Bill Nelson – Page 5 – Florida Politics

Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson introduce federal legislation for ‘red flag’ gun seizures

Florida’s U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson on Friday announced a federal bill that would encourage other states to follow Florida’s lead with legislation allowing law enforcement to seek court orders removing guns from dangerous individuals.

Republican Rubio and Democrat Nelson were joined Thursday by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, in announcing they are introducing a federal “Red Flag” bill that would create incentives for states to enact laws like Florida’s recently-signed law as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School response.

Rubio said the Florida law already has been used three times since Gov. Rick Scott signed it March 9, including in an Orlando case Wednesday. The law allows family members or law enforcement to seek orders declaring someone an extreme risk of violence to themselves or others, and then prevent them from possessing guns.

Rubio contended that in many cases, including the confessed Parkland shooter who murdered 17 people in Douglas High School on Feb. 14, there are plenty of “red flags” that tell family members, law enforcement and others that the person is an extreme danger.

“These extreme risk protection orders are in my view one of the most effective things a state can do to address it,” Rubio said at a press conference in Washington Thursday. “These tools now give authorities the ability to go in and take away their guns with due process.”

Their proposal creates an “Extreme Risk Protection Order Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Justice. It makes states enacting qualifying laws eligible for funding to help implement such laws, as well as making such states a priority consideration for Bureau of Justice Assistance discretionary grants.”

“If there is a red flag, this legislation will give the federal incentives to the states to enact laws like our state of Florida, so that if there is a red flag, get that person involved in front of a judge so that the judge can decide: “are they a risk if they have possession of a gun?” Nelson said.

Rick Scott: Decision on U.S. Senate race to wait behind stack of bills

If Republican Gov. Rick Scott hears the clock ticking on his decision of whether to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, it will have to wait until after he gets through the stack of bills the Florida Legislature put on his desk.

At least that’s what he suggested Wednesday when asked, during a stop in Orlando, about his timetable.

“I just finished Session. I just finished the budget. I have a variety of bills to go through. I’ll make a decision after that. You know, most politicians can think about their next job. I’ve got to finish the job I’ve got here,” Scott said.

Nelson and various national Democratic and Republican committees have been preparing for a Nelson-Scott showdown. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have been waging that battle for months. But as polls and special elections suggest a potential anti-President Donald Trump blue wave building on the horizon, Scott is making no overt commitments.

Meanwhile, as March wanes, anticipating a Scott run, no other credible Republican candidates have gone near the U.S. Senate race.

Bill Nelson targeted by pro tax reform ad campaign

Americans for Prosperity this week announced a national campaign extolling the benefits of the tax reform package passed by the Republican-led Congress last year, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who voted against the plan, is one of the targets.

The Nelson ad features a black and white photo of the Senator and reads “Senator Bill Nelson voted against putting more money in your pocket.”

AFP said its “American Pay Raise” campaign is designed to thank lawmakers who voted for the tax plan and hold accountable those who were against it, though the group so far has only released sample ads it’s running against lawmakers.

“After eight years of a lackluster economy, we are witnessing a new era of growth in which Americans from every walk of life are finding more money in their pockets to save or spend on things they care about most, all thanks to tax reform,” said AFP President Tim Phillips. “Higher take-home pay, more business investments at home and better worker benefits are all part of the great American Pay Raise.”

The group said it has plunked down six figures for digital ad buys, and they will run from March 19 through April 17.

In addition to the print ad, AFP put up a webform to contact Nelson to tell him “it’s not too late to do the right thing.”

The form letter asks the Florida Democrat to oppose special-interest tax breaks, oppose a 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax, eliminate “unnecessary regulations that slow economic growth” and make permanent all of the temporary cuts in the 2017 tax cut package.

“Please protect tax reform’s benefits for hardworking Americans and support policies that increase economic opportunity,” the letter reads in closing.

Nelson is up for re-election in 2018. Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is termed out of his current office, is widely expected to challenge Nelson but has not yet entered the race.

“Typical politicians think about their next job. I’m focused on this job,” Scott told reporters Sunday after the Legislature’s ‘sine die’ ceremony. “I’m glad we had a very successful Session. I’ll think about my future in the next few weeks.”

A copy of the Nelson ad is below.

Nelson AFP ad

The Schorsch governing theory of Florida politics — Part 1

Once the hanky dropped on the 2013 Legislative Session, my family headed to St. Augustine Beach to recuperate from the 60 days of working in that pressure cooker.

Michelle and I had been married for just over a year and our daughter, Ella Joyce, was only months old. Our business was just starting to take off. It was an exciting time.

For whatever reason, we thought it would be interesting to complicate our lives by Michelle running for a state House seat.

The Republican Party of Florida was looking for a candidate to challenge Dwight Dudley, a one-term incumbent who was not particularly well-liked in Tallahassee and was considered vulnerable in a non-presidential election cycle.

Michelle would have been the perfect challenger to Dudley. She’s a moderate Republican woman with strong connections to the Tampa Bay area and a reputation for loyalty and deeply-held convictions. That she had worked as a special adviser to then-Gov. Charlie Crist (and was based out of the USF St. Pete campus) only made her more attractive as a potential candidate.

For a moment, Michelle was excited by the idea, so we took the temperature of some of our friends in the political process. All of them thought Michelle would be a strong candidate. However, one friend informed us that incoming leadership of the House was recruiting another potential candidate they thought could win in a walk.

We spoke with then Speaker-designate Steve Crisafulli and, indeed, the GOP was hoping that Bill Young Jr., son of the local legend C.W. “Bill” Young, would enter the race. It’s probably best if Michelle stands down, Crisafulli told us.

Fortunately for our family, that’s exactly what Michelle did, although she said then that it was a mistake to think Young would beat Dudley.

She was right, of course, about that: Billy Young turned out to be a very bad candidate. In fact, he’s one of the very few candidates for office I’ve ever met who gained weight, rather than lost it, on the campaign trail (an indication he was not opening enough time walking door-to-door.)

Michelle and I talked a lot about our future that week in St. Augustine. A point I made then to her was that as busy as the 2014 and 2016 election cycles would be for us (and, Jesus, had they been busier than we could have ever imagined), the 2018 election cycle would actually be even more chaotic.

What I predicted then is only more accurate today. It is already shaping up to be the busiest election cycle in Florida’s modern history. Busier even than 1994, when Jeb Bush emerged from a brutal gubernatorial primary to eventually lose to Lawton Chiles.

As it stands now, here’s the rundown:

— A competitive race for the U.S.  Senate likely pitting Democrat Bill Nelson against Republican Rick Scott.

— A wide-open race for the Governor’s Mansion, with competitive primaries on both sides of the ballot.

— Three competitive statewide races for spots on Florida’s Cabinet: Agriculture Commissioner, CFO and Attorney General.

— Four statewide voter initiatives.

— As many as a dozen constitutional questions put on the ballot by the once-every-twenty-years Constitutional Revision Commission.

— More competitive congressional and state legislative races than at any point since Republicans took over the state in the mid-1990s.

The ballot this November will take the average Floridian twenty to thirty minutes to read and complete.

And that’s what we know about today.

As has been said many times, Florida is the Chinatown of politics. Forget about trying to understand it.

But if you run a political website titled “Florida Politics,” this is a wonderful time to be alive.

Our site’s traffic was busier last week than all but one other week in our history. Last month was busier than any other month in our history. This month looks like it will be busier than last month. And there’s no reason to think next month won’t be busier than this month.

And yet … what happens in December 2018? The campaigns will be over. The 2019 Legislative Session will be months away. The presidential campaign, while talked about daily, won’t be for real for almost another year.

Won’t feast turn to famine?

No.

And not just because the average bear is more interested in politics than in half-a-century.

This is the first part of the Schorsch governing theory of Florida politics.

It all starts to go back to normal today.

Gov. Scott signed the $88 billion fiscal plan sent to him Wednesday. He is now officially a lame duck.

Don’t get me wrong, Scott still has enormous power. And it’s not out of the range of possibilities that the Legislature will be called into Special Session for some sort of crisis.

But, for the most part, the sun has begun to set on Rick Scott’s time in Tallahassee. And with that, everything will start to change.

Because none of the seven candidates expected to run for Florida governor can write a $72 million check to buy the Governor’s Mansion, as Scott did in 2010, the four pillars of political life in Florida will now begin rebuilding their stature in the state.

The lobby corps, the news media (as enervated as it is), the fundraising community, and the political parties should see their influence return in the coming months and next four years.

Lobbyists have been of little use to Scott because they were against him in 2010 and he’s never really forgotten that. Only a handful of big-name lobbyists have had access to Scott himself: Brian Ballard, Nick Iarossi, Fred Karlinsky, Bill Rubin, among a few others.

Most governmental affairs firms have relied on a strategy of focusing on the Legislature while staying under the radar during the gubernatorial veto period. Some firms — Southern Strategy Group, GrayRobinson — have succeeded in their efforts to lobby the executive branch, but, for the most part, this is an administration that has been indifferent to Adams Street.

Before today, the lobby corps would have been unwilling to choose sides in the upcoming gubernatorial race, especially with Richard Corcoran looming as a possible candidate. But the smart firms will start making more significant investments in the candidates so that they are in on the ground floor with who they think will win.

Some firms will win, some will lose, but at least the game is being played again. Scott didn’t even roll out the ball.

The media has been kept at arm’s length by Scott ever since his early communications director, Brian Burgess, positioned velvet ropes between the Governor and the Capitol Press Corps. If Scott didn’t need the lobby corps, he needed the press corps even less.

The math was simple: He could write a check larger than the amount of earned media written against him. Also, the Governor’s Office made two smart decisions. One, it prioritized interactions with TV reporters, preferably those who were not plugged in enough to ask difficult questions, and two, it created a reverb chamber with the wire services.

By this I mean, most major announcements by the Scott administration were funneled to the Associated Press (which can’t editorialize the way Florida Politics, POLITICO, or the Times/Herald can and do). It is, in turn, relied on by many TV stations for their state government content. Once a TV station aired the AP version, the Governor’s Office would push out an ICYMI press release touting the story.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Don’t believe me. Consider this: Point to the one process story written about the Scott administration that details how the Governor makes a decision. You probably can’t. Because this is one of the most leak-proof administrations ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. Donald Trump would give away Ivanka if he could have a White House that operates in the quiet way Scott’s office has.

More double-negative evidence: Point to the feature about anyone in Scott’s administration that includes an on-the-record response from the person profiled. Floridians knew/know virtually nothing about the chiefs of staff, key advisers, etc. who are in Scott’s orbit.

Because none of the seven gubernatorial candidates can’t rely just on paid media to get their message out, they have to create earned media. This instantly makes the press, specifically the Capitol Press Corps and other political journalists, relevant again.

Instead of being kept in the dark, as most journalists have been during the last seven years, now outreach to most favored reporters and bloggers is again part of the communications strategy. What Marc Caputo, Matt Dixon, David Smiley, myself, and others say about the gubernatorial and other races is more important than it was under Scott. A takedown in the press becomes fodder for fundraising emails and digital videos.

Speaking of fundraising emails, get ready to be inundated with them.

Not that you weren’t already, but none of the candidates running for Governor can self-finance in a way that allows them to bypass the need for small donors.

Under Scott, a meeting with him cost an interest group at least $50,000. Only a handful of Floridians or companies can afford that. But Putnam, Gillum, Graham, Levine, etc. are already touting the support they are receiving from donors who can only afford to write checks for $25 or $50.

Whereas Scott was only interested in receiving a $500,000 check from a utility company, almost all of the candidates running in 2018, whether it be for governor or state House, would be happy to receive a check for $500 or $1,000. This returns power to the fundraisers who specialized in bundling, say, 30 checks from a group of local professionals. The entire campaign finance system reverts to pre-2010 levels without Scott and his checkbook.

This brings me to my final point: Look for the return of the political parties.

No, they’ll never be as powerful as they were 20 years ago, but they certainly won’t do any worse than they have the last eight years. Especially the Republican Party of Florida, which has been so neglected by Scott that there are constant rumors that the party can barely make payroll.

Whoever wins their party’s nomination this fall will need the parties if they want to win the general. They will need the activists. They will need the party’s imprimatur. That shifts power back to the Republicans’ Blaise Ingoglia, the Democrats’ Terrie Rizzo, and the party chairs who will follow them.

I wanted to roll out this theory on the Ides of March because Scott’s tenure reminds me of a line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

“Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about.”

Scott, armed with his checkbook, has bestridden Tallahassee like Colossus, while we petty men and women have walked under his indifferent legs and peeped about.

With Scott’s exit, it’s time again for all of those in The Process to, as Cassius told Brutus, be masters of our own fates.

Is Florida drilling off the table?

Enterprise Florida, the state’s business-recruitment agency, expects waters off the Florida coast won’t be included in the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans, despite U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s warning that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told members of Congress this week that “Florida is still in the process.”

“The secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, in front of the Senate Energy Committee today (Tuesday), has just said very confusingly — but bottom line — Florida is still on the table for drilling off of the coast of Florida,” Nelson said in a prepared statement. “This is exactly the opposite of what the people of Florida want.”

Zinke flew to Tallahassee on Jan. 9, meeting briefly with Scott and reporters, and announced that currently protected parts of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida would not be included in a federal five-year offshore oil and gas drilling program.

Nelson, who is expected to face a challenge this fall from Scott for his Senate seat, called Zinke’s announcement in January a “political stunt” to further the governor’s career.

On Wednesday, Amy Gowder, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Training and Logistics Solutions and a member of the Enterprise Florida board of directors, said officials expect Zinke to keep his word.

“The department has still not revised their maps yet to reflect that agreement, but we expect a report that is due to Congress by the end of the month,” Gowder told members of an Enterprise Florida committee.

As with Nelson, Enterprise Florida views potential drilling as a threat to military installations and the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry.

Rick Scott leads Bill Nelson in new poll of possible U.S. Senate race

A new poll of the 2018 U.S. Senate race shows Gov. Rick Scott with a two-point lead over Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

The Clearview Research poll contacted 750 likely voters by phone between March 1 and March 7 and found Scott with a 43-41 advantage with 15 percent undecided.

Where the poll differs with other recent head-to-heads is the turnout model, which estimates Republicans will make up 41 percent of the electorate, while Democrats take a 39 percent share and no-party and third-party voters make up the rest.

“A few recent polls released to the media have shown samples that seem to anticipate more Democrats voting than Republicans,” said Steve Vancore of Clearview Research. “While that could possibly be the case, we see little evidence for it at this time.”

The poll shows Scott with a 50-36 lead among white voters and a 48-41 lead among Cuban Hispanic voters, while Nelson holds a dominating 72-12 lead among black voters and leads 40-32 among non-Cuban Hispanic voters.

Scott also holds the edge among voters aged 35 and older, while Nelson wins the 18-34 age bracket by 7 percentage points. The poll estimates the under-35 age group will make up about 13 percent of the electorate in November.

Scott’s edge falls well within the margin of error for poll, which is set at plus or minus 3.58 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Still, the poll is one of a very few to show Scott with a lead over Nelson, who is running for his fourth term in the Senate.

Other polls have either shown the two in a dead heat, or shown Nelson with a slim lead.

Clearview says the two-point advantage for Republicans is consistent with the past few election cycles.

In 2016, Republicans outpaced Democrats at the polls by 0.6 points, a first in modern history for a presidential race, and in 2014 there was a four-point turnout margin on election day.

The 2014 election, also a midterm, is the most comparable to the 2018 election.

Other recent polls have given Democrats a better share of turnout.

“Historically, Republicans have enjoyed a turnout advantage in midterms, but with the current mood of the country, and a large number of Republican retirements, Democrats are optimistic about an impending blue wave,” said Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF, in a February poll release.

Despite claims of a “blue wave” in 2018, and some evidence of its existence in special elections since 2016, Clearview also points to new voter registrations in the Sunshine State, which show more Republicans signing up to vote than Democrats.

The polls only matter if Scott files for the seat, which he’s remained coy about.

Scott said after the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped Sunday that it’ll be another few weeks before he announces his “future plans,” though most have had him penciled in for the contest for more than a year.

Count Nelson in that group. The incumbent lawmaker has been sending out campaign fundraising emails for months foretelling Scott’s candidacy, and in the post-Parkland CNN town hall, he dogged Scott’s non-appearance at every opportunity.

Here is the full polling document:

Results of Florida poll from Clearview Research by Peter Schorsch on Scribd

Bill Nelson again pushes Ryan Zinke on off-shore drilling

Saying he never got a response in the almost two months since he last asked, Florida’s U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson again wrote to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Friday requesting clarification on what the administration wants to do off Florida’s coast.

Nelson’s latest missive comes as the Department plans to close its public comment period Friday evening on its draft five-year offshore oil drilling plan. Nelson again requested Florida be dropped from the plan, something that Gov. Rick Scott said Zinke had assured in January would be done, but which apparently has not happened.

“After hearing directly from Florida residents and business owners, I’m writing again to make sure you are fully aware of the widespread and vehement opposition to drilling off of Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts,” Nelson wrote. “I absolutely oppose opening up the Atlantic to drilling, as well as any part of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico currently under moratorium. And I will keep working to extend that statutory moratorium beyond 2022.”

Following Scott’s statement, made after a Tallahassee meeting with Zinke, Nelson wrote to Zinke requesting details on any changes. Friday Nelson’s office said he had not received a response. Meanwhile, on January 19 Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Acting Director Walter Cruickshank told the House Natural Resources Committee that Florida was still on the table for offshore oil drilling.

“I wrote to you nearly two months ago to ask for clarification about those comments and have yet to receive a response. In the meantime, Interior conducted public meetings—including the meeting in Tallahassee last month—using maps that clearly showed Florida was still being analyzed for potential lease sales,” Nelson wrote on Friday.

“There is no justification for including Florida in the five-year plan,” Nelson concluded. “Once again, I strongly urge you to truly take Florida ‘off the table’ by removing the Atlantic Coast, the Straits of Florida, and the entire eastern Gulf of Mexico moratorium area from consideration for future lease sales.”

Pinellas commissioners want a ban on assault weapons

With local governments in Florida prohibited from regulating firearms, the Pinellas County Commission is making it clear where it stands on several specific gun-control issues that have emerged since the massacre at Parkland nearly three weeks ago.

The board discussed a series of proposals at its February 27 meeting, and in a letter sent to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday, laid out its support for these measures:

— Raising the age to 21 for the purchase of any firearm;

— Requiring a universal background check, including for transactions that occur at gun shows;

— Banning assault-style weapons, including semi-automatic rifles that have the ability to accept a high-capacity magazine, and are equipped with a pistol grip, including on all AR and AK-like models;

— Prohibiting possession of firearms from individuals who are a threat to themselves or others as deemed necessary by a judge;

— State and federal funding to provide for a minimum of one School Resource Officer at every school, without budget reductions to other critical school programs or resources;

— State and federal funding to invest in school hardening, without budget reductions to other critical school programs or resources;

Florida lawmakers enacted a statute in 1987 that gave the state the exclusive right to regulate guns and ammunition. After some local governments went ahead and passed their own gun ordinances, the Legislature passed a law in 2011 that threatened local government leaders with fines of up to $5,000 and removal from office if they dared to adopt or enforce any local gun ordinances.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller says he will propose a ban on assault weapons in Hillsborough County at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, in defiance of state law.

Skip Campbell, the mayor of Coral Springs, announced last week that he will push for a constitutional amendment that would ban assault weapons.

On Saturday, the Florida state Senate rejected nearly four dozen amendments proposed by Democrats — from banning assault weapons, creating a registry for guns, allowing local governments to pass stronger gun laws and requiring background checks for gun purchases outside of the state, to prohibiting the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines.

Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson push bipartisan bill to tighten reporting on gun background checks

When someone fails a background check while attempting to purchase a gun, that should be reported to state law enforcement as a possible precursor to criminal gun activity, under a bill being pushed by Florida’s U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and a bipartisan group of several other key U.S. senators.

Republican Rubio, Democrat Nelson, Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, and Delaware Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Coons announced Monday they will sponsor a bill called the “NICS Denial Notification Act” which will help alert state law enforcement agencies to allow them to enforce existing laws against individuals who attempt to purchase firearms but have no legal right to do so.

The legislation also is backed by Texas Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, South Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Illinois Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Missouri Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“The Parkland shooter was able to carry out this horrific attack because of multi-systematic failures,” Rubio said in a news release issued by his office. He tied the bill to the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and to reports that the alleged shooter’s intentions should have been clear to law enforcement officials.

“While we work to ensure that our background check system contains the critical information necessary to be able to conduct an effective background check, we must also ensure that federal and state authorities are successfully communicating with one another when it comes to dangerous individuals and their attempts to acquire firearms,” Rubio continued. “The NICS Denial Notification Act would not only require federal authorities to flag background check denials for state-level authorities, it would also hold these federal officials accountable. This would be a strong step forward in preventing future tragedies. I urge my colleagues to immediately support this bipartisan legislation so that the president can swiftly sign it into law.”

A similar bill, House Resolution 4471, was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year by Illinois Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley. It’s gone nowhere — despite a bipartisan group of 13 cosponsors.

When convinced felons, fugitives, domestic abuses and others banned from legally purchasing firearms fail a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database, they often violate federal and state laws, the release notes.

However, the federal government rarely prosecutes any of these individuals, the release adds. What’s more, 37 states and the District of Columbia all rely on the FBI to do some or all of their background checks, and generally are not made aware when prohibited persons fail the checks.

Individuals who are willing to “lie and try” to buy a gun may be dangerous and willing to obtain guns through other means, the release notes. As a result, these states and D.C. may lack critical law enforcement intelligence that they could use to try to keep their communities safe.

“Efforts to reduce gun violence are only as good as the systems in place to prevent prohibited individuals from obtaining guns,” Nelson said in the release. “This bill is just another commonsense way to further those efforts to keep our communities safe from gun violence. I hope we can continue this conversation and continue to work together on comprehensive gun reform.”

The bill also would require the U.S. Department of Justice to publish an annual report with statistics about its prosecution of background check denial cases, so that Congress and voters might hold federal officials accountable.

The effort already has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police; Major Cities Chiefs Police Association; Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association; National District Attorneys Association; National Domestic Violence Hotline; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Everytown for Gun Safety; and the Giffords Foundation, according to the release.

Bill Nelson bemoans snub to White House gun meeting as ‘counter productive’

Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was conspicuously absent from a meeting President Donald Trump convened Wednesday in the West Wing with key lawmakers and stakeholders in the gun violence debate following the Parkland massacre, and on Friday he dismissed the meeting as show, and predicted Trump will pivot from assurances he made there.

Speaking on the MSNBC show Morning Joe Friday, Nelson said his snub by White House officials who did not invite him to the meeting was “counter productive that they would want to exclude me” from efforts to seek any bipartisan reforms in the wake of the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that left 17 dead.

Nelson is likely to face Florida Gov. Rick Scott in this year’s U.S. Senate election. Scott has been a strong supporter of Trump.

The meeting did have both Florida and Democratic representation. Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was there. So was Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Orlando, who solicited the president’s support for her House Resolution 1478, a measure with some bipartisan backing, which would lift the ban on federal research into gun violence.

Friday morning, Nelson dismissed anything that Trump did offer, embracing some gun control measures, as unreliable, especially since the president followed that meeting with one Thursday night with NRA officials. Trump tweeted last night, “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”

Nelson accused Trump of making promises and then rejecting them days later, and said that appears to be happening already with his interest in certain gun reforms.

“It’s symptomatic of what’s happening in our society today, where everybody is retreating to polls, they’re getting very self-interested, highly partisan, highly-ideological rigid, and we’re seeing that play into this question about what do we do in the aftermath of these massacres,” Nelson said.

Nelson expressed strong pessimism that any significant reforms will clear Congress, noting that 60 votes are needed to get passage in the U.S. Senate.

“It depends on the NRA If they go and threaten our Republican brothers and sisters, that they’re going to take them on in the next election, I think it makes it very difficult for them even on something as common sense as comprehensive universal background checks,” Nelson said. “You’re right. That’s off the charts, not only nationally, but in Florida as well.”

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