January 31, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz says on Fox that Trump believes he was elected as a dictator

Debbiedaviejccmics

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Fox Business Network  Tuesday that President Donald Trump "believes he was elected as a dictator" and that the acting Attorney General Sally Yates is a "profile in courage."

Trump fired Yates after she refused to comply with his immigration ban.

Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat, is no longer the Democratic National Committee chair but she remains South Florida's most outspoken basher-in-chief of Trump and his administration.

Here is a partial transcript:

On acting Attorney General Sally Yates recent actions:

“I think it’s important to note that she did exactly what she said she would do if she was given an order by the President of the United States, which she believed violated the law… Her answer to Jeff Sessions was that she would make sure that the Department of Justice followed the law. And frankly, because President Trump did absolutely nothing to consult the Department of Justice, his Secretary of Homeland Security, any members of Congress, the leadership of Congress, since they basically slapped this policy together in which they were barring immigrants and refugees for a period of time from countries, by the way, none of which had the 9/11 attackers come from.”

On President Trump’s tweet this morning regarding Democrats delaying his cabinet nominations:

“The President’s tweet this morning was very interesting and telling because it shows that he believes he was elected as a dictator. There is an advised and consent role in the United States Senate, and that is what they are doing. He doesn’t just get to have his nominations rubber stamped, and he has nominated some very disturbing individuals.”

On Steve Mnuchin:

“Mnuchin was a Goldman Sachs alumni, an executive at Goldman Sachs. He actually wants to roll back Dodd-Frank. He wants to undo all the consumer protections that have been put in place, that caused the crash in our economy, that allowed all the banks to make money unethically off of the backs of consumers.”

On the 2016 election:

“Look, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by nearly 3 million votes. The people did speak and Donald Trump would do well to listen to them.”

 

 

January 17, 2017

Fort Lauderdale airport security meeting raises questions, but no answers

FLL Airportswat DS

@amysherman1

The mass shooting at the airport in Broward County has raised several questions about security, but government officials who met Tuesday said it will take time to reach conclusions about any long-term changes related to firearms in airports, paying for security or other measures to protect passengers.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat whose district includes the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said one of the key questions is whether the U.S. should continue the policy of allowing guns in checked baggage. Wasserman Schultz met with law enforcement, aviation and government officials at the Broward Sheriff’s Office Tuesday to discuss airport security. The meeting was closed to the public, but officials spoke at a press conference after the meeting.

“There was no professional who was in the room today that said, ‘Oh, we definitely should continue to allow firearms to be checked in baggage traveling on airplanes,’” Wasserman Schultz said. “No one said that. In fact, there was pretty universal consensus that it needs to be addressed.”

When asked if the Transportation Security Administration wants to change the policy that allows guns checked in baggage, TSA Chief of Operations Gary Rasicot said “any changes to that I defer to the congresswoman and her colleagues.”

Providing more airport security comes at a price.

“We are all about saving dollars and we all have budgets, but I think we should be more about saving lives,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said during the press conference. “Whatever we need to make Broward County safe I will be asking for that money soon.”

In an interview with the Herald, Israel said that it cost his agency about $300,000 to respond to the shooting on Jan. 6th. Additionally, it will cost BSO about $100,000 a month in overtime to provide more security, he said.

“I will be going to the county asking to finance that bill,” he said.

Keep reading here.

Congressman Alcee Hastings boycotts Donald Trump's inauguration

Alcee2AP

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings will not attend Donald Trump's inauguration.

Hastings will spend the day in his district instead, spokesman Evan Polisar said. Hastings, who lives in Delray Beach, represents portions of Broward, Palm Beach and Hendry counties. Hastings rallied African-Americans to support Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The other two Democrats who represent Broward -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Ted Deutch of Boca Raton -- will both attend the inauguration. Wasserman Schultz will attend the Women's March on Washington Saturday and is co-hosting a breakfast before the march.

Here is Hastings' statement:

“I have decided to boycott the Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump and remain in my Congressional district in Florida. This decision is not a protest of the results of the Electoral College, but rather, an objection to the demagoguery that continues to define the incoming administration.

“President-elect Trump has done little to prove that he is ready to lead this country. Instead, he continues to champion divisiveness. The office of the President is not endowed with unquestioned loyalty, and it is the obligation of each and every American to speak out against injustices however big or small. I cannot play a part in normalizing the countless offensive comments that he has made throughout the past year.

“It is quite simply wrong for the President-elect to use his position of power to continue to make racist, sexist, and bigoted statements, to demean those who have spent their lifetimes championing civil rights, such as Rep. John Lewis, and to ridicule religious minorities, ethnic minorities, and anyone who looks different. President-elect Trump continues to denigrate the American intelligence community, jeopardizing the security of the American people, and has clear, undeniable conflicts of interest in violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, designed to prevent foreign influence over American elected officials. Make no mistake: these behaviors are not, nor can they ever be, considered normal.

“President-elect Trump has made it clear that when given the choice, he stands with Vladimir Putin. I choose to stand with Rep. John Lewis, and every American that expects our President to serve with compassion and humility. If the Trump administration continues to champion illegal, unconstitutional, or other ideas that put the safety of the American people at risk, it will find no harsher critic than me.”

 

January 16, 2017

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to meet about Fort Lauderdale airport security

FLL Airportswat DS

@amysherman1

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, will meet with law enforcement and aviation officials Tuesday afternoon to discuss airport security following the mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

The meeting at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale is not open to the public or press however officials will speak to the media after the meeting.

Other participants in the security roundtable include Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief, airport director Mark Gale, airport security director Frank Capello and officials from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and federal agencies including the Transportation Security Administration.

Broward County officials have made no long-term decisions about airport security changes. The county pays the Broward Sheriff's Office about $17 million a year to provide security at the airport. The money comes from fees paid by airlines and vendors and pays the cost for about 116 full-time employees. Israel and U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have sought federal money to help cover the cost of responding to the shooting. BSO is in the process of compiling an estimate for what it spent related to the Jan. 6 shooting which shutdown the airport for several hours.

Suspected gunman Esteban Santiago, who faces charges in the fatal shooting of five people and injuring six, will appear in court Tuesday morning.

 

 

January 13, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz confronts FBI's Comey at hacking hearing, per The Hill

DWSMH

The Hill is reporting that U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, confronted FBI director James Comey Friday during a closed-door briefing about Russian hacking.

The hacking at the Democratic National Committee led to Wasserman Schultz stepping down as national party chair in July on the eve of the convention. She went on to beat Tim Canova in her Democratic party and won re-election to her Broward/Miami-Dade seat in November.

From The Hill:

The former head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) confronted FBI Director James Comey on Friday during a confidential briefing on Russian hacking that left many Democrats calling for Comey’s scalp, several lawmakers told The Hill. 
 
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who was forced to resign last summer as head of the DNC amid the hacking scandal, told Comey that he should have come to her directly once the FBI was aware of the breach, just as he had done with other hacking victims.
 
Comey, described by lawmakers in the room as unflinching and defiant, retorted that the FBI had properly notified DNC officials of the hacking.
 
"You let us down!" one Democrat yelled to Comey during the tense exchange, according to one attendee.

Keep reading from The Hill

 

December 12, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district director quits for government consultant job

JodiBockDavidson

@amysherman1

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's longtime district director, Jodie Bock Davidson, has taken a new job as a government consultant for Colodny Fass law firm in Sunrise.

The firm lobbies for the Broward School Board, the Florida League of Cities, Disney and several insurance clients in Tallahassee. Davidson said she will be based out of South Florida although Michael Colodny said she will also consult in Tallahassee and Washington D.C.

Davidson has worked for South Florida Democrats for two decades and joined Wasserman Schultz when she was first elected to Congress in 2004. Previously, Davidson served as deputy district director to U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and was the Florida Political Director for John Kerry for president in 2004. She also worked as a legislative aide to former state representatives Nan Rich and Ken Gottlieb.

Wasserman Schultz said in a statement: “I am deeply grateful to my outgoing District Director, Jodi Bock Davidson. Her service has extended far beyond office walls or district boundaries; she has become a pillar in the South Florida community in her own right and has served as a mentor and advisor to many. She has been an exemplary employee and true friend."

Wasserman Schultz hired Lori Green, a past president of the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, to replace Davidson. Green is a registered nurse and in the past has chaired the JCC Maccabi games and served as co-chair for the Davie/Cooper City American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Wasserman Schultz represents a left-leaning Broward/Miami-Dade district. She resigned as Democratic National Committee chair in July.

 

 

October 26, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's misleading claim about Obamacare insurers

DWS_on_CNN

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., had to play defense over the Affordable Care Act -- sometimes called Obamacare -- during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Oct. 25.

The previous afternoon, the federal government had announced that premiums for plans under the act would rise an average of 22 percent in 2017. While most plan-holders would see their federal subsidies increase to ease the premium hike, the news was an unwelcome development for Democrats, especially in the final days of an election season.

On CNN, Blitzer asked Wasserman Schultz about the hikes, saying, "that’s not the way it was supposed to be, was it?"

She responded, "Well, we're in a transition year, and as I said, you have 91 percent of … previously uninsured Americans in Florida who are eligible for a tax credit, which brings those costs down. So those numbers are really an anomaly. It's four or five states where the number of insurance options have narrowed and so premiums have increased, but we're going to be able to make sure that if we just sit down together and iron out the kinks that have occurred with Obamacare."

The part that caught our eye had to do with the decline in the number of insurers offering policies under the Affordable Care Act, which is considered one of the factors driving the rise in premiums. Is Wasserman Schultz correct that "it's four or five states where the number of insurance options have narrowed"?

Actually, it’s more than that.

Keep reading Louis Jacobson's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida.

October 07, 2016

Democratic lawmakers ask Florida governor to reconsider moving voter-registration deadline

@PatriciaMazzei

Eleven Democratic members of Congress from Florida asked Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Friday to reconsider pushing back the state's voter-registration deadline because of Hurricane Matthew.

In the letter, spearheaded by Weston Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the lawmakers thank Scott for his handling of the powerful storm -- and then urge him to change his mind on the deadline.

"We respectfully request an extension of the voter registration deadline so that we may ensure the franchise, the integrity of our democracy, and the rights we as Americans hold dear, are fully protected," they wrote.

Scott said Thursday he planned to keep the Tuesday deadline, after Hillary Clinton's campaign urged for an extension. The storm canceled plans from Democratic-leaning groups to sign people up at the last minute; there's typically a surge of interest right before the deadline. An attorney for a firm that does work for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party suggested on Twitter late Thursday that the campaign could sue Florida if Scott doesn't budge.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters who asked about the dispute Friday that "generally speaking, the president thinks we should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder."

"Any steps that impede on citizens' ability to exercise that right to vote is a step in the wrong direction," Schultz said.

Two liberal organizations, Project Vote and People For The American Way, also released statements Friday imploring Scott to delay the deadline.

Among the lawmakers who signed the congressional letter were U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, whom Scott is considering challenging in 2018. The others who signed -- several of whom are on the Nov. 8 ballot themselves -- were U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, Kathy Castor of Tampa, Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Alan Grayson of Orlando, Alcee Hastings of Delray Beach and Patrick Murphy of Jupiter.

U.S. Rep. Robert Brady of Pennsylvania, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, also wrote Scott, making the same deadline-extension request. So did the ACLU of Florida.

Read the full letter below:

Continue reading "Democratic lawmakers ask Florida governor to reconsider moving voter-registration deadline" »

September 29, 2016

Zika funds finally approved in late-night vote

NP-Zika-092916
 

@jamesmartinrose

Lawmakers had to stay late to get it done, but House passage of $1.1 billion in Zika prevention and research funds after a more than seven-month delay finally sends the bill to President Barack Obama's desk.

Despite having originally sought $1.9 billion in emergency Zika aid in February, Obama was expected to sign the broader $1.1 trillion stopgap appropriations measure that included the revamped Zika in a bid to break the partisan impasse over the money to combat the virus.

Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, the House voted 242-85 to pass the larger spending measure funding the federal government through Dec. 9. Seventy-five Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against it, none from Florida.

The House vote came hours after the Senate approved the spending packing with Zika funds by a 72-26 vote. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Orlando both voted for the measure.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was still not ready to forgive completely GOP lawmakers who'd targeted Planned Parenthood partner clinics in Puerto Rico and added extraneous provisions to the original Zika bill, moves that contributed to its delay.

"After more than 900 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Florida, House Republicans finally allowed us to pass most of the emergency funding we need to curb this public health crisis," the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman said.

While she called the Wednesday-night vote "a welcome start for Florida's pregnant women, business owners and families affected by the Zika virus," Wasserman Schultz added: "It has come many months later than it should have."

Dr. Andrew W. Gurman, head of the American Medical Association, praised the new Zika aid.

"It has been clear over the past several months that the U.S. has needed additional resources to combat the Zika virus," Gurman said. "With the threat of the virus continuing to loom this funding will help protect more people -- particularly pregnant women and their children -- from the virus' lasting negative health effects."

Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to Zika because it can cause birth defects such as microcephaly, which causes abnormally small brains and heads in newborns.

A large chunk of the $1.1 billion for Zika would go to Florida, New York and Puerto Rico, which combined have far more infections of the virus than any other states or territories.

The National Institutes for Health would receive more than $160 million of the Zika funds to continue its recently launched first clinical trial for a vaccine and to conduct other research.

Florida had 921 Zika cases as of Wednesday, including 92 involving pregnant women. One-hundred fifteen of the state's infections were transmitted directly by mosquitos.

The virus is carried primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

Sen. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican, praised bipartisan efforts of South Florida lawmakers to push the Zika funding.

"This is a tremendous victory for the South Florida delegation who has tirelessly worked together, from both sides of the aisle and both chambers, to raise the importance of this issue and help resolve it," he said.

In a floor speech late Wednesday, Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, also from Miami, acknowledged that "the process of getting this funding across the finish line has been frustrating at times and bogged down in unnecessary political gamesmanship."

Saying that Zika represented "an ongoing threat to the health of residents and to the economic vitality of businesses in South Florida," Curbelo praised final passage.

Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Palm Beach Democrat running for the Senate against incumbent Republican Marco Rubio, said the Zika funds "could not be more urgent as Florida quickly approaches 1,000 cases."

Republican Reps. David Jolly and Vern Buchanan, who had pushed their House Republican colleagues to approve Zika funding for months, also hailed the successful vote.

   

 

 


Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article104729131.html#storylink=cpy

 


Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article104729131.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

    

September 23, 2016

Can Zika aid bill overcome its DC partisan past?

  NP-ZikaDemo-092316-IMG_zika1_free_lnew_cmg_7_1_HQ9DAKVA_L258389043

@jamesmartinrose

WASHINGTON Senate Republican leaders revealed what they called a breakthrough in Zika funding Thursday under renewed pressure from Florida lawmakers and mayors to break a seven-month political impasse.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article103560742.html#storylink=cpy

Democrats, however, said disputes over funding other urgent needs could still block any final deal, with the Zika money now part of a larger appropriations measure meant to fund the federal government through Dec. 9.

Just a few hours after Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine met with South Florida members of Congress and visited the White House to push for the stalled Zika money, the Senate Republicans disclosed the new Zika effort.

For more, read here:

Photo credit: C. M. Guerrero, El Nuevo Herald

 


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article103560742.html#storylink=cpy