Delegation for 6.14.22: Summit — no Maduro — answers — vaxxing kids — clean water

capitol u.s. green 9.30.19
Is a summit really a summit if not everyone is invited?

Summit sort-of

What was the Summit of the Americas?

The reviews on the meeting of Western Hemisphere powers in Los Angeles have been decidedly poor.

“If a group of unusually prescient political scientists had wanted to design a mechanism to measure the decline of U.S. influence and stature, it might have created the Summit of the Americas,” wrote William Neuman in The Atlantic.

The Washington Post billed the event as a likely “dud” even before the gathering. The event, if anything, played out worse in the international press. The Buenos Aires Times led with news that Argentine President Alberto Fernández used his Summit address to slam President Joe Biden for excluding Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from the event. On the opposite side of the world, the South China Morning Post labeled the Summit as “messy” and “disorganized.”

Closer to home, many in Florida criticized the event.

The Summit of the Americas (sort of).

“Summit of the Americas was a disaster,” tweeted former Miami City Manager Emilio Gonzalez. “Hemispheric leaders bashed President Biden for excluding Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Latin leaders worry more about coddling dictators than solving regional problems. Adversaries don’t fear us; friends don’t respect us. U.S. weakness on display.”

But with the entire event wrapped, some successes may have resulted from the gathering.

While Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador skipped the event in a high-profile boycott, he responded cooperatively to a migration plan unveiled by Biden on the last day of the Summit. Immigration authorities in Mexico intercepted and disbanded a caravan of migrants on the way to the U.S. border, according to U.S. News & World Report. And Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the press that the Summit would directly improve chances of a regional approach to solving the migration process.

At the event, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed his country to intake 4,000 migrants from the Caribbean and Latin America by 2028 to ease the burden on the U.S., CBC reports. He also committed $27 million to ease the migration crisis despite most movement occurring far south of the spacious North American nation.

Biden committed to a significant increase in resettling refugees within the U.S., news that may not be broadly embraced domestically but garnered international support at the Summit.

And the event also marked a moment for Biden to tackle South American policy issues with leaders like Brazilian President Jair Bolsinaro, an ally of former President Donald Trump who hasn’t developed a strong relationship with the new administration but who took the opportunity of the Summit to collaborate on trade.

Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Miami Democrat tapped by the White House as a senior adviser for the event, early on suggested the event would provide a venue for addressing immigration, and it proved to be that.

“We can actually come together to put in place policies that enforce safe, orderly and humane migration,” Mucarsel-Powell told WLRN. “That will entail the resources needed to do that. As you know, this is not only an issue that affects the U.S. southern border. It’s affecting countries like Colombia.”

If nothing else, the event raised the prominence of voices from Florida. In addition to Mucarsel-Powell’s role in organizing the event, delegation members, including Democratic Reps. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Debbie Wasserman Schultz attended the event representing the U.S. and bringing concerns from a state with solid connections in the Caribbean and South America.

“I joined foreign leaders to discuss challenges facing their countries and how international collaboration can make us stronger in strengthening security and democracy throughout the region,” Wasserman Schultz said.

No Maduro

Before the Summit, Sen. Marco Rubio strongly lobbied against any buckling on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela being invited.

The Miami Republican suggested amid the event that concerns about Venezuela bore out based on where the nation’s leaders decided to spend time instead of visiting Los Angeles. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro decided last week to meet with Iranian leaders in Tehran, The Associated Press reports.

Shunned from the Summit, Nicolás Maduro takes a trip to Iran. Image via AP.

Rubio said that shows that, if anything, the U.S. remains too soft on Venezuela, whether they were invited to the Summit or not. He has heavily criticized the Biden administration for considering talks on oil commerce with the communist power. With news of Maduro’s Tehran travels, the Senator asserted the best approach is to shun the leader completely.

“World leaders looking to the Biden administration for how to engage with the Maduro regime should stop,” Rubio said. “You can see for yourself the company Maduro keeps. While democracies are meeting in Los Angeles, Maduro is in Tehran. That should tell you everything you need to know.”

Shortly after the Summit, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó said Maduro’s ruling socialist party members ambushed him physically while touring the country ahead of elections.

Immigration answers?

With the Midterms approaching faster than a band of refugees, Sen. Rick Scott slammed Homeland Security and the administration for creating “the worst border crisis in United States history.”

He co-led a letter with House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, calling for a comprehensive investigation by Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari of agency practices. The letter followed up on a similar request in March.

“As the Department’s Inspector General, you have the unique position to help improve the crisis at our southern border. We entrust you and your office to provide ‘independent oversight and promote excellence, integrity, and accountability within DHS,’” The letter reads. “In doing so, the OIG is tasked with investigating allegations relating to fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, and both criminal and non-criminal violations of laws negatively impacting DHS’ mission.”

Thirty-six other members of Congress co-signed the letter. Co-signatories within the Florida delegation included Rubio and GOP Reps. Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Carlos Giménez and John Rutherford.

Scott said the mishandling of border security raises public safety concerns and economic problems.

“The Biden administration’s failures and egregious mismanagement of the U.S. southern border have created an unprecedented humanitarian and national security crisis for our nation,” Scott said. “Joe Biden is laying out a welcome mat for human traffickers and savage cartels bringing drugs and crime to our communities, and blatantly ignoring U.S. laws and policies that are designed to keep America safe.

“For over a year, I have demanded real action to secure the border, and back in January, I urged the Biden administration to investigate the cause of its border failures. We must get to the bottom of this and ensure accountability for this man-made crisis. We won’t stop fighting until the border is secure and the American people get the answers they deserve.”

Cutting off Russia

Many businesses stopped doing business with Russia after its military invaded Ukraine. Now delegation members want the federal government to cut off funding to any company that keeps up its contacts with the foreign power.

Legislation in the Senate and House, the Keeping Russia’s Energy and Military Liable for Invading its Neighbors (KREMLIN) Act, would prohibit federal agencies from doing business with any entity that contracts with Putin’s evil regime or his cronies in the Russian natural gas, oil and coal sector.

“Put simply, the U.S. government should not be contracting with companies profiting from, and supporting, (Vladimir) Putin’s war crimes,” Waltz said. “We must do all we can to choke off Russia’s ability to wage war against its democratic neighbors.”

Mike Waltz aims to stop businesses from working with Russia, Image via Facebook.

Waltz introduced the bipartisan bill in the House with Democrats Jason Crow of Colorado and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.

The block on business with companies would only last until a cease-fire has been reached between Ukraine and Russia, which respects the Eastern European nation’s sovereignty.

“As Russia wages war against Ukraine and threatens democracy and our national security in Europe, the United States must ensure that no American tax dollars are being used to support Putin’s evil regime,” Scott said. “This bill is an important step to thwart Putin’s evil and murderous regime from continuing its unjust invasion of Ukraine and again clarify that the United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people.”


Americans who believed Trump’s “big lie” about the 2020 election being stolen who ended up donating money or even taking part in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol should feel duped by the former President, Stephanie Murphy said.

The Winter Park Democrat, the only Florida Representative on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, expressed that judgment Monday afternoon on MSNBC.

Andrea Mitchell and Katy Tur interviewed Murphy on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” following Monday’s public hearing on the Jan. 6 Committee. That hearing included testimony from Trump’s campaign advisers, top government officials, and even his family trying to convince him that claims about a stolen election were false.

“These people who believed in the big lie may have provided some of their personal money to support the big lie, who are possibly facing jail sentences for coming to Washington to act out on the big lie, they should feel duped,” Murphy said.

Stephanie Murphy says Jan. 6 proves that Trump supporters were ‘duped.’

“They should feel duped by President Trump, who knew what he was saying was not true. He’d been told by everybody it was not true. But he was still using that for his personal gain.”

Murphy is not seeking re-election. Her Seminole County-based district was redrawn and more Republican than before.

She said she believes the Department of Justice should pursue criminal charges based on evidence from the investigation. But she also said she did not believe the committee should try to pressure the Department of Justice, saying that’s “not in the writ of the committee’s purpose,” and the separation of powers need to be honored.

Murphy also made it clear that she believed Trump deliberately lied about the election to stay in power.

“Just imagine that; a sitting President undermining the integrity of our democracy, the integrity of our elections, all for personal gain,” Murphy said. “I think that is incredibly damaging. And I think we laid out the case for that.”

Vaccine skepticism

Should COVID-19 vaccines be available for children under the age of 5? Rockledge Republican Bill Posey has his doubts. The Congressmen co-led a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggesting the safer approach with small children may be to avoid allowing the shot altogether.

“I am concerned that in a rush to mandate a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy, the FDA is failing to consider that this age group is least at risk for complications from COVID and that the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates 68% of those under five have already had COVID,” Posey said.

Bill Posey believes the safest COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids is avoiding it in the first place.

“Common sense would suggest that (Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee) members have already asked these questions, so we would expect a response by the time they meet. If we don’t receive answers, it is right to assume they haven’t asked basic benefit and risk questions about using this vaccine for millions of children who are at very little risk from COVID.”

He penned a message with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert, both Republicans, asking for details on the impacts of COVID-19 on the young demographic. Gohmert went so far as to call the “rush” to vaccinate children “deeply disturbing,” though vaccines have been available for adults for more than a year and a half.

Clean water

Expect some $3.7 million in federal dollars to sail into Charlotte Harbor soon. Sarasota Republican Greg Steube announced that the Agriculture Department awarded a $2.15 million Rural Development loan and a $1.63 million Water and Waste Disposal grant to the Charlotte Harbor Water Association.

The loan money is to upgrade and expand water storage facilities at a treatment plant by the Charlotte County water body. Meanwhile, the grant will fund clean drinking water solutions and waste disposal.

Greg Steube is touting new money for rural water.

“This $3.7 million investment will benefit more than 6,000 Floridians in the 17th District,” Steube said. “I’m glad to deliver federal funding to improve the Charlotte Harbor Water Association system and keep pace with the increased demand for community improvements as our district grows.”

Who loves the Glades?

West Palm Beach Democrat Lois Frankel cheered a part of the state budget signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis but said the Republican shouldn’t get all the credit. She noted DeSantis’ support for setting $1 billion aside for Everglades restoration was possible only thanks to federal dollars sent to Florida by the Biden administration.

“Last year, President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, sending $10 billion to Florida to secure its budget,” Rep. Frankel said. “I’m pleased that the Governor is using budget money to follow the Biden administration’s lead with $1 billion for restoring the Everglades. Keeping our water clean and plentiful should always be bipartisan.”

Everglades money is great but remember who is writing the check.

She noted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by Biden last year already directs a record $1.1 billion to the Everglades.

Frankel notably serves on the House Appropriations Committee and helped craft the $11.6 billion budget for the Army Corps of Engineers to pursue environmental projects across the country.

Saving Mambí?

Conservatives reacted with concern when a progressive-led conglomerate bought Radio Mambí, a longtime conservative voice in Miami. Now several Republicans within the delegation question if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should allow the deal to continue.

Sens. Rubio and Scott led a letter, along with Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, questioning Latino Media Network’s acquisition of 18 Spanish-language stations in the country. Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart, Giménez and Maria Elvira Salazar, all Miami Republicans, so-signed the letter.

“We are concerned that LMN, as a newly formed front group led by partisan operatives with zero experience in broadcasting, may work to silence political viewpoints with which its funders disagree,” the letter reads.

Are conservative voices in Miami being silenced?

“If successful, LMN could exercise virtually uncontested influence over nearly one-third of all Hispanics across the country. Given the importance of the FCC’s stewardship over the limited AM and FM bandwidth available across the United States, we ask that the Commission carry out its due diligence and thoughtfully scrutinize the takeover of these stations by a partisan organization only announced last week.”

Scott’s office said LMN operates with funding from progressive billionaire George Soros.

The letter noted Democrats in Congress last year successfully fought the purchase by conservatives of a single Miami radio station. This deal, if anything, should raise more alarms.

“Far from benign, the proposed sale is the latest in a series of moves by elite progressives desperate to claw back support from Hispanic voters, who have rightly turned their backs on Democrats and their socialist priorities,” the letter states. “But instead of overhauling their own unpopular policies, we are concerned that far-left ideologues are attempting to consolidate and expand their control over the media, so they can flood the airwaves with propaganda with the hopes of fooling listeners so that they can silence effective conservative voices who challenge their progressive propaganda.”

The three House members also issued a statement saying that if the purchase is even allowed, audiences in Miami won’t accept a change in voice.

“For years, an increasingly radical left has sought to silence conservative Hispanic voices in South Florida. Regrettably, the purchase of Radio Mambí by left-wing investors seems to be part of a long-term plan,” the statement read.

“Radio Mambí became a legendary home for anti-communist voices in South Florida because it was one of the few places where those who value freedom of thought could speak their minds and argue against socialist tyranny in our hemisphere. We are concerned that this purchase of Radio Mambi is a thinly veiled attempt to stifle voices inconvenient to progressive liberals. If true, it will be yet another attempt by the left to erode First Amendment rights and a free marketplace of ideas. If this is an attempt by the left to sell Hispanics on their woke ideology and culture wars, then we predict this venture is doomed to fail the way Air America did. Hispanics are much smarter than that.”

On this day

June 14, 1775 — “Birth of the U.S. Army” via the National Museum of the United States Army — The Continental Congress voted to create the Continental Army as a united colonial response against the British enemy. This new Continental Army included 10 companies of riflemen. The first men to enlist came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The next day, Congress voted to appoint General George Washington as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. The Army faced several challenges throughout the Revolutionary War in addition to a determined and professional enemy.

June 14, 1993 — “Bill Clinton names Ruth Bader Ginsburg, advocate for women, to court” via The New York Times — President Clinton chose Judge Ginsburg, whose litigation on behalf of women’s rights helped transform the legal landscape in the 1970s, to become the first Supreme Court Justice picked by a Democratic President in 26 years. Ginsburg, whose first job out of Columbia University Law School was as a legal secretary, would be the second woman to serve on the High Court, joining Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She would also be the first Jew to serve on the Court since Justice Abe Fortas resigned in 1969.


Delegation is published by Peter Schorsch and compiled by Jacob Ogles, with contributions by Scott Powers.

Staff Reports

One comment

  • Lynda

    June 14, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Wow! Too many interesting items on which to comment.
    1) Summit of the Americas. Cuba should have been included. The old-line Cuban refugees who– like Rubio’s parents–came to the US for economic reasons prior to Castro’s take-over are mostly bitter, old men who have loud voices which gives them too much influence on US policy for Cuba. Ignoring Cuba is a policy which has not worked and has only hurt the people of Cuba–not the government. Time for a change in Cuban policy. Talk with younger people.

    2) Rubio gave up his chance to develop a comprehensive immigration policy years ago; he needed to be courageous and he choose not to be due to his not wanting to be a Senator at that time Too bad he was all the Republican pary had. Still no good ideas on Border control or the complex issues of a comprehensive immigration policy which suits those who need labor to staff businesses plus other seasonal help and also suits those who seek equity for the people injured by US policies in the past.

    3) Infrastructer money from Federal government will help FL with Everglades restoration.

Comments are closed.


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