Florida freshman receive House committee assignments
Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin, Maria Elvira Salazar, Carlos Gimenez, Kat Cammack.

2020 Freshmen
Byron Donalds will serve on Budget. Maria Salazar will serve on Foreign Affairs.

All of Florida’s freshman members of Congress this week learned their formal committee assignments and expressed enthusiasm over them.

Byron Donalds will serve on the powerful House Budget Committee. Maria Elvira Salazar will serve on Foreign Affairs while Scott Franklin sits on Armed Services. Kat Cammack holds a seat on Agriculture and Carlos Giménez will have significant sway on Transportation and Homeland Security.

Donalds, a Naples Republican, announced he will serve on three committees. In addition to Budget, he also picked up spots on the Oversight and Reform Committee and the Small Business Committee.

“The opportunity to serve my constituents on these three committees is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to continuing to champion common-sense, fiscally sound, and conservative ideals during this Congress,” Donalds said.

“Prior to dedicating my life to public service, I have built my career working in the finance and banking industries, which allows me to serve these committees well and utilize my years of experience when making critical decisions. As a member of these distinguished committees, I will ensure the federal government is working efficiently and effectively for the American people. Every day I will strive to achieve bipartisan solutions for the mounting issues facing American families, prioritize transparency and accountability, and invigorate access to the American Dream fostering better lives, better communities, and a better America.”

Cammack, a Gainesville Republican who rode to Congress in part on a story of the loss of her family’s cattle ranch, will serve on the House Agriculture Committee. She will also be a member of the Homeland Security Committee in the House.

“From improving and expanding access to rural broadband to increasing border security and emergency preparedness, these committees will give me great opportunities to continue to fight for [Florida’s 3rd Congressional District],” Cammack tweeted.

Franklin, a Lakeland Republican and former Navy pilot, embraced his spot overseeing military issues. He noted his district sits near MacDill Air Force Base.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named as a member of the House Armed Services Committee,” Franklin said. My 26 years of experience and leadership in the United States Navy provided a great training ground to apply my skills as a member of this esteemed committee. Florida contributes a great deal to our nation’s military readiness, and it’s an honor for me to serve our military members in this capacity in Congress.”

Rep. Giménez, a Miami Republican joined the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for his freshman term. The Committee will tackle air travel and port issues, two areas critical to South Florida’s economy. Florida’s 26th Congressional District spans parts of Miami-Dade County and all of Monroe County.

“The work my colleagues and I will do in this committee over the course of the next Congress will have a meaningful impact on South Florida’s communities, helping to bolster and protect our airports, secure and expand our ports, and ensure better and more efficient mobility with improved highways, bridges, and mass transit systems,” Giménez said.

Late Tuesday, Giménez also announced he would join the Homeland Security Committee, one of the committees investigating the Capitol invasion on Jan. 6.

“From authorizing funds to hire more agents under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security to establishing grant opportunities for counterterrorism and anti-narcotics operations, the work we do in this committee is incredibly important to America’s national security,” Giménez said.

Salazar, a Miami Republican, was born in the county’s Little Havana area to two Cuban exiles and represents an immigrant-rich area. That will inform her work on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“My community is home to thousands of men and women who fled tyranny and oppression,” she said. “For over 30 years, I dedicated my career in journalism to covering the brutality, cruelty, and inhumanity of the socialist dictatorships that have destroyed so many nations throughout the world. As the daughter of exiles who fled the evil [Fidel] Castro regime, it is the honor of a lifetime to serve on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and fight for our American values of freedom, democracy, and respect for Human Rights.”

Read more in the latest issue of Delegation.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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