Kathy Castor Archives - Page 7 of 26 - Florida Politics

Gwen Graham celebrates July 4th by sponsoring bipartisan ‘Made-In-America Flag’ bill

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham got into the Independence Day spirit Friday by co-sponsoring a bill to ensure the federal government only purchases flags made in America.

“There’s no better time than the Fourth of July to remind us how important the American Flag is to our nation,” the North Florida Democrat said. “This common-sense, bipartisan legislation would require the federal government only purchase American flags made in America. It’s the right thing to do to honor the founding fathers who declared our independence and all those who have fought to keep us free.”

HR 916 was introduced in the U.S. House earlier this year by Illinois Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and has drawn cosponsorship from 105 representatives, including 22 Republicans and 83 Democrats.

Outside of Graham, Florida Republicans Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho, Bill Posey, as well as Democrats Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Lois Frankel, Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy, have signed on to Bustos’ bill as co-sponsors.

The bill would require the federal government to purchase only flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials and which are entirely manufactured in the U.S., while current law allows the government to buy flags composed of 50-percent American-made materials.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Data, $4 million worth of American Flags were imported into the U.S. in 2013, with $3.9 million of those flags coming from China.

University Area gets $3.8 million federal grant to foster tech training

A multi-agency partnership, along with the help of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, secured a $3.8 million grant from the federal government to develop training in the University Area of North Tampa, providing education specifically for technology-related jobs.

This week Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced the award of 39 TechHire Partnership Grants across the nation, including the one in Tampa.

The grant was the result of a partnership between CareerSource Tampa Bay, University Area Community Development Corp., Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the Tampa Bay Innovation Alliance.

“There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together,” said Mark Sharpe, president and CEO of the Tampa Innovation Alliance in a statement announcing the grant. “We applaud Congresswoman Castor’s leadership in winning the TechHire grant and are committed to making sure that all our citizens can participate in the tech economy.”

The grant will impact the University Area in North Tampa, an area that “continues to evolve with a focus on becoming an innovation district,” said a news release this week. “The grant will serve as a roadmap to higher wage, middle-class jobs for current residents.”

“Our hard-fought federal investment in jobs aims to recruit more than 1,000 young adults and low-wage workers in Tampa and the surrounding area, with a goal of preparing them for well-paying jobs in information technology and health care,” said Castor, a Tampa Democrat. “The Tampa Bay area would not have been competitive without so many of our partners like the University of South Florida and a number of local employers and employer coalitions such as the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, Cognizant, and Celestar Holdings Corporation.”

The money will help develop programming, training and education, including courses at the University of South Florida, which will allow participants to earn various credentials, certificates and associate degrees in customized programs.

“The Tampa Bay TechHire program will expand local technology-related job-training programs by focusing on accelerated training for youth and young adults with barriers to accessing employment,” said Ed Peachey, president and CEO of CareerSource Tampa Bay in a statement. “The program will also train incumbent workers for advancement in critical high-growth IT and health care occupations. The partnership with Tampa Innovation Alliance, IBM, BayCare, and other local companies provides the foundation for long-term, sustainable employment.”

Many tech jobs don’t require four-year degrees, but rather focused training in shorter programs. TechHire was launched in 2015 to help get young people into those programs, which equip them to go out and get good-paying jobs in the technology industry.

“This grant is a huge win for the residents of the University Area community and will be the answer to many families struggling with unemployment and underemployment,” said Sarah Combs, executive director and CEO of University Area Community Development Corporation. “The University Area CDC is thrilled to be a part of this collaborative to focus on bringing job training opportunities to provide residents the fastest paths to good-paying jobs.”

More than 150 businesses supported the grant application through their membership in the Tampa Innovation Alliance and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, many of whom have expressed interest in hiring those who complete the programs.

Mitch Perry Report for 6.30.16 — The GOP’s Tom Steyer?

There are many people in the world concerned about the pace of climate change, and whether our leaders doing enough to combat it for future generations.

Most of those people aren’t elected officials in the Republican Party.

In recent years, the GOP has castigated San Francisco-based environmentalist Tom Steyer, tagging him with famed boogeyman George Soros as among the biggest liberals they love to loathe, ostensibly because of their financial resources to help out Democrats.

Steyer’s passion is combating climate change, and his political action committee, NextGen Climate, spent $74 million during the 2014 cycle in support of candidates who believe climate change is real. That money was also spent against those (like Rick Scott) who deny it’s a problem. He had limited success, but he’s back in 2016, expected to spend another $25 million.

Now meet North Carolina’s Jay Faison, and his ClearPath Action Fund. Faison says he’ll spend $5 million this year on Republican candidates who believe climate change is real. One of his beneficiaries will be Carlos Curbelo, the Miami-based congressman fighting to retain his seat in Florida’s 26th Congressional District this fall.

There’s only one catch about the TV ads that Faison will spend on Curbelo (and the other Republicans up for re-election this fall, like New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte and Ohio’s Rob Portman) — they never mention the words “climate” or “change.”

“Mr. Faison acknowledges that while he supports Republicans who have supported climate change policy, it is still too politically divisive to actually use the phrase,” reports The New York Times.

Well, it’s a start, some would say.

In other news …

It’s starting to get intense in the Senate District 19 battle, particularly between Darryl Rouson and Ed Narain.

The three men running to become the next representative in state House District 68 in Pinellas County gathered yesterday in St. Petersburg. Details here.

Although St. Petersburg residents clearly seem to be supportive of how Rick Kriseman is doing as mayor of St. Pete, there’s still some nostalgia among the electorate for the last guy named Rick who served as mayor.

Democratic consultant Mitch Kates reminisced about his string of local successes in the Tampa Bay area in a recent interview in Pittsburgh, where he now serves as political director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

The U.S. Justice Department will now train all of its law enforcement agents and prosecutors to recognize and address implicit bias as part of its regular training curricula, using a program developed by USF Associate Professor of Criminology Lorie Fridell.

And the Tampa Bay Times’ Mike Van Sickler gets a promotion.

Ed Narain and Kathy Castor call out Darryl Rouson — again

Perhaps it was the recent survey that showed St. Petersburg state Rep. Darryl Rouson leading Ed Narain in the Senate District 19 race that has fired him up. In any case, Narain is firing back hard on his Democratic challenger, along with some help from his friend, Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Narain and Castor took issue Wednesday with a statement Rouson had released regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling on Monday overturning a Texas law restricting women’s health and reproductive rights.

Rouson praised the decision, writing in a statement, “we must continue to fight restrictions on women’s healthcare.” Narain said Rouson’s comment was essentially hypocritical, considering his support for pro-life bills in recent years in the Legislature. Specifically, Narain cited three votes on abortion in the Florida Legislature Rouson voted on this past year, in 2015 and 2012.

Narain says that Rouson voted in support of HB 1411 in the past session. That’s the bill sponsored by Lakeland Republican Kelli Stargell prohibiting state funding for routine care at abortion clinics, and placed requirements for physicians similar to a Texas law currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Florida Times-Union reported Rouson was one of only six House Democrats to cross party lines to vote for the measure.

According to VoteSmart.org, Rouson did support HB 633 in 2015. That bill added a 24-hour waiting period and a requirement that a patient make an extra trip to the physician in order to listen to state-mandated information prior to obtaining an abortion.

The website also supports Narain’s statement that Rouson supported Riverview Republican Rachel Burgin’s 2012 bill that dictated no woman can have an abortion in Florida after 20 weeks unless the doctor informs the mother about how the fetus will suffer pain.

“Rep. Rouson’s anti-choice and anti-women’s health record is very troubling,” said Castor. “Yesterday’s (Monday’s) U. S. Supreme Court decision is an important reminder that we must support candidates who support women and that is one reason I support Rep. Ed Narain for the State Senate from Tampa Bay.”

“On three different occasions, when Darryl Rouson could have stood up for women’s health, he voted against protecting women when he had the chance,” added Narain. “We need principled leaders who will stand up for what’s right and for progressive values. As a father and husband, I won’t stand by while ‘say-anything’ politicians like Darryl Rouson side with the Republicans and try to tell women what they can do with their own health care. “

Rouson fired back in kind.

“When you are last in the polls, it is disappointing that you resort to personal attacks,” the St. Pete-based lawmaker said in a statement. “People are tired of this kind of politics. As an experienced legislator who has been elected five times by the people, I stand on an eight-year record of achievement. People deserve a debate on the issues — not self-serving twisting of the facts.”

Regarding his votes on the abortion bills, Rouson maintained recently in the Tampa Bay Times he accidentally hit the wrong voting button on his desk — on all three occasions.

“On HB 1411, I was fulfilling a professional responsibility and not on the floor,” he said on Wednesday. “The record shows my “No” vote upon return against the bill (VoteSmart.org says he didn’t vote on the bill). On HB 633 and HB 277, the record reflects my “No” vote and to state otherwise is to mislead the voters.”

Meanwhile, for Castor, it was the second straight day she took on her fellow Democrat. On Tuesday, Castor wrote to Rouson via Twitter that the photo that he had posted on the social media site of the two of them at the St. Pete Pride Parade was a “nice pic,” but she wanted everyone to know she backed Narain in the Florida Senate District 19 race that encompasses both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. She then tweeted a bit more forcefully a few hours later, calling on him to no longer show the picture of them together, saying “You’re implying my support. I support Ed Narain.”

Narain, Rouson, Betty Reed and Augie Ribeiro are all competing for the Democratic nomination for SD 19 on Aug. 30. The winner will face Tampa Republican John Houman in November.

Eric Lynn says his fundraising is doing quite well, despite his May report

Although Eric Lynn never polled that well in his campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District against Charlie Crist, he proved to be a prodigious fundraiser, bringing in more than $650,000 to his campaign coffers.

Lynn dropped out of the CD 13 race on May 3, announcing he would run instead for the House District 68 seat in Pinellas County that became open when Democratic incumbent Dwight Dudley announced he would not run for re-election. But again, he’s in a contested Democratic primary, this time with St. Petersburg attorney Ben Diamond, who promptly began swooping up endorsements from local and statewide Democrats like Bob Graham and Kathy Castor.  

At the time he made his announcement he was now running for the state Legislature, Lynn also said he would transfer the money from his federal campaign into a statewide political action committee. “Pinellas Community Voters Fund” was established May 23, some 20 days later. On May 31, Lynn moved $250,000 from his congressional campaign over to that PAC. Lynn told FloridaPolitics‘s Peter Schorsch he intended to move another $250,000 once his bills were paid. He now says much of last month was spent with attorneys with the Florida Democratic Party and his own legal counsel to make sure that everything was done correctly in making the transfer.

On May 10, Craig Sher, finance chair for Lynn, told FloridaPolitics.com, “Fundraising continues to be strong for Eric Lynn since he announced his campaign for state representative, and that’s on top of the over $600,000 cash-on-hand from before. We picked up right where we left off.”

But a look at Lynn’s fundraising totals for May show he had only three individual contributions, totaling all of $61.

Lynn says there’s a reason that his fundraising went dark in May.

“We spent the month of May working on setting up our campaign, and specifically setting up the political campaign that we could transfer money into from the congressional race,” the Democrat said Monday afternoon. “I didn’t solicit any contributions in the month of May.”

Lynn says there are still some vendors that he needs to pay bills to in July from the federal account, but says he will transfer “on an incremental basis” the other $250,000 to his state political action committee as needed.

His campaign has been sending out mailers to voters in the district over the past couple of weeks and he says that, “we are prepared to spend all the money that we’ve raised to win this race.” He adds that means leaving nothing behind for the general if that’s what it takes to defeat Diamond in August, in what is considered a Democratic-friendly seat.

Diamond raised over $104,000 in a little over a month after entering the race in late April. June fundraising numbers for both candidates will be posted in a few weeks.

Abortion ruling responses contrast U.S. Senate candidates

Dueling responses on the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest abortion law ruling, from Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, his Democratic challengers U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy others, show how divisive the issue remains between the major parities.

In a 5-3 decision, the court tossed both parts of a Texas law that is similar to one approved last spring by t5he Florida Legislatures. The Texas law had required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, required clinics where they work to be set up and regulated similar to outpatient surgical centers.

Within a short time of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt throwing out a Texas law, Rubio responded by expressing his disappointment and cautioning about future Supreme Court appointments.

“With the Supreme Court issuing its final opinions of this term, we were reminded again of just how high the stakes are when it comes to appointing Justice Scalia’s successor,” Rubio stated.

Moments later Grayson, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Orlando, issued a statement calling it an important victory for women’s reproductive rights, and cautioning about allowing Rubio to have a vote on future Supreme Court appointments.

“This decision also shows how destructive it would be to allow Marco Rubio to maintain his power to approve future Supreme Court justices,” Grayson stated. “Rubio favors restricting abortion access even in cases of rape and incest, and would unravel these vital health protections for women.”

Murphy also went after Rubio, who had filed a friend of the court argument in the case, siding with the state of Texas.

“This law was designed to make it nearly impossible for women in Texas to access safe and legal abortions,” Murphy commented in a statement released by his campaign. “This dangerous anti-women’s health effort was praised by Marco Rubio, who wants to ban abortion access even in cases of rape or incest, punishing women and taking away basic health care rights. We need a Senator who will stand with Florida women and families against continued attacks on women’s health care. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue fighting to protect these basic rights.”

Other Democrats also quickly joined in.

“Women and their health care providers across the country can breathe easier today after the Supreme Court struck down an outrageous Texas law that closed clinics and blocked medical access to women’s health services,” stated U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat. “This ruling sends a loud and clear message to politicians in Congress and in states like Texas and Florida… instead of engaging in political games and witch hunts, we should work together on meaningful policy that protects women’s access to health care.”

Anti-abortion lawmakers, including most Republicans, had argued the law’s necessity in trying to make abortion clinics as safe as any other hospital.

And that’s what Rubio argued. He pointed to a Philadelphia doctor who was convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder for abortions conducted in 2011 and earlier.

The Texas law… is designed to safeguard women who choose to have abortions by ensuring that all Texas clinics are sanitary, regulated and in proximity to a hospital in the event complications arise,” Rubio said. “Kermit Gosnell is a name we should never forget, given the atrocities he committed against women and unborn children in unsafe and unsanitary conditions that inspired this Texas law.”

Abortion rights lawmakers, including most Democrats, had argued that the law was another attempt to shut down clinics and further restrict women’s access to abortion.

And that’s what Murphy and Grayson argued.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the health and safety of women in Texas and the right to choose for women across the country,” Murphy stated. “This is a powerful declaration that women have a constitutional right to make their own health decisions and that extremist attempts to undermine that right will not stand.

“The Supreme Court’s decision not only strikes down an offensive Texas law designed to deny millions of women access to safe abortions, but it reaffirms the legal protections outlined in Roe v. Wade,” Grayson stated.

Civil justice attorney Augie Ribeiro says he can make a difference if elected in SD 19

As the deadline for state legislative candidates expired at noon on Friday, there were four Democrats on the Aug. 30 ballot in the Senate District 19 race that encompasses both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Three all relatively well known — Ed Narain and Darryl Rouson currently serve in the Florida House, and Betty Reed previously held Narain’s HD 61 seat.

Add to that mix one Augie Ribeiro, 52, the Chief Executive Officer of the law firm of Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith, who has only lived full-time in St. Petersburg for the past three years, and has never run for political office.

Ribeiro says that it was after he attended a candidates forum in South St. Pete earlier this month that he came away convinced that he could offer something different to the voters in SD 19. “I listened to their answers, and I came home, and I had a discussion with my wife, and I said, ‘I think it’s time for us to step up.'”

Ribeiro’s wife is Dr. Sarah Lind, who served as deputy mayor of Schools and Policy for the city of St. Petersburg for Rick Baker back in the aughts. She also worked at Gibbs, Lakewood and St. Petersburg high schools. She’s the reason Ribeiro left the Northeast to come to live, work and play in the ‘Burg.

A recent poll of the SD 19 contest showed Narain and Reed splitting the Hillsborough vote, allowing Rouson to catapult to the top of the field. While Narain has the endorsements from eminences in the Tampa Democratic machine like Kathy Castor and Mike Suarez, Rouson has countered with the public support of nearly every elected Democratic official in Pinellas County.

There is also the fact that the district consists of a strong minority makeup, something that doesn’t faze Ribeiro, the son of Hispanic immigrants from Portugal who emigrated to New York City (he grew up in Lower Manhattan). He says his cultural values are aligned perfectly with the district.

“As a civil justice lawyer, I’ve represented thousands of people of minority families,” he says, adding that he speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. Among the cases he’s been involved includes representing several Pinellas County cities after the BP oil spill in 2010. He also created a team of high-profile national attorneys to go against General Motors for its ignition-switch recall.

Ribeiro says he won’t take campaign contributions from the insurance industry, payday lenders or utility companies in Florida in his campaign, and later in the conversation says the money that he will invest in the campaign will come only from himself, friends and family.

“I’m not going to be susceptible from any influence from corporate lobbyists,” Ribiero says, “and I think my record of fighting big corporations is how I’m going to represent the kids and the families of this district in Tampa, when I fight against the entrenched interests that have hurt the health, education and welfare of this district.”

When asked about the issues he cares about, Ribeiro speaks passionately about public education, which he calls the “fundamental pillar for the American Dream.”

“It troubles me that education is on a downward spiral,” he says. “It troubles me that 15,000 children in this district go to the bed hungry every night.”

Ribeiro believes one should be inspired to get into the political arena, and he believes with his leadership qualities, he can fill that bill.

Nevertheless, the challenge is significant for him.

With the district’s demographics overwhelmingly Democratic leaning, the winner of the Aug. 30 primary is the likely next state Senator from SD 19. The winner will take on Republican John Houman in November.

Kathy Castor ‘running on adrenaline’ after 26-hour sit-in House protest

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said Thursday she is “running on adrenaline” following her participation in an overnight sit-in at the House of Representatives in Washington.

The Tampa congresswoman joined other Democrats in a protest against the refusal by House Speaker Paul Ryan to allow a vote on restricting access to military-style assault weapons in the wake of the mass murder June 12 in Orlando.

The protest lasted about 26 hours after it began at 11:24 a.m. Wednesday.

“The sit-in is over but I feel we’re just getting started,” she said from Washington. “The fuse has been lit.”

Castor was one of about 15 Democratic members of the House who met Tuesday to plan the protest. Included in the plot, Castor said, was U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.

“This came from the ground up,” she said. “It didn’t come from (Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi or the leadership, but from people like me who are frustrated.”

The plan accelerated when civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia got involved. Castor said they decided to make their stand near the front of the House chamber. Occupying that space, Castor said, “Is against the rules, but we took a page from John Lewis’ civil rights peaceful protest.”

Ryan retaliated by cutting off C-SPAN cameras and banging the session to a close.

“We didn’t expect the Speaker to do that, but he didn’t expect us to take to social media,” Castor said. “You can’t take pictures of the House when it’s in session, but since it was in recess, there was nothing they could do.”

Democrats have been consistently thwarted in attempts to pass gun control laws since Republicans took control of the House in 2010. Castor said she attributes that to the outsized influence the National Rifle Association has with GOP representatives.

“Everyone is so frustrated,” she said. “We’ve got to do something. People filled with hate take these high-capacity military style weapons into elementary schools and movie theaters.

“It’s going to take some time to change things, but we have to start. This is really a pretty darned modest proposal we’re talking about. We just want to keep these weapons out of the hands of people who want to inflict terror. I don’t know why Republicans in Congress can’t even put that on the floor for a vote.”

The pro-gun argument is that while it’s important to keep individuals on a terrorist watch list from buying a gun, those put there wrongly could be denied due process of their Second Amendment rights. Asked about that, Castor mentioned Pulse, the Orlando nightclub where 49 people were recently gunned down by a terrorist sympathizer.

“How much due process did they have?” she said.

Castor said she grabbed “a couple of hours” sleep on the House floor during the protest. She was fueled Thursday by coffee and adrenaline.

“It’s not as good as my café con leche in West Tampa,” she said, “but it had to do.”

Mitch Perry Report for 6.23.16 — Another story on Patrick Murphy enhancing his resume

Forgive us for not being too coherent, having stayed up until the early morning hours today watching the Hillsborough County MPO’s discussion of the TBX project until 2:20 a.m.this morning. You can read our account here.

Although the huge news in Florida Politics yesterday morning was Marco Rubio‘s re-entry into a Senate race he said he would never get back into; you have to believe Rubio feels like he can handle his competition pretty handily.

The Democratic Party, both statewide and nationally, have gone whole hog with Patrick Murphy as being the man who can take the seat (forget the polls that show Alan Grayson to do virtually as well against every Republican, including Rubio).

What about Murphy today, after CBS Miami aired a very damaging report on Murphy’s claims about his role as a small-business man and as a CPA. Some of this had already been reported by the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald‘s Kristen Clark. But it’s damaging.

Check out Jim DeFede‘s story here.

In other news …

Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson — the two top Democratic Senate candidates who would lose to Rubio according to a new poll, predictably blasted the Republican for his flip-flop back into the race. Murphy later said on a conference call that the fact that Rubio won’t preclude staying in the Senate for the full six years to run for president again was “shocking” and “unacceptable.”

It’s hard to read Carlos Lopez-Cantera “thank” Rubio for getting into the race. It just is.

Moments after the news became official, conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham (a Ron DeSantis supporter), blasted Rubio, saying it’s exactly why people are cynical about politics.

Tampa Bay area Democratic Representative Kathy Castor was part of a group of dozens of Democrats holding a sit-in on the House floor, demanding that House Speaker Paul Ryan give them a vote on two different gun-control measures.

St. Petersburg-based trial attorney Augie Ribeiro will reportedly enter the SD 19 race.

Andrew Warren, running to beat Mark Ober for Hillsborough State Attorney, has unveiled a set of ethics reforms for the office.

Stanley Gray explains why he’s the best choice in the Hillsborough County School Board’s District 7 race.

Kathy Castor part of House delegation continuing sit-in to demand votes on gun control legislation

Dozens of House Democrats continue to stage a sit-in on the floor of the House chamber Wednesday afternoon, demanding the House Speaker Paul Ryan hold a vote on gun-control legislation in the days leading up to a weeklong congressional break that begins this Friday.

Many members of the Florida delegation were part of the action, with even Senator Bill Nelson sitting down with Tallahassee Representative Gwen Graham for awhile.

The sit-in started with remarks by Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who called out, “Newtown, Aurora, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando. What is the tipping point, Mr. Speaker?”

The legislation that Democrats want a vote on would be for expanded background checks and legislation preventing gun sales to suspected terrorists.

“My neighbors are still reeling from the Orlando massacre just over a week ago,” said Tampa Bay area Representative Kathy Castor. “There have been too many tragedies like the Orlando massacre. The House doesn’t need more moments of silence; it needs to speak up instead. We need commonsense solutions on gun safety aimed at protecting our country, communities, families and especially our children,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “My home state of Florida has some of the weakest gun laws; we lack expanded background checks that would prevent individuals on the terrorist watch list, criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing guns – the so-called no fly/no buy law we are sitting in for would clearly help fill a big gap in my state.”

“Since Florida’s Republican legislature has refused to stand up to the powerful gun lobby, we must act to keep high-capacity, military-style weapons away from terrorists and others with violent pasts,” Castor added.

“The message is simple – we demand a vote, and number two, we want to close the terrorist gun loophole at a minimum,” said Jupiter Representative and Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, speaking to reporters on a conference call after leaving the House floor.

At one point in the afternoon, Pinellas County Republican Congressman David Jolly visited the House chambers.  Before he did that, Jolly appeared on CNN, where he said he disagreed with the tactics of the Democrats, but agreed with them that GOP House leaders should allow for debate on gun control measures, including his proposal, HR5544, that would ensure there is a no-fly no-buy policy while also ensuring due process and protecting the Second Amendment.

“My fear is that the politics of blame play well in November, and the architects see currency in this in November,” Jolly told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, adding that it wasn’t actually that hard to pass such legislation. Baldwin questioned that statement, it, saying if it was so easy, why did it require the House Democrats to make such a dramatic gesture.

Jolly said that if the Democrats would agree to the due process portions of his legislation, a bill could pass, but also pleaded with his GOP colleagues “to do something. Act in the wake of Orlando. Let’s not play politics with this; it’s heartbreaking.”

Kentucky Democratic Representative John Yarmuth said he agreed with Jolly that it could be an easy fix. “Let’s have the debate. Let’s have the vote. And let the will of the Congress be done.”

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