Florida Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Cuban Americans from Miami, bucked their party tonight and opposed a bill to end the deferred action program that grants legal status to some young immigrants. In all, 11 Republicans voted no.
The other Florida Republicans voted to end the Obama policy, while Democrats voted against the measure, which comes amid the humanitarian crisis at the southern border....
In the 2010 campaign that shot him to national prominence, Marco Rubio deftly straddled tea party anger and his deep roots in the Republican establishment. Now, considering a run for president, the Florida senator is attempting a far bigger and riskier balancing act.
As Rubio wades into an array of issues, he's increasingly playing both sides. But the mixed signals raise a question of who Marco Rubio really wants to be and what he truly believes in: Is he the ideological warrior who stood with Sen. Ted Cruz last year and helped force the government shutdown? Or the happy conservative developing ways for government to help the poor and middle class? Does he have a core — and, if so, what is it?...
TALLAHASSEE — As Florida's next election draws closer, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has a stern warning for Gov. Rick Scott: We're watching you.
Holder sent a scathing letter to the Republican governor that cited "troubling" voting changes and said the Justice Department is "carefully monitoring" Florida's upcoming elections.
"We will not hesitate to use all tools and legal authorities at our disposal to fight against racial discrimination, to stand against disenfranchisement and to safeguard the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot," Holder wrote....
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a scathing letter to Gov. Rick Scott over voting changes in Florida and issued a warning that the Justice Department is “carefully monitoring” the state.
“Whenever warranted by the facts and the law, we will not hesitate to use all tools and legal authorities at our disposal to fight against racial discrimination, to stand against disenfranchisement and to safeguard the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot,” Holder wrote....
Sen. Marco Rubio is headed out of D.C. for the August recess -- but he's making a pit stop in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register reports that Rubio will be the special guest at a private fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, whom Rubio has endorsed....
The House voted along party lines this evening to approve a lawsuit against President Obama, alleging he overstepped the powers of his office. At issue is Obama's decision to delay the employer mandate under Obamacare. Republicans oppose that mandate and the health care law in general but said Obama's action defied a law and were ground for a suit. Both sides have used the issue to rally their base....
07/30/14 State Roundup
WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio came out Wednesday in support of the use of medical marijuana, but only the noneuphoric type approved by the Florida Legislature.
"If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don't have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to," the Florida Republican said....
Sen. Marco Rubio this afternoon said he supports the use of medical marijuana but only the noneuphoric type approved by the Florida Legislature.
"If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don't have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to," he said....
Democrats are feasting on dollars raised amid played up concerns over a lawsuit House Republicans are pushing against President Obama and talk of impeachment - talk Republicans accuse Democrats of stoking despite only scattered calls for impeachment.
South Florida Rep. Lois Frankel is happily joining the frenzy, which the DCCC claims raked in $1 million alone on Monday. The already active fundraiser Frankel has been sending out alarming sounding emails about the lawsuit, which accuses Obama of exceeding authority on health care....
Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Fusion airing tonight, repeats her call to end the Cuban embargo.
"I think it has propped up the Castro's because they can blame everything on the embargo," she told host Jorge Ramos. "You don't have freedom of speech, you don't have freedom of expression, you know, you're still having political prisoners, everything is blamed on the embargo.
"I would like to see us move toward normalizing relations eventually and therefore more Americans back and forth. That's something president Obama did and I supported the first term. We do have our own political prisoner in Cuba, Alan Gross, a man who's been, you know, thrown into prison and not being given a chance to come home to his family so I'd like to see that resolved. And I would like to see us move toward ending the embargo and trying to, by our example, by commerce, by all kinds of visits, you know, help the Cuban people have a different future"...
Florida Rep. Jeff Miller today announced a $17 billion legislative package aimed at fixing problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals. Now he has to sell it to fellow House members, while Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., has that job in his chamber.
From the Associated Press:
The agreement includes $10 billion in emergency spending to make it easier for veterans who can’t get prompt appointments with Veterans Affairs doctors to obtain outside care; $5 billion to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff; and about $1.5 billion to lease 27 new clinics across the country, the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees said. The bill also would expand a scholarship program for veterans to include surviving spouses of military members who died in the line of duty, allow all veterans to qualify for in-state college tuition, and grant the VA secretary authority to immediately fire senior executives, while providing employees with streamlined appeal rights.
The compromise measure would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay private doctors to treat qualifying veterans who can’t get prompt appointments at the VA’s nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics, or those who live at least 40 miles from one of them. The bill would limit the number of veterans who can get outside care by restricting it to those who are enrolled as of Aug. 1....
Gwen Graham has two new TV ads that feature her father and his famous "workdays."
"Workdays keep you in touch with the people most affected by what you do," Bob Graham, the former governor and U.S. senator, says in one of the ads.
The spots will run in Tallahassee and Panama City markets, her campaign said, and come as she and her father and other family members begin an eight-day, 14-county trip through the 2nd Congressional District....
Eighty-eight percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana, a new Quinnipiac poll finds.
From a news release:
Florida voters support legalized marijuana for medical use 88 – 10 percent, with support ranging from 83 – 14 percent among voters over 65 years old to 95 – 5 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today....
Winner of the week
Adrian Wyllie. The Libertarian gubernatorial candidate from Palm Harbor has nearly zero chance of being elected governor in November, but now it looks like he won't be ignored either. A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed Wyllie emerging as a potential spoiler, pulling 9 percent support and helping Gov. Rick Scott narrow Charlie Crist's lead to a virtual dead heat....
07/26/14 State Roundup
How boring: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is poised to skate into a second term next March without a serious challenge. So let's forget about 2015 and consider instead what 2018 means for Mayor Bob.
Barring a giant surprise over the next few months, either Rick Scott at that point will be winding down his second term as governor or Democrat Gov. Charlie Crist will be preparing to run for re-election. Which scenario would the ambitious Buckhorn prefer? If he harbors any ambitions to be governor, he clearly is better off if Crist loses this year....