for refusing to enforce federal immigration laws, the President announced a new parole program that could allow up to 30,000 previously inadmissible immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela into the U.S. monthly.

AG Moody went on to say, “Biden’s new solution to his self-created crisis at the border is to allow illegal immigrants to travel directly into the interior of the country without crossing the southern border—in direct violation of federal law. His unlawful actions will not go unchecked, and we will continue to fight in court to force this President to follow public-safety immigration laws.”

In addition to Attorney General Moody, 20 states’ attorneys general signed onto the complaint which can be read in full here.

Governor DeSantis Announces Hometown Heroes Program Reaches Milestone of $50 Million Awarded

Last week, Governor DeSantis announced that the Hometown Heroes housing assistance program has awarded more than $50 million in down payment and closing cost assistance to Florida’s hometown heroes. The program, which has awarded over 3,500 Hometown Heroes, assists individuals such as law enforcement officers, educators, healthcare professionals, and active military personnel or veterans in purchasing their first home in Florida.

“Law enforcement officers, first responders, veterans, nurses, and other hometown heroes have dedicated their lives to serving their communities, and deserve our thanks,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud that in just over six months we have been able to help nearly 3,500 hometown heroes purchase their first home.”

Eligible homebuyers will receive up to 5% of their first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet the income threshold for their county.

For more information on the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program, please visit here.

Agency Highlight

Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research, and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. They are funded by an assessment paid by citrus growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry employs more than 33,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of $6.762 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads, and health care services.

The FDOC also has extensive regulatory responsibilities, covering every aspect of the industry, including research, production, maturity standards, licensing, transportation, labeling, packing, and processing. The FDOC is governed by the Florida Citrus Commission, a nine-member board appointed by the Governor of Florida to represent citrus growers, processors, and packers.

Ms. Shannon Shepp serves as Executive Director of FDOC. Appointed to the position in 2015, Ms. Shepp previously served as Deputy Director and has more than 27 years of experience in Florida agriculture, including 12 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

Before joining the FDOC, Ms. Shepp served as the Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture responsible for the divisions of Plant Industry, Fruit and Vegetables, Marketing and Development, Animal Industry, and Food Nutrition and Wellness. Previously, Ms. Shepp worked as a public affairs manager at Florida Citrus Mutual and as a legislative assistant and government affairs director in Tallahassee.

Ms. Shepp holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations from the University of South Florida and an associate degree from St. Petersburg Junior College.

To learn more about Florida’s Department of Citrus, visit here.

Constituent of the Week

Manny Shaw

Our constituent of the week is Mr. Manny Shaw (third from left). Many in our community may be familiar with his story, yet it is well worth repeating during National Heart Health Awareness month. 

Mr. Shaw moved to Brevard County at the age of 11. He is a graduate of Cocoa Beach High School, and Brevard Community College (EFSC). He completed his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of South Florida and returned back home to the Space Coast. 

Mr. Shaw had a long career as an Exercise Specialist at Health First. He credits his Health First training for his life saving skills and the ability to remain calm and in control when managing life and death situations. Mr. Shaw emphasized that the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can also be credited with saving lives, and the proper use of an AED was a significant part of his training. 

During the COVID pandemic, Mr. Shaw’s position was downsized and he soon found new employment as the Manager of Fitness Club Merritt Island. Little did he know, his training would be called upon to save the life of gym regular, Cocoa resident, Frank Buzzo. Mr. Shaw was notified by gym staff and guests that something was wrong with “Big Frank”, a 70-year-old world champion weight lifter well known by all. 

Mr. Shaw says he thought maybe Mr. Buzzo had fallen or hit his head. Within seconds it was clear Mr. Buzzo was experiencing a cardiac episode, not breathing and exhibiting no pulse activity. With the assistance of a retired firefighter and nurse, Mr. Shaw immediately deployed one of the gym’s two AEDs and Mr. Buzzo was resuscitated.

This is the second time Mr. Shaw has saved a life. Nearly a decade ago, using an AED, he resuscitated Paul Berner, a healthy younger man with no known heart conditions. Mr. Berner and Mr. Buzzo, decades apart in age, each succumbed to cardiac episodes. Mr. Shaw continues to encourage regular heart health screenings for everyone regardless of age, lifestyle habits, or health history. He also strongly advocates for AED’s everywhere people visit and work as the medical device can instantly make a difference between life and death.

Mr. Shaw resides in Merritt Island with his wife. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. He encourages the community to follow “Who We Play For” to learn more about opportunities to sign up for local heart health screening events.

District 19 appreciates Manny Shaw for his quick action in saving lives and for serving as an advocate for AEDs and heart health awareness throughout our communities.

District Highlights

Melbourne Airport Unveils $72 Million ‘Coastal-Casual’ Terminal Expansion Amid Historic Traffic

The Melbourne-Orlando International Airport unveiled its $72 million terminal renovation and expansion with notable upgrades to enhance the customer experience. The 86,000 square feet expansion was launched in November 2019 when TUI Airlines announced the Melbourne-Orlando International Airport as the new gateway for their United Kingdom customers traveling to Central Florida. The historic announcement provided the catalyst needed to undertake the terminal renovation and expansion project with TUI anticipating an additional 150,000 passengers in their first year of service.

The new facilities and improvements to existing areas are:

  • Spacious new departure area
  • New four lane security checkpoint
  • Three new jet bridges
  • Expanded U.S. customs facility
  • New international arrivals center
  • Four new restroom facilities
  • VIP business lounge
  • New food, beverage, and retail options
  • New ticket counters and atrium entry

For a virtual tour of the upgrades to the Melbourne-Orlando International Airport, click here. To book flights, click here.

Brevard Public Schools Announce Annual Award Winners

Administrators of the Year, Volunteers of the Year, Employee of the Year, and the Teacher of the Year were announced last week in addition to two new categories including Rookie Teacher of the Year (first year teachers) and Emerging Teacher of the Year (second year teachers).

This year’s top winners are:

Teacher of the Year – Pamela Brockmeyer, Mathematics Teacher, Cocoa High School

Employee of the Year – Roderick Foster, Technology Associate, Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School

Administrators of the Year

  • Blair Lovelace, Coquina Elementary School, Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership
  • Kelly Grugan, Riviera Elementary School, Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award

Volunteers of the Year

  • Youth – Emma Aiken, Heritage High School
  • Volunteer of the Year, Adult – Robert Koehler, Rockledge High School
  • Volunteer of the Year, Senior – Andrew Daniher, Titusville High School

Rookie Teacher of the Year– Recognizes outstanding educators in their first year of teaching.

  • Jana Doss, Ralph M. Williams, Jr. Elementary School – Rookie Teacher of the Year- Elementary
  • Megan Hutera, Herbert C. Hoover Middle School – Rookie Teacher of the Year- Middle
  • Brooke Davis, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School – Rookie Teacher of the Year-Secondary

Emerging Teachers of the Year– Recognizes outstanding educators in their second year of teaching.

  • Ashe-Leigh Wells, West Melbourne Elementary School for Science, Emerging Teacher of the Year – Elementary
  • Sharona Franklin, Stone Magnet Middle School, Emerging Teacher of the Year – Middle
  • Melanie Richardson, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School, Emerging Teacher of the Year – Secondary
Some Indian River County Beaches Remain Closed for Dune Repair

Indian River County is working at a record pace to replace sand and repair dunes on 22 miles of beaches before the start of sea turtle nesting season. The damage was caused by back-to-back Hurricanes Ian and Nicole late last year. 

Staggered beach closures began January 9th and currently, all beaches are scheduled to reopen by March 1st. Some of the most recent updates include:

  • Seagrape Trail Beach, 8302 North A1A, will reopen January 31st. 
  • Golden Sands Beach, 10240 North A1A, will be closed until February 13th. 
  • Wabasso Beach, 1820 CR 510 and A1A, will close February 13th and reopen March 1st.

To view a regularly updated calendar showing when each beach is closed, visit here or call (772) 226-1872 for more information.

Upcoming Events

Space Coast Surfriders Foundation to Host Ocean Treasures Festival

On Saturday, February 4th from 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Space Coast Surfriders Foundation will hold their Ocean Treasurers Festival. The event takes place at the Barrier Island Center located at the Archie Carr Refuge in Southern Melbourne Beach at 8385 South Highway A1A. 

The Barrier Island Center is managed under Brevard County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program referendum. The referendum was established by voters in 1990 to protect and preserve the rich biological diversity of Brevard County for future generations. 

To sign up to protect and preserve the ocean and beaches with the Space Coast Surfriders Foundation, click here. Once you register, you will be provided a volunteer program with a variety of convenient times to participate. 

CareerSource Brevard to Hold Veterans Job Fair

In partnership with the City of Palm Bay, CareerSource Brevard is hosting a Veterans Job Fair on February 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Tony Rosa Community Center, located at 1502 Malabar Boulevard, in Palm Bay. Nearly 40 employers representing Aerospace, Aviation, Engineering, Healthcare, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Construction, Administration, Information Technology, Warehousing, Logistics, Transportation, Education, and Law Enforcement.

Hiring managers are offering interviews on site and participants are asked to be ‘dressed for success’ and to bring a resume. Appointments are not required.

For more information, visit CareerSource Brevard.

Florida Space Days at the State Capitol Scheduled

The 2023 annual Florida Space Days at the State Capitol will be held on Monday, February 13th and Tuesday, February 14th. Florida Space Days serve as an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to Florida legislators on the significance of the aerospace industry and its impact on Florida’s economy.

If you are planning to attend Florida Space Days and my staff and I can be of assistance, please contact the Tallahassee office at 850-487-5019. For more information about Florida Space Days, email [email protected].

Eastern Florida State College Foundation to Host Seventh Annual Backyard BBQ Cook-Off

The Seventh Annual Backyard BBQ Cook-Off and Family Fest will be held on Saturday, February 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Eastern Florida State College Campus located at 3865 North Wickham Road.

Tickets are $10 per person and available for purchase at the gate. Children age five and under are free, parking is also free. The ticket cost includes BBQ tastings, entertainment by the Alter Ego band, and many more activities including the Red, White and Wheels Car Show on-site.

Funds raised will support student scholarships and other college initiatives through the EFSC Foundation. For more information, visit online at efscfoundation.org/ bbq or call (321) 433-7055.

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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

Staff:

Kelli Lane

Yvette Campbell

Joshua McWilliams

Ian Nolan

US Senator Rick Scott’s Week in Review 01/27/2023

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Dear Fellow Floridian,

Today, I continued my ‘Make Washington Work Tour,’ stopping in Miami to discuss the impact skyrocketing inflation continues to have on Florida families. 

For too long, Washington has rubber-stamped one spending bill after another with no concern about how recklessly spending your tax dollars hurt families and crushes opportunity and weakens the American dream.

Stopping reckless spending and getting our fiscal house in order is the ONLY way we will fix our economy and lower costs, and I am doing everything in my power to do just that. The answer is simple, really, just like you and your family do each month, Congress needs to make a budget and stick to it.

I have to warn you, over the next few months, you will hear the media, far left and Wall Street, sounding the alarm and demanding Congress borrow more money to spend without any accountability in an effort to avoid a doomsday scenario. They will say that anyone who is demanding accountability for your tax money is pushing America to default. Don’t believe these lies. The truth is, they want to raise the debt ceiling because it benefits THEM, ignoring that doing so without reining in spending HURTS YOU. 

The status quo is sending us down a path of higher inflation, more debt and a rapid decay of opportunity for families hoping to live their American Dream. Now is the time to stop this from happening.

I am standing with Republicans in the House who are demanding changes now and this week urged my colleagues in the Senate do the same. America cannot afford to kick this can down the road a moment longer.

We must get something done that puts America on a fiscally sustainable path toward less debt, lower costs and more opportunity. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to the American people and neglecting the seriousness of the issues before us. 

Read more HERE. For a full update on the state of our economy as of Tuesday, January 24, 2023, click HERE. 

Sincerely,

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Rick Scott

United States Senator

 

To be the first to find out about Senator Scott’s actions and statements, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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

 

Sen. Rick Scott to Colleagues: Exactly Two Years Later, I Again Urge You to Reject Raising the Debt Ceiling Without Spending Reforms

Two years to the day since his first letter to them on the debt ceiling, Senator Rick Scott wrote a letter to all of his Senate colleagues reiterating his years-long call for Congress to take significant action to address our nation’s $31 trillion debt crisis, stop the reckless spending that’s fueling inflation and hurting families, and take the opportunity to get America’s fiscal house in order as debt ceiling negotiations are underway. Since his initial letter, the federal debt has grown from $27 trillion to more than $31 trillion under total Democrat control – that’s more than $239,000 for every American household, up from $227,000 per household in January 2021.

Read the full letter HERE. Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Joins Sen. Mike Lee in Leading Letter to President Biden on Debt Ceiling Reform

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and 22 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden expressing opposition to a debt ceiling hike without real structural spending reform that reduces deficit spending. The signatories expressed their intention to abide by the Senate Republican Conference policy that Senator Rick Scott proposed and was unanimously adopted in April 2021 which states that “any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by cuts in federal spending of an equal or greater amount as the debt ceiling increase, or meaningful structural reform in spending, such as the Prevent Government Shutdown Act or the Full Faith and Credit Act.”

Read the full letter HERE. Read more HERE. 

Amid Democrat Debt Crisis, Sen. Rick Scott Introduces Bills for Constitutional Amendments to Make Washington Work for American Families

Senator Rick Scott introduced proposed constitutional amendments as part of his Make Washington Work plan, which would impose term limits on members of Congress, create presidential line-item veto authority for appropriations bills, and require a super-majority vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress to approve any legislation creating new taxes or fees.

Senator Rick Scott said, “I’ve spent the past few weeks traveling the state to talk to Floridians and hear firsthand how they want THEIR government to work better for THEM. It’s clear that the dysfunctional status quo in Washington isn’t working for the American people. Our economy is in shambles under Joe Biden’s failed presidency, with a $31 TRILLION federal debt crisis that Biden and Democrats are determined to ignore, sticking their heads in the sand while families bear the consequences. We’ve all had ENOUGH. If we don’t change how Washington works, we’ll never get our fiscal house in order. It’s time for bold change to reinvent government and put American interests first, and I’m proud to again propose several Constitutional amendments to help make that happen. It is far past time for commonsense policies like term limits for members of Congress, a line-item veto for federal appropriations bills and requiring a 2/3 majority to approve any legislation creating new taxes or fees. It’s time to reimagine government, and these proposals are a great place to start.”

Read more HERE.  

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Senator Rick Scott Leads Colleagues in Reintroducing Full Faith and Credit Act to Address Federal Debt Crisis

Senator Rick Scott was joined by Senators Mike Braun, Cynthia Lummis, Katie Britt, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Kevin Cramer, Jim Risch, Marsha Blackburn and Ted Budd in reintroducing the Full Faith and Credit Act to ensure the federal government prioritizes funding for our military, veterans and seniors should the Biden Administration refuse to exercise its existing authority to prioritize these expenses and prevent default. Senator Scott has been demanding that Congress take action to address America’s $31 trillion federal debt and get the reckless spending that fuels it under control. Senator Scott continues to urge his colleagues to refuse to increase the debt ceiling without also enacting true spending reform.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The last two years have made crystal clear that the left, the big government crowd and even Wall Street have found a very clever way to keep America forever stuck in a vicious tax-and-spend cycle where spending always goes up, debt always goes up – and if you dare to disagree – they say you want a default. For them it is a false choice: embrace overspending and massive debt, or be the one who destroys the American economy. That is nonsense and a lie. While Democrats want to maintain the status quo where a default threat looms over Americans every time their reckless spending hits our debt ceiling, I’m fighting to eliminate the threat of default and protect the federal government’s core responsibilities to the American people even while the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge we are in a time of fiscal crisis.

“Since the Treasury refuses to do what it can and must, it is time to pass the Full Faith and Credit Act. This bill would require the government to fulfill critical payments to the debt to avoid default and full fiscal calamity while Democrats refuse to take accountability for their wasteful spending. It would require Congress to ACTUALLY address the debt ceiling crisis. It also ensures Americans depending on important programs like Social Security, Medicare, veteran benefits, as well as our service members, are not punished for Washington’s dysfunction. If Democrats reject this proposal, they are rejecting the protection of the full faith and credit of the United States and REJECTING a solution to the possibility of a default. It’s time for Washington to start living within its means, just like every family and business across the nation does, and preserve the American dream—this bill is a great start.”

Read more HERE

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Sen. Rick Scott Hosts Roundtable with Local Business Leaders in Miami on Reining in Reckless Federal Spending, Ending Raging Inflation

Senator Rick Scott hosted a roundtable with the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders about the issues impacting them and discuss his actions to address the dangers of Washington’s out-of-control spending and the growing federal deficit, which are fueling a raging inflation crisis and hurting small businesses. As Congress debates the debt ceiling once again, and families in Florida and across America struggle to make ends meet with ever-rising prices, Senator Scott detailed his plans to rein in reckless spending, unleash American energy, boost the U.S. economy and drive down costs for the American people after two years of President Biden’s raging inflation crisis.

Senator Rick Scott said, “America is on a dangerous path of spending beyond our means and ignoring the consequences. For the last two years, we’ve seen the devastating impact of total Democrat control in Washington and I’ve heard from countless families in our state about the pain it’s causing them at home and in their businesses. Meanwhile, failed politicians in Congress and incompetent bureaucrats in the Biden administration are ignoring this suffering and doubled down on more dangerous policies, burdensome regulations and reckless spending. Today, business and community leaders in Miami made our message clear: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Washington MUST do what every family and business does – live within our means – and start balancing the budget and paying down our unsustainable $31 TRILLION in debt. Reducing the debt, cutting taxes and helping businesses thrive is how we turn this economy around. That’s how we did it during my eight years as Governor of Florida, and I won’t stop fighting until we get it done in Washington.”

Read more HERE. Lea más en español AQUÍ. 

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Sen. Rick Scott and Colleagues Reintroduce Bill to End Automatic Raises for Members of Congress

Senators Rick Scott, Mike Braun and Josh Hawley introduced their bill to repeal automatic annual pay raises for members of Congress.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Our country is facing a serious debt crisis that must be addressed—we have hit our limit. America’s credit card is maxed out with $31 trillion worth of debt thanks to Washington’s obsession with spending. Each day that Congress fails to do its basic duties, like pass a budget, or allow the border crisis to go unchecked, Congress has FAILED the American people. In the real world, if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid and you definitely don’t get a raise. Congress should be no different, and I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill.”

Read more HERE. 

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Sens. Rick Scott, Tim Scott & Colleagues Introduce National School Choice Week Resolution

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative John Moolenaar (MI-04) in introducing a resolution designating January 22 through January 28, 2023, as National School Choice Week.

In case you missed it, earlier this month, as part of his ‘Make Washington Work Tour,’ Senator Rick Scott hosted a roundtable discussion with higher education and school choice leaders, as well as parent advocates, to hear directly from them and discuss his actions to make higher education affordable for every family and ensure access to educational opportunities that fit students best by maximizing school choice for all K-12 students. Senator Scott discussed several of his proposals to bring Florida’s educational success nationwide, keep tuition affordable, and ensure parents, not the government, have a say in their child’s education.

Learn more about Senator Rick Scott’s fight for school choice HERE. Read more HERE.

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Sens. Rick Scott and Cruz Introduce Updated Legislation Building on Vaccine Mandate Ban to Reinstate Service Members Fired Over COVID Vaccine

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Ted Cruz and 11 of their colleagues in introducing the Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act. The legislation builds off of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes language to repeal the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the Department of Defense and required a report on how DOD adjudicated service member’s requests for an exemption from the mandate on religious and other grounds.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate was disastrous for military readiness and needlessly destroyed the lives and careers of thousands of brave service members. Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line to protect this great country, and the fact that their sincere religious concerns were not handled with fairness and impartiality is unacceptable. We must right these wrongs. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in introducing the AMERICANS Act to ensure this complete government overreach will never happen again.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Reintroduces Bill to Get Americans Back to Work

To kick off the start of the 118th Congress, Senator Rick Scott reintroduced his Let’s Get to Work Act. This legislation encourages Americans who are able to work to return to the workforce by ending the current suspension of work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was put in place during the pandemic, and expands these requirements to apply to all able-bodied adults receiving benefits who are under 60-years-old and do not have children under the age of six or care for incapacitated individuals. This legislation also establishes similar work requirements for individuals receiving federal benefits through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Public Housing and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance programs. Read more about Senator Scott’s proposal in his Wall Street Journal op-ed HERE.

Senator Rick Scott said, “For too long, the Left has waged a war on work. That needs to end today. Policies put in place during the pandemic to pay people more to sit at home than go back to work are the radical Left’s latest and boldest move to boost government dependency. If we let it go on, it will ruin our country. That’s why, today, I am reintroducing my Let’s Get to Work Act. Americans know that a job is the very best thing for a family. A job creates income, independence and security – it’s the foundation of the American Dream. But living your dreams in this country takes work and I know that firsthand. I grew up poor, lived in public housing and watched my mom work hard every day just to put food on the table. I thank God that she never told me or my siblings to expect a handout and instilled in us the value of hard work. For our country to thrive, we need every American who can work to do so. I believe that any able-bodied, working-age adult who receives government benefits ought to work. This requirement means that those who receive benefits paid for with taxpayer dollars contribute to our economy.

“The American people want to work. People want to support themselves and their families, and be independent, not reliant on government programs. It’s time to get America back on track and leave the disastrous social and economic policies of Joe Biden and the radical leftists in power in the past where they belong. If we’re going to rescue America, it’s time to get back to work and I’ll be continuing my fight every day to get the Let’s Get to Work Act passed and signed into law.”

Read more HERE. 

Senators Rick Scott and Kyrsten Sinema Reintroduce Legislation to Crack Down on Drug and Human Trafficking

Senators Rick Scott, Kyrsten Sinema and James Lankford reintroduced the bipartisan Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act to extend the customs waters territory of the United States from 12 to 24 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States. The Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) the jurisdiction necessary to keep American families safe from drug and human traffickers. Currently, the USCG has this authority under a Presidential Proclamation, this would codify it into law. With modern technology constantly changing, the 12 nautical mile baseline is no longer sufficient for USCG and CBP AMO to successfully interdict vessels attempting to enter the United States. In the last year alone, Customs and Border Protection reported a record 2.7 million encounters and hundreds of thousands of tons of seized narcotics. These drugs, like fentanyl, still flood into U.S. communities and have taken more than 100,000 American lives in this same timeframe. By doubling their area of operation, AMO, USCG and other federal authorities will be able to better meet this challenge and further prevent these traffickers from reaching our shores. Representative Michael Waltz introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last week, Senator Scott received a briefing from the U.S. Coast Guard, Monroe County Sheriff, and Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations on the local response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Florida Keys.

Senator Rick Scott said, “What I saw last week in the Florida Keys is unacceptable, our country is experiencing record-high levels of illegal immigration and this needs to stop. Regrettably, we now see Biden’s disastrous policies of our Southwest border spill over to Florida’s shores. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations keep families in Florida and around our nation safe by patrolling the beaches, shore waters and maritime territory, conducting search and rescue operations and intercepting vessels transporting illegal drugs and the victims of human trafficking. Our bill, the Extending U.S. Customs Waters Act, will extend the United States’ customs waters territory to help ensure our Coast Guard and CBP AMO has the jurisdiction and authority needed to cut down on drug and human trafficking so that families everywhere remain safe. I am thankful for the bipartisan support and I urge all my colleagues to support this important bill.”

Read more HERE. Lea más en español AQUÍ. 

Sen. Rick Scott Leads Legislation to Stop Biden’s Mass Debt Cancellation at Expense of Taxpayers

Senator Rick Scott, joined by Senators Cynthia Lummis, Mike Braun, John Barrasso and Marsha Blackburn reintroduced legislation to prevent the Biden administration from enacting an overreaching, fiscally irresponsible blanket cancellation of student loans. The Debt Cancellation Accountability Act will require the U.S. Department of Education to obtain an express appropriation from Congress to pay for any federal student loan debts the Department proposes to waive, discharge, or otherwise reduce whenever granted to two or more borrowers in an amount greater than $1,000,000, rather than on a case-by-case basis. 

Senator Rick Scott said, “Our nation is facing a staggering $31 trillion worth of debt and we have closed in on the debt ceiling, yet the Biden administration is still attempting to cancel millions of dollars in student loans. This is just another example of how far he will go to appease the radical left. The reality is, a blanket forgiveness of student loans only benefits a small percentage of the population at the expense of millions of other hardworking Americans. Those who have saved to pay for the education they chose to get, or have no debt at all because they chose a valuable career that doesn’t require a college degree, shouldn’t be on the hook to bail out folks that voluntarily took on debt and now want someone else to pay for it. That’s not how the real world works. Our legislation, the Debt Cancellation Accountability Act, will hold this administration accountable to American taxpayers by requiring Congressional approval for any mass cancellation of student debt. When I was governor of Florida, we focused on solving the real problem behind massive student loan debt: the rising cost of higher education. Biden should do the same.”


Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Leads “Read the Bill” Legislation Requiring Congress to Read Bills Before Voting on Them

Senators Rick Scott, Roger Marshall, Joni Ernst and Josh Hawley reintroduced their Read the Bill legislation. This common sense legislation requires members of Congress to have enough time to read bills before voting on them and certify that they have read every bill they cast a vote on. This legislation will also require that a CBO score be made available for the text at least 24 hours before a vote can occur. 

Senator Rick Scott said, “One of the prime examples of Washington’s dysfunction is the blatant acceptance that members of Congress are handed a several thousand page bill that spends billions or trillions of taxpayer dollars that’s been negotiated in secret, then expected to vote on it hours later. This is exactly the kind of recklessness that led to Biden’s raging inflation, a sluggish economy and a $31 trillion federal debt crisis. IN ANY OTHER JOB, if you asked someone to approve a document without reading it, you’d never hire them again, but in Washington? It’s the standard. It’s a total failure to the American people – they expect and deserve more than that. This common sense bill simply requires that members of Congress have enough time to read the bills they’re voting on, so they know what’s in them and what it means for the families they represent. I applaud House Republicans’ efforts to pass a rule giving their members more time to review bills. This isn’t controversial, it’s common sense and far past time to put this into practice. I look forward to passing this bill with overwhelming and bipartisan support.”

Read more HERE. 

Sens. Rick Scott, Mike Braun & Colleagues Reintroduce No Budget No Pay Act

Senators Rick Scott, Mike Braun, Joe Manchin, Rick Scott, Maggie Hassan, Shelley Moore Capito and Katie Britt reintroduced the bipartisan No Budget, No Pay Act. This bill simply states that Members of Congress must fulfill their basic job requirements and pass the annual budget resolutions and appropriations bills on time, or forgo their taxpayer-funded salaries. 

Senator Rick Scott said, ““Our nation is over $31 trillion in debt after years of Washington failing the American people and shirking its responsibility of passing a real, balanced budget that prioritizes the needs of American families. Now more than ever, we need to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington, and that starts with holding Congress accountable to do one of its most basic duties: passing a budget. There is no reason members of Congress should be held to a different standard than any other American family or business. In the real world, if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. Our No Budget, No Pay bill simply requires Congress to pass an annual budget and meet appropriations bill deadlines, or forgo their taxpayer-funded salaries until the job is done.” 

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Leads Legislation to Stop Biden’s IRS Army, Block Democrat Tax Hikes on Small Businesses and Gig Workers

Senator Rick Scott, joined by Senators Ted Budd and Mike Braun, introduced the Blocking the Adverse and Dramatic Increased Reliance on Surveillance (BAD IRS) Activities Act, which would rescind the roughly $70 billion in IRS funding appropriated by the so-called Inflation Reduction Act for hiring 87,000 new IRS agents, and repeal the invasive and unnecessary reporting requirements on gig workers and small businesses put in place by the Democrats in their reckless American Rescue Plan.

Senator Rick Scott said, “Across America, families are struggling to keep up with Joe Biden’s raging inflation crisis, while skyrocketing interest rates are holding them back from everything from home ownership to starting a business. This is what happens when Washington spends decades recklessly spending taxpayer money and racking up $31 trillion of debt. In the face of these hardships for hardworking families, instead of cutting taxes and regulations to grow our economy and encourage job creation, Joe Biden and Democrats in Washington are hell bent on growing government and hiking your taxes to pay for it. There’s no denying their intentions and they even approved $70 BILLION for 87,000 new IRS agents to make sure they squeeze every penny possible out of American families to fund their radical agenda. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The last thing folks need is more government in their lives and my BAD IRS Activities Act will stop Biden and the Democrats for using the IRS to terrorize the American people and raise your taxes. Increasing costs and regulations on already-struggling Americans is wrong and I won’t stop fighting to put an end to it.”

Read more HERE. 

Sens. Rick Scott and Tommy Tuberville Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Protect Ag Industry from Foreign Interference

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tommy Tuberville in leading a bicameral, bipartisan effort to protect America’s agricultural industry from improper foreign investment. The Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act will bolster the U.S. agriculture industry’s role on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the governmental body that oversees the vetting process of foreign investment and acquisition of American companies.

Senator Rick Scott said, “If COVID taught us one thing, it is that we must protect and prioritize American supply chains. Bad actors, like the Chinese Communist Party, pose serious threats to our national security and cannot be allowed to interfere with critical assets like food security. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in supporting this bill which will bring more oversight and scrutiny to foreign investment—a big win for the agricultural supply chain and food security.”

Read more HERE

Sens. Rick Scott, Tom Cotton & Colleagues Introduce Bill to End China’s Permanent Normal Trade Status

Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Tom Cotton and their colleagues in introducing the China Trade Relations Act to strip China of its Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status.

This legislation would require China to obtain Most Favored Nation (MFN) status through annual presidential approval, per the requirements of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. The bill would also expand the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to include human rights and trade abuses as disqualifying factors for MFN status.

Senator Rick Scott said, “The CCP cares about one thing: undermining America. There is no reason why the United States should be helping a communist government’s trade operation through preferential treatment and ‘most-favored-nation’ status. That is absolutely absurd when they are working against us. It is time to put American interests first, not the CCP, and reverse this antiquated law.”

Read more HERE.

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

Following reporting of a 5% year-over-year increase in Personal Consumption Expenditures, Senator Rick Scott released a weekly update on his actions to address America’s debt crisis and rising inflation. 

Since being elected to the U.S. Senate, Senator Scott has urged government accountability to the American taxpayer. Yesterday, two years to the day since his first letter to them on the debt ceiling, Senator Rick Scott wrote a letter to all of his Senate colleagues reiterating his years-long call for Congress to take significant action to address our nation’s $31 trillion debt crisis, stop the reckless spending that’s fueling inflation and hurting families, and take the opportunity to get America’s fiscal house in order as debt ceiling negotiations are underway. Since his initial letter, the federal debt has grown from $27 trillion to more than $31 trillion under total Democrat control – that’s more than $239,000 for every American household, up from $227,000 per household in January 2021. 

In his letter, Senator Scott writes:

We must choose to be innovative and stop passing the failures of past politicians along to the American people through tax increases or cuts in critical services. We can and must simultaneously protect Social Security and Medicare benefits while also making thoughtful choices that reduce unnecessary spending which provides inadequate returns to American taxpayers and increase revenues through job creation and the rebuilding of American manufacturing.

Solving America’s debt crisis and mitigating the devastating impacts of inflation require us to reimagine how the federal government operates. Rising to accept this challenge may be the most important work any of us do in our service to the American people. 

Read the full letter HERE.  Read more HERE. Lea más en español AQUÍ. 

Fox News: Sen. Rick Scott reacts to Biden accusing GOP of trying to cut Social Security

The Hill: Scott pushes plan to prioritize certain payments if debt limit bill stalls

Newsmax: Sen. Rick Scott to Newsmax: ‘They’re Trying to Shut Down Our Voices’

Newsmax: Sen. Rick Scott Calls on Governors to Return Federal Funds

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Wants to Extend Customs Waters to Help With Migrant Crisis

Florida Daily: Rick Scott Introduces Bill to End Automatic Annual Pay Raises for Congress

FGA: FGA Applauds Sen. Rick Scott for Introducing the “Let’s Get to Work Act” Requiring Work in Food Stamp and Housing Programs

Senator Scott in Miami

This week, Senator Rick Scott visited Marathon to receive a briefing from U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay, and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations on the local response to the migrant crisis in the Florida Keys.

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Senator Scott’s Team in Pensacola

This week, Senator Scott’s team attended a Naturalization Ceremony where 47 immigrants were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

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Senator Scott’s Team at Herbert Hoover Dike

Senator Scott’s team also attended the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Senator Scott was the first Governor in Florida history to secure state funds to help complete repairs for the federally-operated Herbert Hoover Dike. Under his leadership, the state of Florida committed $100 million to complete this critical project.  

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Senator Scott’s Team in St. Cloud

Another stop on Senator Scott’s team made was the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new St. Cloud Hospital Cancer Care Institute.

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Senator Scott’s Team in Tallahassee

Additionally, Senator Scott’s team attended a Naturalization ceremony in Tallahassee.

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US Senator Marco Rubio Newsletter 01/17/2023

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

THIS WEEK IN THE OFFICE OF SENATOR MARCO RUBIO

JANUARY 23-27, 2023

Discussing Mishandled Classified Documents
Rubio’s Third Term Plan
Herbert Hoover Dike Completion
  • Senator Rubio celebrated the long-awaited completion of the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, a project he secured full funding for.    

Eyes on China
  • Senator Rubio continued his efforts to expose how the Chinese Communist Party can weaponize TikTok against America in an op-ed on Fox News .  

  • Senator Rubio released a statement criticizing the Biden Administration’s failure to designate China as a major illicit drug producing nation despite its role in America’s fentanyl crisis.

Letters
  • Senator Rubio sent a letter to Pfizer President and CEO Albert Bourla on alleged gain-of-function research. 

Legislation 
  • Senator Rubio and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the READ Act to improve basic global education. 

In the News

“‘That just cannot stand’: Warner and Rubio united in demanding access to Trump, Biden documents” (CBS News , 1/26/23)  

“Rubio Sends Letter Demanding Answers From Pfizer Over Project Veritas Video” (The Daily Wire , 1/27/23)

“Marco Rubio Brings Back ‘Pro-Family, Pro-Life’ Bills’” (Florida Daily , 1/27/23)

“Marco Rubio Brings Back Five ‘Pro-American Industrial Policy’ Bills” (Florida Daily , 1/26/23) 

“‘The evidence that China is using TikTok to spy on and influence American citizens is clear, and it only keeps mounting as time goes on,’ Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wrote in a Fox News Digital op-ed on Monday.” (TikTok owner spent record amount lobbying in 2022 as it faces national security concerns, ban threats, Fox News, 1/27/23)

“Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the Democratic chairman and Republican vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, both told reporters on Tuesday that they want more information on the developments in the possession of classified documents.” (Pence Discovery Elevates Document Drama From Partisan Squabbling to Systemic Concern, U.S. News, 1/24/23)

“Rubio: ‘Somebody Had to Go Through’ Boxes of Biden’s Classified Documents” (Breitbart, 1/25/23)

“Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, R-Fla., issued a statement ahead of the dialogue that urged the Biden administration to push for certain conditions from Cuba as part of any cooperation” (US-Cuba dialogue focuses on ‘law enforcement’ concerns, congressional members warn against ‘appeasement,’ Fox News, 1/25/23)

“Sen. Marco Rubio has sponsored legislation that would funnel billions in government help to build or rebuild critical industries on American soil” (Can the GOP Become a Real Working-Class Party?, Wall Street Journal, 1/27/23) 

“Marco Rubio envía carta a CEO de Pfizer tras investigación viral del Project Veritas”(Americano Media , 1/27/23)


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