Delegation for 12.6.22: Surprise! — suspended — service members — snapper

capitol u.s. green 9.30.19
Karma is a beeyotch to David Rivera.

Surprise indictment

A formal accusation released Monday evening showed a former member of the delegation could pay a high price for cutting deals with Venezuela. Miami-Dade Republican David Rivera, a close associate of Sen. Marco Rubio, was arrested at the Atlanta airport.

The former Congressman, who served in the House from 2011 to 2013, has long been the subject of legal scrutiny. The latest charges relate to a $50-million consulting contract he signed two years ago despite a chill in foreign relations between the U.S. and Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. A 34-page indictment unsealed after the arrest showed Rivera facing accusations of being part of a “conspiracy for the defendants to unlawfully enrich themselves by engaging in political activities in the United States on behalf of the government of Venezuela, and by representing the interests of the government of Venezuela before officials of the of the United States government and in an effort to influence United States foreign policy.”

The feds finally caught up with David Rivera.

But the interesting elements may be what comes next in the federal investigation. The indictment mentions communications between an unnamed female adviser in the White House identified as someone who helped then-President Donald Trump win election in 2016, with many immediately suspecting that to be former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. The indictment also mentions texts with a U.S. Senator from Florida who wanted Maduro to promise free and fair elections, a promise the Venezuelan president would not meet.

Considering the fact Rivera once owned a home with Rubio, who has repeatedly criticized Maduro as a “narco-regime,” that at once raised questions if Florida’s senior Senator was part of the conversation. Rubio was also considered an influential voice on all matters in Latin America during Trump’s term in office.

Names were redacted in the formal accusation, and a discussion of communications does not implicate anyone in a crime. But the revelations show any impending trial could demand time and attention from these individuals in the immediate future.

For thee, not Ye

Testa owner Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter meant the lifting of suspensions on several accounts. But Sen. Rick Scott said he’s thankful one of those restorations did not last long. He penned a letter on Senate stationery thanking Musk for re-suspending rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West).

“You were right to take this decisive action to prevent acts of violence and hate crimes against the Jewish community that could have been motivated by these disgusting comments and posts on your platform,” Scott wrote.

Rick Scott gives props to Elon Musk for Ye’s re-suspension from Twitter.

But Scott stressed he has appreciated Musk’s normally light-handed approach to moderating content, which he said shows a commitment to free speech unseen by Twitter’s previous leadership.

“For too long, Big Tech giants like Twitter have put their thumb on the scale in the political process, resulting in conservatives and conservative viewpoints being canceled and censored,” Scott wrote. “A prime example of this is the now widely verified reporting from the New York Post on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was initially blocked from Twitter in an act of blatant partisan censorship. Looking forward, I expect Twitter will show the willingness to both defend free speech and the right of all Americans to express their political views in a digital town square, while providing no safe harbor for antisemitic and incendiary content.”

There was no mention of former President Donald Trump, a close ally of Scott and the man largely responsible for Ye’s recent revival in headlines about hate. Ye attended a Thanksgiving meal at Mar-a-Lago with noted antisemite Nick Fuentes.


Legislation co-introduced by Rubio to tackle international human trafficking cleared the Senate. The International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S 4171) now heads to the House. If passed and signed, the bill would reauthorize and enhance critical programming, policy and funding essential to U.S. efforts to fight the practice around the world.

“The United States must continue to lead the fight against the horrors of human trafficking,” Rubio said. “This bill would provide the resources necessary to combat human trafficking and care for the victims of this evil. I urge my colleagues in the House to pass this bipartisan bill quickly.”

By co-sponsoring new legislation, Marco Rubio tackles human trafficking.

Rubio was among introducing co-sponsors, along with Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez and Idaho Republican Jim Risch.

The legislation includes new requirements for the Agency for International Development to integrate prevention efforts into the agency’s global programming, and also amends federal law to consider other nations’ commitment to fighting human trafficking in determining foreign aid.

Thanks for your service

The Military Women’s Memorial has served the nation for a quarter century. Gainesville Republican Kat Cammack wants that recognized by Congress. She co-led a bipartisan resolution with Michigan Democrat Brenda Lawrence honoring the Women in Military Service for America memorial.

“As one of the vice chairs of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, I’ve been proud to support and pay tribute to our female service members at the memorial in Arlington National Cemetery each year around Memorial Day,” Cammack said. “To our women in uniform, a grateful nation thanks you for your service and stands with you every step of the way.”

Kat Cammack seeks recognition for a quarter century of the Military Women’s Memorial.

The memorial tells the story of the more than 3 million women who served the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War. A weeklong celebration at the locale around Memorial Day has run for 20 years, the longest-running consecutive annual event for the Women’s Caucus in Congress, which Lawrence has co-chaired.

“Our nation’s women service members and veterans deserve to be seen, heard and recognized,” Lawrence said. “The Memorial has exhibited an unwavering dedication to solidifying the place of women service members in history. It has served as a touchstone destination for hundreds of annual Honor Flights, military ceremonies, and retirements and a gathering point for military and service organizations from across the country. I strongly urge my colleagues to rise in support of this resolution.”

Open season

Jacksonville Republican John Rutherford and Winter Park Democrat Stephanie Murphy are seeing if they can still get a bite at red snapper legislation this Congress. The Florida members introduced the Red Snapper Act (HR 9373), which would bar the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from closing areas of the South Atlantic to fishing until after the South Atlantic Great Red Snapper Count study already underway is complete.

“For too long, Florida’s anglers have been forced to put up with bad science and short red snapper seasons. The sweeping closures proposed by NOAA would have devastated our economy right here in Northeast Florida,” Rutherford said. “Our bipartisan Red Snapper Act will stop NOAA from closing fisheries and force them to use better data. Florida anglers deserve dependable access to red snapper fishing now and for years to come.”

Will red snapper get its due in Congress?

The lawmakers cast the bill after red snapper season this year was cut down to two days. That splashes a lot of cold water on a recreational fishing industry that produced $9.2 billion into the Florida economy each year. Congress appropriated $5.1 million for its student on snapper populations following a decade of regional efforts to repopulate the fish population. Still, NOAA has proposed closing areas to bottom fishing in an effort to save more fish from nets. That’s an overreach that threatens more than 88,500 jobs in Florida, the lawmakers said.

“Fishing is not only a key part of the Florida way of life, but it is also essential for the survival of our coastal economies and the small businesses that depend on robust fishing seasons,” Murphy said. “I was proud to spearhead the Great Red Snapper Count, along with Congressman Rutherford, to get a more accurate picture of the number of fish in the South Atlantic, but proposed closures from NOAA could threaten access to bottom fishing before the study is complete. With this new legislation, we are pushing back to ensure our fisheries are not shut down and that NOAA uses the best data available moving forward.”

Mixed on Maduro

A reboot of political engagement with Venezuela has drawn distinctly polarizing views within the delegation, but Kissimmee Democrat Darren Soto this week endorsed the actions from President Joe Biden’s administration.

The Maduro government is meeting with the opposition Unitary Platform coalition in Mexico City to discuss an agreement that includes the U.S. lifting sanctions and engaging the country after a 14-year halt, as reported by Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas.

Soto discussed the situation in Latin America at an event this weekend in his immigrant-heavy district.

Darren Soto gives full-throated support to Joe Biden on Venezuela.

“Discussed TPS, new visas and peace talks at Casa De Venezuela,” he tweeted. “Thanks, President Biden, for working toward a potential $3 billion for humanitarian aid, energy deal, and free and fair elections. While I remain skeptical of Maduro, the opposition’s support of this framework merits further efforts.”

But Scott remains as skeptical as ever, especially as Maduro pushes for a complete re-opening of engagement with the international community and lifting of all sanctions.

‘The more Joe Biden cuddles up to Venezuela, the more Maduro and his thugs are empowered to mistreat their people and undermine freedom around the world,” Scott tweeted.

Protecting Haitians

Continued struggles for Haitians amid tremendous unrest led the House Haiti Caucus, which Orlando Democrat Val Demings co-chairs, to renew a push for temporary protected status for refugees.

“America must continue to be a beacon of hope for the world. Haiti is wracked with violence, and we must step up to ensure that Haitian families in the U.S. have the stability and legal protections they need to build a better future,” Demings said.

Val Demings leads a renewed push for Haitian TPS.

Right now, existing TPS protections do not apply to any Haitians who arrived in the U.S. after July 29, 2021.

“Haiti’s instability and violence have been persistent and ongoing. It is simply wrong to cut off Haitian TPS protections from the middle of last year,” Demings said. “We must do more to help the Haitian people restabilize and restore their country and their democracy, and we must protect as many people as we can in the meantime.”

The letter, led by Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley, documents gangs operating on the island nation with impunity and even government complicity. The situation has been worsened by cholera outbreaks responsible for at least 100 deaths. The letter was also co-signed by Florida Democrats Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Soto, in addition to Demings and other caucus co-chairs.

“Given the deteriorating situation in Haiti, this Administration should prioritize humanitarian relief, especially given the positive impact that extending and redesignating Haiti for TPS will have for our nation,” the letter reads. “Approximately 80% of Haitians currently in the U.S. are in the labor force and contribute over $2.6 billion to our economy each year.”

Florida, geographically close to the island, has seen a substantial influx of migrants; more than 300 made landfall in the Keys weeks ago in a single group that arrived after sailing from Haiti.

Smoker screens

Most Floridians eligible for lung cancer screenings don’t go through them. Tampa Democrat Castor wants that to change, and to make sure it’s as easy as possible to check for health problems. She introduced the Increasing Access to Lung Cancer Screening Act (HR 9336) with New York Democrat Brian Higgins.

“Lung cancer kills too many Americans each year due in part to late-stage diagnoses. In Florida, only 3% of those eligible for lung cancer screenings were screened in 2021. It’s time to boost that statistic,” she said. “Our new bill will help increase access to screenings and preventive services to save lives across America.”

She shouted out a national leader in screenings that happens to operate in her district.

Kathy Castor advocates wider access to lung cancer screenings.

“Fortunately, Moffitt Cancer Center, one of the nation’s premier cancer research institutes, is at the forefront of cancer prevention and working to remove barriers to ensure that all Americans have access to lifesaving screenings and health care,” she noted. “Together, we are committed to saving tens of thousands of lives lost to lung cancer each year through outreach and early detection like lung screenings.”

Moffitt officials say screenings could save as many lives, and note lung cancer accounts for 25% of all cancer deaths each year.

“We estimate as many as 60,000 lives could be saved each year if the 14.5 million Americans who are eligible received annual lung cancer screening,” said Dr. Jhanelle E. Gray, department chair and program leader of Thoracic Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center. “This legislation will improve access to early detection, which is key to reducing lung cancer deaths. Outcomes for patients are much better when we can catch lung cancer at early stages when curative treatment options are available.”

Leadership lag

Leadership battles continue in Washington, but some of the key battles will have to wait. GOP Steering Committee contests in the House are unfolding this week, but caucus leaders have decided to focus first on largely noncompetitive races. Open Chairs will likely wait until next week.

Vern Buchanan is close to being named Ways and Means Chair, but it’s not in the bag, yet.

That includes the House Ways and Means race, where Longboat Key Republican Vern Buchanan is in the mix to lead the most powerful committee in the House. He holds seniority but is in a tight contest. Notably, Washington media says the race is largely now down to Buchanan or Missouri Republican Jason Smith, and Nebraska Republican Adrian Smith is no longer in serious contention.

Return to sender

Dear Amazon, cancel this.

Weston Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz is leading the charge to convince Amazon to remove a book and film from its platform that the national Anti-Defamation League agrees is antisemitic.

The 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” was vaulted out of obscurity when Kyrie Irving of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets tweeted out Amazon’s link to the work by Ronald Dalton Jr. Irving faced NBA discipline for tweeting a link to the film, which saw its sales jolted — and propelled it onto numerous Amazon bestseller lists — after Irving’s mention.

Unwanted: Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to cancel this antisemitic item from Amazon after a prominent NBA player gave it a boost.

Wasserman Schultz and 32 other members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy saying the material violates its company prohibition against “hateful content” and should be removed.

“Amazon has a unique and critical role to play in ensuring its customers do not consume hate-filled propaganda and misinformation,” the letter reads. “And as responsible corporate citizens, Amazon should certainly never profit from hate.”

Dalton advances the falsehood the Holocaust did not happen, and that White Jewish people are not “real Jews.” Rather, he said they are a different group, one responsible for stealing the religious heritage of Black people.

These are ideas that endanger people, the letter reads.

“Your company’s decision to profit from the promotion of this dangerous hate speech has substantial world costs and consequences for the Jewish community and the greater society. According to the FBI’s 2020 hate crimes report, Jews were the target of 55% of all religiously-motivated hate crimes — an alarming statistic for a group that makes up less than 2% of the U.S. population.

Jassy told The New York Times the company has no plans to add a disclaimer to these products and seemed to imply it occupies a gray area that is not as blatantly objectionable as pedophilia, for example.

“As a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints,” Jassy said.

Jassy said making decisions about what content to take down is “more straightforward” in some cases, such as when it “actively incites or promotes violence or teaches people to do things like pedophilia.”

Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach also signed the letter.

No respect

Hialeah Republican Mario Díaz-Balart through the years has voted for and against various pieces of gay rights legislation. But he cast a nay vote on the version of the Respect for Marriage Act passed by Congress the week. The sometimes-ally said this legislation simply did not have the protections for religious freedom he hoped would make the final cut, he said.

“The concept of all states respecting other states’ decisions on marriage laws is deeply rooted in American jurisprudence and tradition,” he said. “Similarly, our Founders understood that religious liberties are sacred and vulnerable and must always be vigorously protected. My record shows that I am a long-standing advocate against discrimination of all types. I, however, cannot support any effort that undermines religious liberties by failing to provide legitimate safeguards for Faith-Based organizations that object based on their deeply held religious beliefs.”

Mario Diaz-Balart is a sometimes-ally of gay rights legislation.

He pointed specifically at amendments offered by Senate Republicans that were rejected, including one proposed by Rubio that would strike private right to action against faith-based organizations in states that don’t directly endorse same-sex unions.

“It is unfortunate that the Senate missed an opportunity to protect marriage equality while also guaranteeing religious freedom,” Díaz-Balart said. “After multiple efforts by my colleagues to offer amendments, Senate Democrats rejected each amendment and doubled down on a bill that fails to uphold the religious liberties which are sacred to our nation.”

Smothering smuggling

Private sector leaders came together to discuss proactive steps they can make against human trafficking. At the event, federal officials and logistical experts discussed connections between the smuggling of people and counterfeit goods.

The United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade met at the Top of the Hill Banquet & Conference Center in Washington for the national summit. The goal of the gathering was to develop an effective state-by-state counteraction against the crime rings responsible for trafficking of all sorts.

There’s a direct connection between smuggling goods, drugs and people.

It’s a matter of particular significance in Florida, which has 14 major water ports and the second longest shoreline in the U.S. behind only Alaska. In 2019, Florida saw more cocaine trafficked by weight than any other state, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It’s also a hotbed of human smuggling activity. A Polaris study ranked Florida third in the nation in the number of sex trafficking cases, with 5,384 specific cases on record since 2007.

There’s money flowing illegally into the state as well. Feds seized more than $88 million in smuggled currency from 2015 to 2016, according to the DEA.

Cancer screen

More than 100 members of the House, including 10 representing Florida, want a multi-cancer screening issue brought to the floor before the close of the 117th Congress. A bipartisan letter to House leadership calls for a vote on the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (HR 1946), which would create a pathway for Medicare to cover emerging blood-based cancer screenings, technology with the potential to detect cancer earlier than ever.

The delegation is pushing for more availability of cancer screenings.

Florida co-signatories on the letter include Republicans Gus Bilirakis, Buchanan, Neal Dunn, Bill Posey, Rutherford and María Elvira Salazar and Democrats Cherfilus-McCormick, Murphy, Soto and Wasserman Schultz.

“No family in America has been spared the scourge of cancer,” reads the letter, led by Alabama Democrat Terri Sewell. “Indeed, for our nation’s seniors, the burden of cancer is highest, with more than 70% of all cancer deaths happening in the Medicare population. We must bring urgency and action to our fight against this terrible disease because the consequences of waiting are too great. We respectfully urge you to bring this bill to the floor this year and pave the way for a future where we win our war on cancer.”

On this day

Dec. 6, 1947 — “Harry Truman dedicates Everglades National Park” via Past Daily — in the midst of postwar reconstruction and upheaval, President Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park, an immense area of land at the southern tip of Florida and turned over to the National Park Service by Gov. Millard Caldwell of Florida. Everglades National Park was the first created to protect a fragile ecosystem. The Everglades are a network of wetlands and forests fed by a river flowing 0.25 miles per day out of Lake Okeechobee, southwest into Florida Bay.

Dec. 6, 1790 — “Congress moves to Philadelphia” via the U.S. Senate — The Senate convened for the first time in Philadelphia. The Residence Act of 1790 settled Congress in that city until 1800, when the entire government would move to the District of Columbia. Congress previously met in New York. As Pennsylvania’s capital and the nation’s largest city, Philadelphia in 1790 was rapidly developing as a prosperous commercial center, with well-paved and regularly laid-out streets. As one newly arrived member saw, Philadelphians “believe themselves to be the first people in America as well in manners as in arts, and like Englishmen, they are at no pains to disguise this opinion.”


Delegation is published by Peter Schorsch and compiled by Jacob Ogles and edited and assembled by Phil Ammann and Ryan Nicol, with contributions by Anne Geggis.

Staff Reports

One comment

  • Cathy

    December 8, 2022 at 1:40 am

    Re “war on cancer”

    Most people would be much smarter and better informed if they had awareness of what the “war on cancer” movement (and the “Breast Cancer Awareness” movement) does NOT raise awareness about.

    The official mainstream “war on cancer” has been an unofficial “war” on the unsuspecting public: to keep them misinformed and misguided about the real truth of this “war.” The latest program/”promise” is an extension or reincarnation of the enduring deep racket.

    This PHONY official “war” was never meant to be won but to be CONTINUED (preferably endlessly, at least for decades) so that the criminal BIG allopathic medical business (the medical mafia) built around them make insane profits and defraud the general naive/stupid public, which they’ve been doing successfully … so “THEY ARE winning THEIR war against the general forever-naive/forever-stupid public”..

    The orthodox cancer establishment has been saying a cure for cancer “is just around the corner” and “we’re winning the war on cancer” for decades. It’s all hype and lies (read Dr. Guy Faguet’s ‘War on cancer,” Dr. Sam Epstein’s work, or Clifton Leaf’s book, or Dr. Siefried’s work on this bogus ‘war’, etc). The criminal medical establishment deliberate and falsely self-servingly claims and distorts a ‘win’ in the bogus ‘war on cancer’ when the only truly notably win is a reduction in lung cancer due to a huge reduction in smoking, which has NOTHING to do with their cancer treatments. Lying is their mode of operation.

    Since the war on cancer began orthodox medicine hasn’t progressed in their basic highly profitable therapies: it still uses primarily and almost exclusively highly toxic, deadly things like radiation, chemo, surgery, and drugs that have killed millions of people instead of the disease.

    As long as the official “war on cancer” is a HUGE BUSINESS based on expensive TREATMENTS (INTERVENTIONS) of a disease instead of its PREVENTION, logically, they will never find a cure for cancer. The moonshot-war on cancer inventions, too, includes industry-profitable gene therapies of cancer treatment that are right in line with the erroneous working model of mechanistic reductionism of allopathic medicine.

    The lucrative game of the medical business is to endlessly “look for” a cure but not “find” a cure. Practically all resources in the phony ‘war on cancer’ are poured into TREATMENT of cancer but almost none in the PREVENTION of the disease. It’s IRREFUTABLE PROOF POSITIVE that BIG MONEY and a TOTAL LACK OF ETHICS rule the official medical establishment.

    It’s just like with any bogus official “war” (‘war on drugs’, ‘war on terrorism’, ‘war on covid’ etc) — it’s not about winning these wars but to primarily prolong them because behind any of these fraudulent “war” rackets of the criminal establishment is a Big Business, such as the massive cancer industry. The very profitable TREATMENT focus of conventional medicine, instead of a PREVENTION focus which these official medical quacks (or rather crooks) can hardly make any money off, is a major reason why today 1 of 2 men and 1 in 3 women can expect a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetimes yet that rate was multiple times lower 5 decades ago when the phony ‘war on cancer’ began (1 in about 16). And 5 decades ago when this bogus war began cancer was the second leading cause of death and 50 years later it is STILL the second leading cause of death in the country this “war” was declared in. These facts alone prove we are NOT winning the war on cancer.

    At the same time, this same orthodox cancer cartel has been suppressing and squashing a number of very effective and beneficial alternative cancer approaches. You probably guessed why: effective, safe, inexpensive cancer therapies are cutting into the astronomical profits of the medical mafia’s lucrative treatments. That longstanding decadent activity is part of the fraud of the war on cancer.

    If the public were to scrutinize what the medical industry and its government pawns are telling them about the ‘war on cancer’ instead of blindly believing what they’re saying, they’d find that the cancer industry and the cancer charities have been dismissing, ignoring, and obfuscating the true causes of cancer while mostly putting the blame for cancer on the individual, denying or dismissing the serious harms from orthodox cancer treatments and chemical toxicants, and resorting to deceptive cancer statistics to “educate” (think: mislead) the public that their way of treatment is actually successful — read this well referenced scholarly article’s (“A Mammogram Letter The British Medical Journal Censored”) afterword on the war on cancer at (scroll down to the afterword that addresses the fraudulent ‘war on cancer’).

    What the medical establishment “informs” the public about is about as truthful as what the political establishment keeps telling them. Not to forget, the corporate media (the mainstream fake news media) is a willing tool to spread these distortions, lies, and the scam of the war on cancer.

    Does anyone really think it’s a coincidence that double Nobel laureate Linus Pauling called the ‘war on cancer’ a fraud? If you look closer you’ll come to the same conclusion. But…politics and self-serving interests of the conventional medical cartel, and their allied corporate media, keep the real truth far away from the public at large. Or people’s own denial or indifference of the real truth.

Comments are closed.


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