Delegation for 5.2.23: Safe spaces — drafty — museum hours — election talk — painless

Imprint of the U.S. Capitol building on a dollar bill banknote
Is Florida's school safety programs scalable for the entire nation? Rick Scott says yes.

Secure schools

As Florida Governor, Rick Scott signed a safety bill that increased security at Florida schools. Now as a Senator, he wants a similar approach adopted nationwide.

The Naples Republican introduced the School Guardian Act in the Senate. If passed, the legislation would budget federal grants to help hire at least one law enforcement officer to provide security at every grade school in America. He wants the money available to public, private and religious schools.

Rick Scott makes to make Florida school safety programs scalable to the whole nation.

“Every parent expects their child to come home alive, safe and healthy,” he said.

He held a news conference on his bill, surrounded by Florida figures including Ryan Petty, whose daughter died in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“I’m grateful for the friendship I have with Sen. Scott,” Petty said. “The work that he did while he was Governor here in the state of Florida, we have fundamentally changed our posture around protecting our kids in school.”

Scott’s legislation also boasts the support of Stand With Parkland, an advocacy group founded by families of those killed at that school shooting.

“On behalf of Stand with Parkland, we are proud to endorse Sen. Rick Scott’s School Guardian Act to help put trained law enforcement officers in every school,” said Tony Montalto, president of Stand With Parkland and another father who lost a child in the tragedy.

“After the tragic shooting at Parkland, we worked closely with then-Gov. Scott to make effective changes like this to keep Florida’s schools safe, and we’ve continued this fight to bring change across the nation. No family should have to go through the indescribable heartbreak of having their child or spouse murdered at school. It is essential that parents feel comfortable sending kids to school every day. Knowing their children are protected from danger with a specially selected and highly trained officer standing guard as this bill provides will help do that for all America’s families.”

Bringing back the draft

Sure, Sen. Marco Rubio has opinions on critical issues like the potential for military conflict with China and the evolving relationship between Republican thought leaders and corporate America.

But this weekend, the Miami Republican focused his attention on an issue of pressing importance to Americans across all political and demographic lines: the NFL draft.

This weekend, the NFL Draft is the only thing that matters.

Before the event even started, Rubio offered an assessment to Fox & Friends on the professional future of fellow Florida alum Anthony Richardson. “Truly an athletic freak in terms of the things he can do,” he said. “He’s very talented as an athlete. I think he can do a lot of the things that the modern game looks for in the quarterback position.” The Indianapolis Colts drafted Richardson fourth overall.

Then he live-tweeted the draft as teams made decisions known. And he did it in a style fairly familiar to those watching his political activity.

He had thoughts on the media, like questioning ESPN classifying Denver Broncos draft pick Riley Moss as a safety. He offered unsolicited advice to teams, suggesting any team with first-round picks after No. 22 just trade for more good picks in later rounds. And he showed partisanship, boasting that with the Miami Dolphins’ pick of Devon Achane, Rubio’s hometown team had enough fast running backs to field an Olympic relay team.

Like any good politician, he also cheered the local heroes — “South Florida keeps growing that NFL talent,” he posted after the Baltimore Ravens drafted Zay Flowers.

Museum hours

The National Naval Aviation Museum hasn’t been open to the public since a 2019 terrorist attack on Naval Air Station Pensacola.

But Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro in a House hearing said that won’t be the case much longer.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, pressed Del Toro for a timeline during the latter’s testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.

Gaetz said the museum served not only to boost morale but also as a recruiting tool for the U.S. military.

Think of it as an interactive recruitment tool.

“If we can have leadership and focus from your office and others, and we could get hundreds of thousands of people back onto the base and museum, it’s not going to solve all of our recruiting challenges,” Gaetz said, “but it’s one more spark that we can have out there getting folks excited in a positive productive way Del Toro agreed, and said reopening the museum has a priority for his agency.

“I absolutely see it as a recruiting tool. I saw it from the first day that I stepped in it,” he added. “We have actually been very energized, and we’ve come up with some near-term solutions to increase the throughput that already paid off dividends, but we’re also looking at the long-term solutions that are a little bit more costly to be able to provide a direct access to the outside world without having to have folks come in through the base itself.”

The FBI and Department of Justice determined a 2019 shooting that left three U.S. sailors dead at the base was an act of terrorism. A member of the Royal Saudi Air Force visited the base for training and killed the U.S. service members before being killed by law enforcement.

Election discussion

Two first-term members of the delegation will join forces to gather public input at an event in Jacksonville on elections and disaster recovery.

Republican Reps. Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach and Laurel Lee of Thonotosassa will host a town hall Friday at Jacksonville City Hall. Lee chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections.

Aaron Bean talks elections — and disasters.

Both Republicans won election to their first terms in November, winning open seats in districts recently redrawn after the once-a-decade redistricting process.

Lee will also hold a similar event the day before, Thursday, at MacDill Air Force Base with Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Palm Harbor Republican.

Easing the pain

Children shouldn’t feel the pain from supply chain disruptions, according to Rep. Cory Mills.

Amid reports of shortages of children’s Tylenol and Motrin, the Winter Park Republican filed bipartisan legislation aimed at minimizing impacts.

Supply chains should not derail children’s health, Cory Mills says.

“Many Americans don’t think about critical medicines until they need them and can’t access them,” Mills said. “Parents shouldn’t be put in a bind because, through no fault of their own, the drugs they need while caring for their children aren’t available.”

He filed the Drug Shortage Prevention Act with Rep. Sara Jacobs, a California Democrat.

The bill would require manufacturers to notify the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within 48 hours of sustained increase in demand for a drug, active pharmaceutical ingredient, or excipient for six consecutive weeks, including for over-the-counter medications and would require a 30-day subsequent notification and update. The FDA would be required to disseminate information early to medical professionals, and to consult with stakeholders on any guidance to drugmakers from that point on.

“Especially when there are ways for the government to be a resource to manufacturers to avoid shortages of drugs like Infants’ Tylenol, Congress must provide manufacturers with mechanisms to proactively resolve these supply chain issues,” Mills said.

Jacobs said the current shortage presents a problem for all Americans and demands Congress work together on a solution.

“When you have a sick child, all parents want to do is help their child feel better,” she said. “But for months, drug shortages of children’s Tylenol and Motrin have prevented millions of parents from getting the medication they need to relieve children’s flu, RSV and COVID symptoms.”

Solar levy

Whether they pass through another country’s ports, Chinese solar panels could soon be subject to a hefty U.S. tariff. The House passed a resolution (HJR 39) by Rep. Bill Posey that would end a recent Commerce Department rule allowing manufacturers to evade tariffs by delivering panels through third parties in other countries.

“The Communist Party of China, which is attempting to subvert the world trade system to benefit Chinese businesses and shift the balance of power to their advantage, must not be allowed to break our trade laws, dump an inferior product into the United States and undercut American manufacturing,” Posey said.

Chinese solar panels are not quite welcome in the U.S.

The Rockledge Republican billed his legislation as both a tough-on-China policy and an encouragement to use products made in America.

“Unfortunately, some believe we must tolerate China’s bad actions and remain dependent on adversarial nations to build up domestic renewable energy. That’s a false choice,” he said. “The United States can and should focus its resources into developing our own capability to manufacture quality solar products and boosting American competitiveness around the world, rather than supporting China’s quest to control energy supplies.”

Billed as bipartisan legislation, the bill saw 12 “yea” votes from Democrats in the House. But all Florida Democrats voted against it.

“This bill would drive up energy costs, increase pollution and reliance on fossil fuels, and cost tens of thousands good-paying American jobs,” said Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat. “We should be working together in a bipartisan way to promote energy independence and security while lowering energy costs for families across the country.”

Scott sponsored a Senate companion awaiting consideration.

“It’s disgusting that (President Joe) Biden’s actions would shield Chinese solar companies, many of which are using child and slave labor, and allow them to circumvent U.S. trade laws,” Scott said. “Not to mention — these are the same companies that have been linked to Chinese spy balloons that surveil us. We need to be taking every step possible to hold Communist China and these companies accountable for breaking U.S. law, starting with our CRA. I’m glad the House, led by Rep. Posey, passed this measure. Now with support from the Uyghur Human Rights Project and bipartisan support in the Senate, I’m hopeful it will pass overwhelmingly.”

Pro bono care

As inflation strikes the medical field but reimbursement rates go unchanged, Rep. Dan Webster wants to cut a break to health care professionals offering discount services.

He introduced the Helping Everyone Access Long Term Healthcare (HEALTH) Act (HR 2986), legislation that would provide a tax deduction to providing service pro bono to individuals and families who rely on Medicaid or CHIP.

Dan Webster wants to cut a break to health care professionals who give discounts.

“This bill helps more Americans have access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a price they can afford,” the Clermont Republican said. “The HEALTH Act offers a new solution to provide health care services to low-income families and has the potential to help Medicaid and CHIP programs save on costs. This legislation allows doctors and other health care professionals to provide pro-bono health care services to low-income individuals, including children in the CHIP programs, in exchange for a simple tax deduction.”

The legislation attracted support from patient advocates.

“Nobody wants to admit it, but Medicaid is not a simple and patient-friendly system. It is confusing and complex, oftentimes not working in the patient’s favor,” said Bob Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action.

“The current system is administratively burdensome and costly for physicians to participate in. We commend Rep. Webster for not only acknowledging that doctors and patients need better options but also for providing a common-sense solution.”

Power up

Does nuclear energy have the power to unite Washington?

Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican, joined forces with Rep. James Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader, on legislation to set up a strategy on cooperation and exports of atomic energy.

The International Nuclear Energy Act would develop a framework to coordinate civil exports, establish financing, promote regulatory harmonization, standardize licensing arrangements and enhance safeguards for nuclear power.

Byron Donalds says atomic energy is ‘da bomb.’

“As a Vice-Chair of the Advanced Nuclear Caucus and as a strong nuclear energy proponent, I am proud to champion the International Nuclear Energy Act alongside Assistant House Democratic Leader Clyburn as the ninth bill of my 2023-24 Nuclear Energy Package,” Donalds said.

“The simple reality is that nuclear energy is the cleanest and greenest option in America’s energy arsenal, and there is growing bipartisan support for its utilization. Now more than ever, it is time for our country to embrace a whole-of-government strategy for nuclear cooperation and nuclear exports.”

Clyburn also characterized the policy as a means of maintaining the nation’s leadership position in the industrialized world.

“If we are going to meet our global climate goals and move closer toward a clean energy future, not only should we invest in nuclear here at home, but we must also create markets abroad for this carbon-free energy source,” the South Carolina Democrat said. “Maintaining U.S. global leadership in nuclear technology will bolster our ability to respond to the climate crisis and serve as a check on the influence of China and Russia.”

The bill boasts the support of the United States Nuclear Industry Council and other industry leaders.

“By coordinating on nuclear energy exports, America’s private and public sectors can work together to safeguard our clean energy security,” said Craig Piercy, CEO and executive director of the American Nuclear Society.

After the flood

South Florida lawmakers praised the Biden administration for directing emergency support to the region following flooding last month.

“I am immensely grateful for President Biden’s swift approval to provide federal assistance to our Broward County community following the recent record-breaking storm that left thousands of families and businesses with major damages and cleanup costs,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Democratic Co-Chair of Florida’s congressional delegation represents some of the more heavily flooded parts of Broward County.

“So many people and businesses are still struggling with the impacts of this historic storm event, and this federal declaration to provide financial and loan assistance is the commitment they need right now,” she said.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is working to keep Broward dry.

“This timely response by the President will help unleash temporary housing, home repairs and property loans for our families, and it extends a helping hand to businesses eager to rebuild from the effects of this natural disaster. Only if we unite with a true federal, state, and local effort, can we get our Broward community fully back up on its feet. And when we asked for that assistance, I’m proud and thankful that President Biden wasted no time in making that pledge to us.”

Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Miramar Democrat, also said her inland district welcomed the assistance.

“While we certainly are not out of the woods yet, this assistance is vital to helping Broward County families and businesses get back up on their feet,” she said.

Middle East journey

Rep. Jared Moskowitz is currently traveling in Israel as part of a bipartisan delegation led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Members have already met with new Israel President Isaac Herzog and with Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana and have visited the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

“Given current events in the region, I am honored to have had this important opportunity to travel to Israel and Jordan with Speaker McCarthy,” Moskowitz said. “We met with senior Israeli leaders on a wide range of issues concerning political developments in Israel, regional security in the Middle East, the peace process and the U.S.-Israeli bilateral relationship.”

Jared Moskowitz takes a bipartisan trip to the Holy Land.

The Parkland Democrat stressed the importance of the alliance between the two nations.

“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, I want to reaffirm the U.S. enduring friendship and commitment to Israel’s security. Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach!”

The delegation also traveled to Jordan and met with King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdulla. Lawmakers also convened with Henry Wooster, the U.S. ambassador to Jordan.

Moskowitz notably visited Israel four years ago, then as the most prominent Democrat in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration during the Governor’s first trip overseas.

On this day

May 2, 2011 — “Osama bin Laden, the face of terror, killed in Pakistan” via CNN — Bin Laden and his terrorist network were behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and are linked to others around the world. The enormity of the destruction in the 9/11 attacks — the World Trade Center’s towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon heavily damaged by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania and more than 3,000 people killed — gave bin Laden a global presence. His death early Monday in Pakistan ended a nearly 10-year-long search for one of the world’s most-wanted men.

May 2, 1865 — “Andrew Johnson issues proclamation ordering reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis” via Stories of Appalachia — Johnson issued Presidential Proclamation 131, providing for a bounty for the capture of several former Confederate officials suspected of being involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The most prominent of those officials was Davis, then making his way south from Richmond just ahead of the Union army. The others were former American consul to London George N. Sanders, Alabama Sen. Clement Clay, journalist Nathaniel Beverley Tucker and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson. The amounts offered included $100,000 for Davis’ capture.


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

Staff Reports


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