Sunday, July 05, 2015

Hillary Clinton Is Coming To Fort Lauderdale



Hillary Clinton is scheduled to address the National Urban League Conference on July 31 in Fort Lauderdale. It would mark Clinton's first public event locally since becoming a candidate; she came to Florida in May for a series of private fund-raisers.
The National Urban League is a civil-rights organization that, among other things, advocates against racial discrimination and for African Americans. Clinton's speech to the group would be geared at black voters, a key Democratic constituency 

Friday, July 03, 2015

Fourth of July terror warning issued by FBI, Homeland Security


AP GOVERNMENT HACKED A USA DC
"We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people,'' Johnson said. "We continue to encourage all Americans to attend public events and celebrate this country during this summer season, but always remain vigilant.''
Federal authorities have warned local law enforcement officials across the country about a heightened concern involving possible terror attacks targeting the July 4th holiday, a U.S. law enforcement official said.
While there was no specific or credible threat of attack, the official said the intelligence bulletin prepared by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI alerted local colleagues to the ongoing threats posed by the Islamic State and other homegrown extremists. The official was not authorized to comment publicly.
The bulletins are frequently issued in advance of major U.S. holidays out of an abundance of caution and concern that operatives may exploit the timing to generate greater attention.
The warning comes as federal investigators have worked to disrupt a number of Islamic State-inspired plots, including a planned assault earlier this month on police officers in Boston. In that case, authorities fatally shot Usaamah Rahim as he allegedly planned to attack police with military-style knives.
Also this month, a New York suspect in a Islamic State-related terror investigation was arrested after attacking an FBI agent with a kitchen knife during a search of his home.
Fareed Mumuni, 21, was charged with attempted murder, after he emerged as a suspect in alleged plots to use pressure-cooker explosives and knives to attack police.
In a statement Friday following attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait, DHS SecretaryJeh Johnson said local law enforcement was being encouraged to be "vigilant and prepared'' in preparation for July 4th celebrations.
"We will also adjust security measures, seen and unseen, as necessary to protect the American people,'' Johnson said. "We continue to encourage all Americans to attend public events and celebrate this country during this summer season, but always remain vigilant.''


Re-Posted from USAToday

Hispanic leaders say Republican Party must condemn Trump




 Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party's presidential contenders do more to condemn Donald Trump, a businessman turned presidential candidate who's refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers.
Trump's comments, delivered in his announcement speech last month, have haunted the GOP for much of the last two weeks and dominated Spanish-language media. It's bad timing for a Republican Party that has invested significantly in Hispanic outreach in recent years, given the surging influence of the minority vote.

Yet several Republican candidates have avoided the issue altogether, while those who have weighed in have declined to criticize Trump as strongly as many Hispanic leaders would like.
"The time has come for the candidates to distance themselves from Trump and call his comments what they are: ludicrous, baseless and insulting," said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican who leads the American Principles Project's Latino Partnership. "Sadly, it hurts the party with Hispanic voters. It's a level of idiocy I haven't seen in a long time."

The political and practical Trump-related fallout has intensified in recent days.
The leading Hispanic television network, Univision, has backed out of televising the Miss USA pageant, a joint venture between Trump and NBC, which also cut ties with Trump. On Wednesday, the Macy's department store chain, which carried a Donald Trump menswear line, said it was ending its relationship with him. Other retailers are facing pressure to follow suit.
The reaction from Republican presidential candidates, however, has often been far less aggressive.

In a recent interview on Fox News, conservative firebrand Ted Cruz insisted that Trump should not apologize.
"I like Donald Trump," said Cruz, a Texas senator who is Hispanic. "I think he's terrific. I think he's brash. I think he speaks the truth. And I think that NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said simply that Trump is "wrong."
"Maybe we'll have a chance to have an honest discussion about it on stage," Bush said last weekend while campaigning in Nevada.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who often talks about his re-election margins with Latino voters, called Trump's comments "wholly inappropriate" during a news conference. In a subsequent radio interview, Christie described Trump as "a really wonderful guy (who's) always been a good friend."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, silent on the issue for more than two weeks, took a more pointed tone in a statement Thursday evening. "Trump's comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive," said Rubio, a Hispanic. "Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together - not someone who continues to divide."
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday: "I don't think Donald Trump's remarks reflect the Republican Party."
Among others, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former technology executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have been silent.
"We're listening very, very closely, not just what candidates say but what they don't say - the sins of commission and the sins of omission," said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, who called Trump's comments "xenophobic rhetoric."
Trump is showing no sign of backing down.

"My statements have been contorted to seem racist and discriminatory," he wrote in a message to supporters on Thursday. "What I want is for legal immigrants to not be unfairly punished because others are coming into America illegally, flooding the labor market and not paying taxes."
"You can count on me to keep fighting," he continued.
In his announcement speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Such rhetoric resonates with some of the Republican Party's most passionate voters, who have long viewed illegal immigration as one of the nation's most pressing problems. Yet GOP leaders have urged conservatives to adopt a more welcoming tone in recent years as Hispanic voters increasingly sided with Democrats.

Not since the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush has a Republican presidential candidate earned as much as 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney got a dismal 27 percent in the 2012 contest against President Barack Obama.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton cast Trump's remarks as "emblematic" of a larger perception within the Republican Party.
"A recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexican immigrants," she said in an interview last month. "Everyone should stand up and say that's not acceptable."

Meanwhile, the attention has helped Trump sell some books. "Trump: The Art of the Deal," first published in 1987, and a release from 2007, "Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life," were both in the top 2,000 on Amazon.com's best-seller list as of midday Thursday. "Think Big," co-written by Bill Zanker, was Amazon's top seller for personal finance.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations and Permanent Diplomatic Missions





The United States and Cuba will open embassies in their capital cities after more than 50 years of hostilities between the two countries. The latest developments 

click to enlarge letter



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fort Lauderdale #LoveWins Rally 6-26-15

Former Broward Commissioner Sue Gunzburger , Commissioner Mary Kiar

Ft. Laud Commissioner Dean Trantalis
Rep. Rick Stark & Jason King Aids Healthcare Foundation

Pride Center Exe. Director Robert Boo

Broward Commissioner Mary Kiar

Commissioner Dean Trantalis

Wilton Manors Commissioner Justin Flippen & George Castrataro 



Dolphin Democrats President Noah Kitty




Equality Florida Stratton Pollitzer



Rabbi Noah Kitty

 Rep Rick Stark

Sunshine Cathedral's Katy Peterson




CLICK TO ENLARGE
Fort Lauderdale's Proclamation
click to enlarge pic



I am Sure Ft. Laud Commissioner, Dean Trantalis, Bruce Roberts And Bobby Duboise are thankful they came down on the side of history

CLICK PIC BELOW TO ENLARGE


Saturday, June 27, 2015

WEEKLY ADDRESS: The Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

President Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden after the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to uphold the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.


In this week's address, the President called the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act a victory for hardworking Americans across the country, whose lives are more secure because of this law.  The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay. So far more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage.  Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today. The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep such records. With this case behind us, the President reaffirmed his commitment to getting more people covered and making health care in America even better and more affordable. 

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, June 27, 2015.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
June 27, 2015

Five years ago, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all.  And this week, after more than fifty votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a Presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, we can now say this for certain: the Affordable Care Act still stands, it is working, and it is here to stay.

On Thursday, when the Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, it was a victory for hardworking Americans all across this country whose lives are more secure because of this law.  This law means that if you’re a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26.  If you’re a senior, or an American with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions. You can’t be charged more just because you’re a woman.  And you can’t be discriminated against just for having a pre-existing condition.

This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to – and in some ways, better than we expected it to. So far more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage.  Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today.  The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep such records.

The law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years.  If your family gets insurance through the workplace, not through the Affordable Care Act, you’re paying about $1,800 less per year on average than you would be if trends before this law had continued – which is good for workers and it's good for the economy.

The point is, this is not some abstract political debate.  For all the misinformation campaigns, and doomsday predictions; for all the talk of death panels and job destruction; for all the repeal attempts – this law is helping tens of millions of Americans.  This isn’t just about Obamacare.  This is health care in America.

With this case behind us, we’re going to keep working to make health care in America even better and more affordable, and to get more people covered.  But it is time to stop refighting battles that have been settled again and again.  It’s time to move on.

Because as Americans, we don’t go backwards, we move forwards.  We take care of each other.  We root for one another’s success.  We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation coming behind us.  With this behind us, let’s come together and keep building something better right now.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer 2015 White House Interns From Florida


Bowen, Mae Hometown: Lynn Haven, FL; Emory University, GA
Campbell, Peter Hometown: Miami, FL; Florida International University, FL
Garcia, Nicolas Hometown: Haines City, FL; University of Pennsylvania, PA
Koren, Ariel Hometown: Jacksonville, FL; University of Pennsylvania, PA
McFarlane, Carleigh Hometown: Coral Springs, FL; University of Florida, FL
Stonecipher, Caroline Hometown: Tallahassee, FL; University of Florida, FL

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges



U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges: 

“Today, our nation has taken a monumental step towards freedom and equality for all. The Supreme Court’s affirmation of same-sex couples’ Constitutional right to marry is a long overdue step that codifies a universal truth: love is love, and love should carry the same legal weight in every corner of this nation.

“Moving forward, married Americans will be treated equally no matter where in our nation they travel, by every level of their government.  

“For our brothers and sisters who left us too soon, this ruling is many years late – but for all future generations, this ruling consecrates the bonds of marriage between all Americans, no matter who they love. We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the countless advocates, plaintiffs, lawyers, judges, men and women who displayed courage and bravery over this long pursuit of marriage equality. Thanks to their sacrifices and hard work, today is a day of celebration – a dawning of a new day for LGBT Americans and indeed, this entire nation.  

“While our work towards full equality for LGBT Americans remains unfinished, today is a step towards a better tomorrow that is more loving, equal, and free.”  

How The Media Should Handle The Same Sex Marriage Ruling


The Supreme Court is expected to rule in Obergefell v. Hodges this month, finally deciding whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. Whatever the decision, media outlets will inevitably ask anti-LGBT activists and groups for comment, which will be another opportunity for them to peddle baseless attacks on marriage equality.
Here are some guidelines for media outlets who want to avoid some of the most common mistakes made during media discussions about marriage equality:

DON'T Cite Debunked Horror Stories

In recent debates over marriage equality, anti-LGBT groups and activists have trotted out the same tired "horror stories" about the supposedly negative consequences of same-sex marriage on religious liberty, including that:
All these claims were thoroughly debunked years ago, but news outlets tend to cite them without checking the facts. Journalists should avoid lending credibility to anti-equality myths and hold commentators who push this kind of misinformation accountable.

DO Rely On Empirical Evidence

When discussing the potential impact of national marriage equality, journalists should cite empirical data from states where same-sex marriages have been legal for years.
Massachusetts, for example, has allowed same-sex couples to marry for over a decade. A recent report by the Associated Press examined Massachusetts' state marriage records to judge the results of what it called the "longest-running real-world test of what happens when gay couples are allowed to tie the knot." The investigation found that Massachusetts has maintained one of "the lowest divorce rates of any state - both before and after gay marriage was legalized." 
Vermont, which was the first state to introduce civil unions -- almost exactly 15 years ago -- and has allowed same-sex marriage since 2009, reports similar marriage and divorce data, with an annual 0.3 percent dissolution for same-sex couples versus an overall divorce rate of 3.8. In fact, a study by the National Institutes of Health shows that gay married couples actually report less conflict in their unions than heterosexual counterparts. 
Similar findings in other states suggest that legalizing same-sex marriage produces tangible benefits, including a bolstered economy. These positive effects of legalized gay marriage debunk much of the anti-gay speculation surrounding marriage equality.

DON'T Cite Flawed Social Science

Opponents of marriage equality frequently use flawed social science to produce so-called evidence of the harms of same-sex marriage. The majority of available evidence shows that there is no difference between the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples and those raised by opposite-sex couples. Yet marriage equality opponents continue to push the myth that same-sex parenting is harmful to children by citing flawed research. Journalists should be prepared for opponents to reference an infamous paper authored by University of Texas Associate Professor Mark Regnerus - a widely discredited study frequently used by gay marriage opponents purporting to show that children raised by gay parents suffer negative consequences.
Arguments that gay marriage will lead to an increase in abortions or higher rates of divorce are based onsimilarly shoddy social science and media should be prepared to respond to bogus appeals to anti-LGBT research.

DO Accurately Identify Anti-LGBT Commentators

Mainstream media often fail to give their audiences relevant information about guests they ask to comment on marriage equality. If a guest represents an anti-LGBT hate group for example -- like the Family Research Council or American College of Pediatricians -- identifying the person as such is essential to providing audiences the context they need to assess that guest's point of view. On CBS' Face the Nation this past April, Bob Schieffer exemplified how the media should introduce such opponents when he accurately identified one of his guests as the president of an anti-gay hate group. Schieffer's decision to properly identify Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, infuriated anti-LGBT conservatives, who rely on softball media interviews to whitewash their extreme positions. Anti-LGBT groups also frequently use legal scholars and academics to advance their talking points without revealing the animus that motivates their work.

DON'T Pit Gay Rights Against Religious Beliefs

Pitting religious communities against proponents of marriage equality is a common practice in the media, but it ignores the fact that most religious people support legalizing same-sex marriage. Media outlets have had trouble separating anti-LGBT animus from sincere, mainstream religious belief, framing the debate instead as a "God vs. Gays" issue. A recent study found significant margins of people in major religious groups -- including 84 percent of Buddhists, 77 percent of Jews, 60 percent of Catholics, and 56 percent of Orthodox Christians -- support same-sex marriage. Among all religiously affiliated Americans, supporters are in the plurality, with 47 percent favoring same-sex marriage, compared to 45 percent who oppose it.
Aside from misrepresenting support for marriage equality among religious people, elevating the "God vs. Gays" myth reinforces the right-wing campaign for anti-LGBT "religious freedom" laws. Coverage of the marriage equality decision will offer media outlets an opportunity to accurately portray the support for same-sex marriage among religious groups, and dispel inaccurate tropes about religion and gay people.

Source MediaMatters.org

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How The Media Should Handle The Same Sex Marriage Ruling


The Supreme Court is expected to rule in Obergefell v. Hodges this month, finally deciding whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. Whatever the decision, media outlets will inevitably ask anti-LGBT activists and groups for comment, which will be another opportunity for them to peddle baseless attacks on marriage equality.
Here are some guidelines for media outlets who want to avoid some of the most common mistakes made during media discussions about marriage equality:

DON'T Cite Debunked Horror Stories

In recent debates over marriage equality, anti-LGBT groups and activists have trotted out the same tired "horror stories" about the supposedly negative consequences of same-sex marriage on religious liberty, including that:
All these claims were thoroughly debunked years ago, but news outlets tend to cite them without checking the facts. Journalists should avoid lending credibility to anti-equality myths and hold commentators who push this kind of misinformation accountable.

DO Rely On Empirical Evidence

When discussing the potential impact of national marriage equality, journalists should cite empirical data from states where same-sex marriages have been legal for years.
Massachusetts, for example, has allowed same-sex couples to marry for over a decade. A recent report by the Associated Press examined Massachusetts' state marriage records to judge the results of what it called the "longest-running real-world test of what happens when gay couples are allowed to tie the knot." The investigation found that Massachusetts has maintained one of "the lowest divorce rates of any state - both before and after gay marriage was legalized." 
Vermont, which was the first state to introduce civil unions -- almost exactly 15 years ago -- and has allowed same-sex marriage since 2009, reports similar marriage and divorce data, with an annual 0.3 percent dissolution for same-sex couples versus an overall divorce rate of 3.8. In fact, a study by the National Institutes of Health shows that gay married couples actually report less conflict in their unions than heterosexual counterparts. 
Similar findings in other states suggest that legalizing same-sex marriage produces tangible benefits, including a bolstered economy. These positive effects of legalized gay marriage debunk much of the anti-gay speculation surrounding marriage equality.

DON'T Cite Flawed Social Science

Opponents of marriage equality frequently use flawed social science to produce so-called evidence of the harms of same-sex marriage. The majority of available evidence shows that there is no difference between the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples and those raised by opposite-sex couples. Yet marriage equality opponents continue to push the myth that same-sex parenting is harmful to children by citing flawed research. Journalists should be prepared for opponents to reference an infamous paper authored by University of Texas Associate Professor Mark Regnerus - a widely discredited study frequently used by gay marriage opponents purporting to show that children raised by gay parents suffer negative consequences.
Arguments that gay marriage will lead to an increase in abortions or higher rates of divorce are based onsimilarly shoddy social science and media should be prepared to respond to bogus appeals to anti-LGBT research.

DO Accurately Identify Anti-LGBT Commentators

Mainstream media often fail to give their audiences relevant information about guests they ask to comment on marriage equality. If a guest represents an anti-LGBT hate group for example -- like the Family Research Council or American College of Pediatricians -- identifying the person as such is essential to providing audiences the context they need to assess that guest's point of view. On CBS' Face the Nation this past April, Bob Schieffer exemplified how the media should introduce such opponents when he accurately identified one of his guests as the president of an anti-gay hate group. Schieffer's decision to properly identify Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, infuriated anti-LGBT conservatives, who rely on softball media interviews to whitewash their extreme positions. Anti-LGBT groups also frequently use legal scholars and academics to advance their talking points without revealing the animus that motivates their work.

DON'T Pit Gay Rights Against Religious Beliefs

Pitting religious communities against proponents of marriage equality is a common practice in the media, but it ignores the fact that most religious people support legalizing same-sex marriage. Media outlets have had trouble separating anti-LGBT animus from sincere, mainstream religious belief, framing the debate instead as a "God vs. Gays" issue. A recent study found significant margins of people in major religious groups -- including 84 percent of Buddhists, 77 percent of Jews, 60 percent of Catholics, and 56 percent of Orthodox Christians -- support same-sex marriage. Among all religiously affiliated Americans, supporters are in the plurality, with 47 percent favoring same-sex marriage, compared to 45 percent who oppose it.
Aside from misrepresenting support for marriage equality among religious people, elevating the "God vs. Gays" myth reinforces the right-wing campaign for anti-LGBT "religious freedom" laws. Coverage of the marriage equality decision will offer media outlets an opportunity to accurately portray the support for same-sex marriage among religious groups, and dispel inaccurate tropes about religion and gay people.

Source MeidaMatters.org

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

House Republican Budget Bill Would Harm Students, Workers, Health Care, and the Economy in Florida

Congressional Republicans have started to show how they plan to budget at discretionary levels that are the lowest in a decade, adjusted for inflation.  House Republicans are proposing to shortchange students, workers, our nation’s health, and the economy by cutting overall funding for the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services by roughly $15 billion, or 9 percent, compared to the President’s Budget. Through a combination of funding cuts and ideologically-motivated provisions, the Republican Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill being marked up in full committee in the House today would, for example, leave millions of Americans without health insurance, reduce access to early education, make college students more vulnerable to poorly performing career colleges, and jeopardize worker rights and safety. 
The deep cuts in the House Republican bill are a direct result of their decision to lock in funding cuts imposed by sequestration.  Sequestration was never intended to take effect: rather, it was supposed to threaten such drastic cuts to both defense and non-defense funding that policymakers would be motivated to come to the table and reduce the deficit through smart, balanced reforms.  The President's Budget would reverse these cuts going forward, replacing the savings with commonsense spending and tax reforms in order to make investments important to families, the economy, and our national security.  Unfortunately, the bills and appropriations targets released to date double-down on a very different approach. Under the Republican bill:
Millions of Americans could lose their health care coverage, and innovations that are helping to slow health care cost growth and improve quality would be blocked.  After five years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 16 million people have gained health insurance coverage, bringing the uninsured rate to the lowest level on record.  Through a combination of funding cuts and ideologically-motivated restrictions, the House Republican bill would obstruct the functioning of the Health Insurance Marketplaces, jeopardizing or disrupting coverage for the more than 10 million people, including 1.4 million in Florida, currently enrolled in health insurance plans through the Marketplaces.i  It would also deny assistance to States, like Florida, that could insure an additional 750,000 individuals by expanding Medicaid.ii

The bill also seeks to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made in containing health care costs and improving quality.  Recent years have seen exceptionally slow growth across a wide range of measures of health care costs. The ACA has contributed to these trends by reducing excessive Medicare payments to Medicare providers and private insurers and by supporting innovative new ways of paying for health care in Medicare and throughout our health care system that encourage lower-cost, higher-quality care. The ACA’s impact on health care cost and quality will grow in the years ahead as successful delivery system reforms mature and are scaled up and additional innovative reforms are implemented. The House Republican bill would block many of these reforms by rescinding essentially all funding for cost-saving and quality-improving delivery system reform innovation at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and eliminating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Young children would lose access to high quality early education. Motivated by evidence that students who spend more time in high quality early learning programs learn more, the President’s Budget provides a $1.5 billion increase for Head Start so that all Head Start children have access to a full school day and year of high-quality instruction and to increase enrollment. By contrast, under the funding provided by the House Republican bill, either more than 570,000 children in Head Start would not receive the full-day, full-year services they need to succeed (including roughly 11,400 fewer children in Florida), the program would serve some 140,000 fewer children as compared to the President’s Budget, or some combination of both. 
The bill also blocks major efforts to expand high-quality public preschool to more four-year-olds by eliminating Preschool Development Grant funding for the eighteen states that are creating or expanding high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income children.  Pulling these funds away from communities jeopardizes their plans to provide high-quality early learning for more than 100,000 children, including nearly 60,000 children who would lose access to public preschool entirely and thousands more who would lose out on key quality improvements to existing preschool programs.  The President’s Budget, by contrast, expands the number of states that could undertake this important work.
K-12 students will be shortchanged. The House Republican bill provides $2 billion less than current year funding and $5 billion less than the 2016 President’s Budget for our nation’s schools. It would eliminate 19 programs that serve primarily PreK-12 students and underfunded core programs, including Title I, which supports educational improvements for our most vulnerable students.  Compared to the President’s Budget, Florida would receive $60.9 million less in Title I funding for disadvantaged students, an amount that is enough to fund about 130 schools, 840 teacher and aide positions, and 92,100 students. These eliminations take away critical resources being used to turn around low-performing schools, enhance STEM education, promote the arts, create safe school environments, and support educators who are doing the important work of preparing America’s students for the future.
Colleges would become less accountable for providing a quality and affordable education. Even as students across the country are reeling from the actions of failed and fraudulent career colleges, the bill includes a series of ideologically-motivated provisions that roll back important efforts to hold schools accountable to both students and taxpayers.  Recent school closures and evidence of fraud at certain for-profit institutions make it clearer than ever that we need more – not less – oversight, transparency, and accountability in higher education. Yet the House Republican bill would roll back a set of important accountability initiatives, including the “Gainful Employment” regulation, which is designed to bar poor performing career college programs from accessing student aid. The bill also would halt the Administration’s efforts to provide students and families with clear information about how students who attend different colleges fare.
Fewer workers would get job training or help finding a job. Under the House Republican bill, two million fewer Americans, including an estimated 115,800 fewer workers in Florida, would have access to services to help them find jobs and gain skills.  At a time when workers need new skills to succeed in today’s economy and businesses are struggling to find skilled workers, the bill provides almost $500 million less for employment and training programs than the President’s Budget.  The bill also slashes funding for grants to areas facing mass layoffs or natural disasters, denies needed support for implementation of the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and provides none of the requested funds to expand apprenticeships so more workers and employers can benefit from this proven learn-and-earn model.
Enforcement of workers’ rights, benefits, and safety protections would be weakened.  The bill includes deep cuts and ideologically-motivated provisions that would hamstring the agencies charged with protecting the safety, health, wages, benefits, retirement security, and collective bargaining rights of the nation’s workers. It underfunds the enforcement of minimum wage, child labor, family leave, wage and hour, and workplace safety laws; blocks regulations that would help protect workers’ retirement savings; and blocks implementation of an initiative to ensure that Federal contractors maintain safe workplaces and pay fair wages to their employees.  In 2014, the Department of Labor recovered $15.7 million in back wages for workers in Florida.  Under the House Republican bill, an estimated $70 million less in back wages would be recovered across the nation—money that would make a real difference for workers and their families.
Social Security beneficiaries and applicants would see poorer service from the Social Security Administration.  The House Republican bill provides $652 million less for the operation of the Social Security Administration (SSA) – the agency charged with making sure retirees, people with disabilities, survivors and dependents of workers get the Social Security benefits their families have earned.  This cut in funding compared to the President’s Budget could lead to reduced hours of service and longer in-office wait times at Florida’s 55 SSA field offices, as well as longer phone service delays and more busy signals for those who call SSA for help.  The bill also limits the resources SSA can use to conduct periodic eligibility reviews in its programs, making it harder for the agency to ensure that benefits are going to those who continue to meet the disability and income eligibility requirements.
The number of national service members working in communities across the country would be sharply reduced.  The House Republican bill includes almost $500 million, or 42 percent, less than the President’s Budget for national service programs.  The Republican bill would fund approximately 50,000 AmeriCorps members, meaning that 40,000 fewer members than under the President’s plan would be able to serve their communities while earning money to cover college costs or repay student loans.  In the 2014-2015 program year, an estimated 2,130 AmeriCorps members are serving in Florida.  AmeriCorps members serve in more than 25,000 locations across the country--including thousands of public schools, communities hit by disaster, organizations helping veterans, tribal nations, and faith-based groups. Under this bill, AmeriCorps would have to drop many of these service areas and projects. 
Millions of low-income women would not receive needed preventative and reproductive health services.  The House Republican bill would eliminate funding for Title X Family Planning, which would serve nearly five million low-income women and men each year under the President’s Budget.  In 2014, Title X served 163,900 individuals in Florida.  These services, which do not include abortion, help avert approximately one million unintended pregnancies annually.  Additionally, the bill dramatically decreases funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program that has made strides in teenage pregnancy prevention across the Nation. U.S. teen birthrates have fallen to record lows and the reduction of TPP funding could hamper significant progress made in this health care area.         
Our Nation would have fewer resources to effectively respond to and recover from public health emergencies and catastrophes, such as a hurricane, anthrax outbreak, or disease pandemic. The bill underfunds our ability to ensure safe and effective medical countermeasures are available through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to protect Americans and does not support increased funding to procure new medical countermeasures through Project BioShield that are needed to protect against potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks. Further, the bill fails to provide the $110 million requested in the President’s Budget to more effectively respond to urgent public health crises, like an infectious disease outbreak, that require immediate or sustained responses.
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In addition to the reduction in services that Florida would experience as a result of the House Republican proposals for the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, other House Republican bills written at sequestration funding levels would also have significant consequences for Florida, including:

·         Access to Affordable Housing: Compared to the President’s Budget, the House Republican budget would fund 100,000 fewer Housing Choice Vouchers, reducing opportunities for low-income households to find decent, safe housing in the private market. Not only does the House Republican budget fail to restore the 67,000 vouchers lost due to the 2013 sequestration, it is also insufficient to renew 28,000 existing vouchers. As a result, approximately 1,300 fewer Florida families would receive Housing Choice Vouchers in 2016, compared to the previous year, and even more would lose out relative to the President’s Budget.  These cuts are even more problematic in light of new research released this year that found large positive effects of housing vouchers on long-term educational and earnings outcomes for young children.

·         Efforts to End Homelessness: Compared to the President's Budget, the House Republican budget reduces funding for Homeless Assistance Grants, supporting 15,000 fewer homeless or at-risk families with rapid rehousing and 25,500 fewer units of permanent supportive housing targeted to the chronically homeless. In January 2014, there were 41,500 homeless individuals in Florida – including roughly 21,700 who were unsheltered – but only 15,700 permanent supportive housing beds. House Republican cuts would further strain states and communities, set us back in meeting the President’s ambitious goals for ending chronic, family, and youth homelessness, and jeopardize the progress we have already made in ending homelessness for veterans.

·         Critical transportation programs: The highly successful, competitive TIGER grant program allows the Federal government to invest in transportation projects that can have a transformative impact on a region or a metropolitan area. Over the past three years, Florida received $84.6 million for these projects, which spur innovation and propel economic mobility by helping connect people to jobs in communities across the United States. The House Republican budget would slash TIGER grant funding to nearly 80 percent below its lowest level ever, despite the fact that the program is vastly oversubscribed. The Republican budget also cuts locally planned transit capital investments by more than 40 percent below the President’s Budget and shrinks funding for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities to the lowest level in fifteen years, worsening traffic delays and hampering FAA’s ability to keep our airspace safe

·         Scientific Research: Nationwide, compared to the President’s Budget, the House Republican budget would lead to roughly 600 fewer research grants at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and cuts to clean energy research and development of roughly 40 percent, adversely affecting research essential to the future health, innovation, and economic competitiveness of the Nation.  In 2014, Florida received competitive NSF research awards that supported 1,880 researchers and scientists, including graduate and undergraduate students.

·         Veterans Medical Care: Nationwide, funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care would be cut by more than half a billion dollars, negatively impacting veterans’ care. In 2014, 494,900 Florida veterans relied on the VA for care.

·         Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Customer Service and Preventing Tax Fraud: IRS taxpayer services in Florida would continue deteriorating below already unacceptable levels, and efforts to investigate fraud and reclaim taxpayer dollars would be further hampered. The House Republican budget cuts IRS funding by $2.8 billion, or 22 percent, compared to the President’s Budget.  Since 2010, the IRS budget has already been cut by roughly 17 percent, adjusted for inflation, despite the fact that, between 2010 and 2014, the number of individual tax returns filed in Florida increased by 539,800.  The House Republican budget sets funding at a level, in real terms, below IRS’s 1991 budget.  The IRS estimates that the reductions in enforcement staff as a result of budget cuts that have already occurred will lead to a loss of $7 billion to $8 billion in lost revenue in 2015 alone.  If the IRS is forced to absorb the additional cuts in the House Republican budget, enforcement revenues in 2016 would be more than $12 billion less than they would have been if the 2010 staffing levels had been maintained.

·         National Parks: Construction and repair & rehabilitation projects would be prevented or delayed, including at Florida's Biscayne National Park.