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Monday, January 27th kicked off the third week of the legislative session. No committee meetings for me that day, so I took time working on key legislation and speaking with constituents. I met with both IFAS and the Everglades Foundation to discuss a historic water quality initiative and address concerns about compliance issues with Best Management Practices. I also met with representatives from the Florida League of Cities and staff from both the City of Orlando and the City of St. Pete to address private property rights and Community Redevelopment Agencies.

On Tuesday, I sat on the Local, Federal, & Veterans Affairs committee. I voted to remove barriers on conditions of employment and to exempt certain hospital district from needing to contribute to redevelopment trust funds. The Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee also met on Tuesday and I had the privilege of presenting HB 459, an act relating to building design. This bill passed its second stop with overwhelming approval. I also presented HB 1363, an act relating to Basin Management Action Plans, in the Agriculture and Natural Resource Subcommittee. With folks from the Land Council and Florida Agriculture association in attendance, HB 1363 passed its first committee stop with unanimous support and is on to the Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee next. We then met with the Fruits and Vegetable coalition about important water quality issues and ensuring Florida stays competitive in its produce production. To round out the day, I helped Vice Chair Grant present the Higher Education proposed budget. The proposed allocation of over $8 billion will continue to make Florida’s university system the best in the nation.

To begin the day on Wednesday, I presented HB 423 to the Local Administration Subcommittee. This bill is a local bill that would allow the Town of Ocean Breeze to hold meetings outside of their town’s jurisdiction if their population grows too large. HB 423 passed with unanimous consent and is headed to State Affairs for its next and final stop before the floor. The Florida House met for the second official time this session to pass the Florida Statute updates, the k-12 student athlete bill of rights, and a prescription drug donation repository program

On Thursday I met with the Martin County 4-H where we discussed important agricultural issues that impact students and parents alike. In the Commerce Committee, I voted to implement a program to increase the safety of fire fighters and decrease their potential exposure to carcinogens.

On Friday, I traveled with Lieutenant Governor Nunez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Chair Fitzenhagen to the White House for a summit to confirm Florida’s commitment to fighting human trafficking. While there, I spoke with President Trump and the President reaffirmed his convictions to eradiating human trafficking from the world.

It was a busy week, and I'm already working on a busy agenda to start this one. Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer. We look forward to hearing from you!


Paid by Toby Overdorf, Republican, for State Representative

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February 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

February 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Location: Business Development Board Conference Room, Suite 207, 1002 SE Monterey Commons Boulevard, Stuart

February 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

February 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers


Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded today’s announcement by the administration that it will impose significant sanctions, pursuant to Executive Order 12957, against eight senior Iranian officials as well as key sectors of Iran’s economy, including steel and iron manufacturers.

“Today’s announcement of sanctions against senior Iranian officials and Iran’s manufacturing sector will cut off key revenue streams and further the administration’s maximum pressure campaign in the face of increased Iranian aggression,” Rubio said. “As I said yesterday on the Senate floor, the goal is a prosperous Iran that lives in harmony with its neighbors, does not have nuclear weapons, and abandons its support for terrorism and terrorist groups. Iran must now decide whether it is ready for serious, real diplomatic talks. In the meantime, this president, and any future president, has an obligation to deter, repel, and act against any efforts to harm Americans or U.S. interests.”

Yesterday, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor regarding the ongoing situation in Iran. In the excerpt below, Rubio outlines the U.S. goal with regard to Iran.

“The strategy begins with the goal. The goal is pretty straightforward, a prosperous Iran that lives in harmony with its neighbors and does not have nuclear weapons or continue to support terrorism and terrorist groups. That is the goal. How do you achieve it? By Iran abandoning its desire for nuclear weapons and by no longer standing up these terrorist groups that for over a decade have been killing Americans and trying to harm Americans, Israelis and other allies. How do you achieve it? By imposing crushing economic sanctions while leaving open the door for real — not fake, not talk for the sake of talk — but real diplomacy, but at the same time making it abundantly clear that you will deter, repel, and act against any effort to harm Americans.”

Rubio is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He is also Majority Administrative Co-chairman of the Senate National Security Working Group.


Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) ahead of a January 9, 2020 workshop titled, “Non-Competes in the Workplace: Examining Antitrust and Consumer Protection Issues.”

In the letter, Senator Rubio urged the commissioners to “bear in mind the harm that noncompete agreements cause to lower-wage working Americans.”

Earlier this Congress, Rubio introduced his Freedom to Compete Act, legislation that would protect entry-level, low-wage workers from non-compete agreements which limit their future employment opportunities, and restrict their ability to negotiate higher wages and benefits. At a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing late last year, Keith Bollinger, a textile worker, testified how non-competes harmed his career prospects.

Rubio serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statements after the House of Representatives approved an amended version of their bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act (S.178). The bill is an important step in countering the totalitarian Chinese government’s widespread and horrific human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including the mass internment of more than one million Uyghurs and other predominantly ethnic Turkic Muslims, as well as Beijing’s intimidation and threats against U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents on American soil.

“The Chinese Government and Communist Party is working to systematically wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Today, Congress took another important step to hold Chinese officials accountable for egregious and ongoing human rights abuses committed against the Uyghurs,” Rubio said. “I applaud the House for taking swift action and passing an amended version of my bill and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get it passed and sent to the President for enactment.”

“Today’s passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act is a recognition that the U.S. government cannot afford to stand idly by as millions of Uyghur Muslims continue to be unjustly imprisoned, subjected to a mass surveillance state, and forced into labor camps by an autocratic regime,” Ranking Member Menendez said. “With this legislation, Congress is taking the necessary and long overdue steps to hold accountable officials in the Chinese government and Communist Party responsible for gross violations of human rights and possible crimes against humanity. Uyghurs deserve justice for the barbaric and abhorrent acts they have been forced to endure, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to get a final bill on the president’s desk as quickly as we can.”

• September 11, 2019: Rubio, Menendez Applaud Senate Passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act
• May 22, 2019: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Rubio-Menendez Uyghur Human Rights Bill
• January 17, 2019: Rubio, Menendez, Colleagues Introduce Legislation In Response To China's Human Rights Abuses Of Uyghurs



Miami, FL — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) and Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued the following statements after President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S. 1838) into law. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on November 19th, with the House following on November 20th by a vote of 417 to 1, sending the bill directly to President Trump.

“Earlier this month, in an overwhelming display of bipartisan unity, Congress passed our Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and I applaud President Trump for signing this critical legislation into law,” Rubio said. “The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs. Following last weekend’s historic elections in Hong Kong that included record turnout, this new law could not be more timely in showing strong U.S. support for Hong Kongers’ long-cherished freedoms. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to implement this law.”

“I am proud of this bipartisan law that sends a strong message to the demonstrators in Hong Kong, the government of Hong Kong, as well as the Communist Party of China: the United States is not only watching, but stands with demonstrators as they march for their autonomy, for their democracy, and for their human rights,” Cardin said. “We now have stronger legislative tools to back up our a moral obligation to support Hong Kong’s autonomy and hold China accountable for violations of human rights.”

“I’m glad President Trump today signed this important legislation into law,” Chairman Risch said. “Without question, the American people support the people of Hong Kong, and this law makes that abundantly clear to Hong Kongers, the international community, and the Chinese Communist Party. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights. This law is the product of a true bipartisan, bicameral effort, and I am gratified that we came together with one voice to tell the people of Hong Kong that the United States stands with them.”

“The signing of this legislation into law ensures the United State finally sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of Hong Kong: We are with you,” Ranking Member Menendez said. “With the world standing witness to history as the people of Hong Kong risk it all in pursuit of their legitimate aspirations for autonomy and against the erosion of democracy, I am incredibly proud to support the people of Hong Kong with the tools in this powerful new law. The vibrancy of the people of Hong Kong, especially the young people and the rising generation of leaders, is incredibly inspirational. I look forward to seeing the impact this law will have in boosting Hong Kongers yearning for democracy and self-governance.”


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) requested information from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on reports that banned Chinese surveillance equipment are installed at Department of Defense facilities. The letter follows a Wall Street Journal report that more than 2,700 Chinese-made surveillance devices are in use across federal installations.

The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) banned the procurement of Chinese-produced cameras and associated electronics made by Chinese companies, including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology. The Department of Commerce added Hikvision and Dahua to the banned Entity List requiring their U.S. suppliers to gain licenses to ship components.


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today led a group of lawmakers in introducing the bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers and Savers Protection (TSP) Act, which would prevent the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) from steering federal retirement savings to China. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Braun (R-IN) joined Rubio and Shaheen in introducing the bill, and U.S. Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) will be introducing the companion bill in the House.

The TSP Act would conditionally ban the investment of Thrift Savings Plan funds in securities listed on mainland Chinese exchanges. In particular, it would prohibit investment in issuers listed on foreign securities exchanges where America’s Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board (PCAOB) has not issued an audit inspection and where the PCAOB is prevented from conducting such inspections.

The TSP Act would stop the FRTIB from moving forward with a short-sighted decision to shift the Thrift Savings Plan’s International Fund Index to the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Investable Market Index that includes Chinese companies under U.S. sanctions and U.S. export bans. The FRTIB currently plans next year to begin investing the retirement assets of federal government employees, including members of the U.S. Armed Forces, in opaque Chinese firms engaged in human rights abuses and a wide range of military-related activities, effectively funding the Chinese government and Communist Party’s efforts to undermine U.S. economic and national security. The move would also place federal savers and their beneficiaries at risk by directing their savings into Chinese firms that fail to live up to the accounting and financial disclosure levels that are standard in developed markets.

“Today makes clear that a bipartisan, bicameral coalition in Congress will not sit on the sidelines and allow the TSP Board to funnel the federal retirement savings of U.S. service members and federal employees to the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. “America’s investors should never be a source of wealth funding Beijing’s rise at the expense of our nation’s future prosperity, and the TSP Board should not force U.S. service members and federal employees to unwittingly undermine the American national security interests that they work hard every day to protect.”

“It is unacceptable that the hard-earned savings of our U.S. service members and public servants could be invested without their knowledge in Chinese companies that undermine the very strategic national interests they’re sworn to protect. If the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is going to drag its feet on reversing the decision that would allow this dangerous policy to go into effect, then Congress must act,” Shaheen said. “This isn’t complicated – investments of our federal workers and armed forces should not fund companies that could help the Chinese government carry out nefarious attacks, from spying on U.S. citizens to committing gross human rights abuses.”

“Hardworking Americans should not be forced to give a cent of their retirement savings to foreign adversaries’ firms that may be complicit in activities that harm our national security,” Gillibrand said. “Our federal and military employees should know that their savings are being invested responsibly. That’s why I’m proud to support the Taxpayers and Savers Protection Act, which would ban the investment of thrift savings funds of our service members and federal workers in Chinese companies that may defy American oversight rules. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation to protect Americans’ retirement savings.”

“Deliberately choosing to invest the retirement savings of hardworking Americans in state-owned and state-directed firms in China effectively funds the Communist Party’s efforts to undermine our economic and national security,” Romney said. “Congress must act now to prevent the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board from steering the retirement savings of our federal employees and military members into the hands of China’s Communist Party.”

“This bipartisan legislation ensures that our servicemembers’ retirement savings will not flow to companies with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party,” Hawley said. “The U.S. government has no business pursuing an investment strategy that undermines our national security and underwrites the Chinese military.”

“There’s absolutely no reason we should be using U.S. taxpayer dollars to prop up companies under the control of Communist China, which continues to steal our technology, abuse human rights and build up its military to compete with us,” Scott said. “We have to take a stand against Communist China, and I’m proud to co-sponsor the Taxpayers and Savers Protection (TSP) Act to protect the retirement savings of federal employees from investments tied to China. No one should be doing business with Communist China, and the TSP Act is a logical step.”


Rubio: “Common-good capitalism is about a vibrant and growing free market. But it is also about harnessing and channeling that growth to the benefit of our country, our people, and our society. Because after all, our nation does not exist to serve the interests of the market. The market exists to serve our nation and our people.”

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed students at Catholic University’s Busch School of Business. Rubio spoke on “Catholic Social Doctrine and the Dignity of Work” building off his op-ed in First Things, titled “What Economics is For,” that focuses on the economy and dignity of work.

Rubio's remarks as prepared can be found here. Rubio’s full speech can be viewed here.

In a recently released report, Rubio outlines how economic growth is now more driven by finance than innovation in the production of real assets, a fundamental shift in the U.S. economy that has occurred over the last four decades. The report details how this has led to underinvestment in America’s economy and is driven by the consensus that the goal of business is to maximize financial return, leading to suffering on the part of the American worker and American industry.


Washington - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement after the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), pursuant to Executive Order 13884, imposed sanctions against five officials of the Maduro regime who were previously sanctioned by the European Union (EU) or Canada.

Today’s sanctions target Remigio Ceballos Ichaso, an Admiral in the Venezuelan Navy and Commander of the Strategic Operational Command of the National Armed Forces (CEOFANB), Nestor Neptali Blanco Hurtado, a Major in the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), Jose Adelino Ornelas Ferreira, Secretary General of the National Defense Council (Secretario General del Consejo de Defensa de la Nación), Pedro Miguel Carreno Escobar, Deputy of the illegitimate Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly (ANC), and Carlos Alberto Calderon Chirinos, a senior official in Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).

“It’s important for the United States to continue imposing maximum pressure with our international allies against members of the illegitimate Maduro regime and work together to advance democratic values in our hemisphere. As dictator Nicolás Maduro and members of his narcoterrorist regime attempt to maintain their grip on power, the United States continues to stand firmly with the Venezuelan people in defense of their quest for freedom and restoration of democratic order.”

Rubio is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.


Miami - U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) applauded the inclusion of their amendment (S.AMDT 1159) to support Holocaust education programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the Senate-passed spending bill (H.R. 3055) that provides funding for the Museum. Their amendment would require the Museum to submit a report on its collection and usage of historical documentation, such as survivor testimony, to support the museum’s Holocaust educational programs. Currently, an estimated 80,000 Holocaust survivors are living in the United States with an average age of 85.

The move comes after a principal in Florida was fired after emails revealed he cast doubt on the historical truth of the Holocaust.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. In addition to the inclusion of the Senators’ amendment, the Senate-passed Appropriations bill increased funding for Fiscal Year 2020 by $500,000 to support the Museum’s operations above the Fiscal Year 2019 enacted levels.

“We must never forget the stain caused by the Holocaust and we must ensure future generations know the full history of this horrific genocide,” Rubio said. “By providing additional funds and assessing our current education programs about the Holocaust, we will be able to better support the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s efforts to preserve and share the memory of survivor accounts. As anti-Semitism continues to plague our country, I’m happy to see the United States Senate send a clear message that honors the victims who perished during humanity’s darkest hour.”

“We must never forget those who perished in the Holocaust and we must always work to ensure that knowledge, tolerance, and reason are ever present in the face of ignorance and rising anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of intolerance and hate. Our goal is to ensure that this invaluable American museum has the resources it needs to collect and preserve irreplaceable historical documentation of the Holocaust. In turn, those materials and experiences can be used to provide future generations with the knowledge, tolerance, and reason they need in the world we face today,” Cardin said, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.

“I applaud my colleagues for joining our efforts to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism in our country through increased education about this terrible tragedy,” Cramer said. “The lessons of the Holocaust must always be taught so the experience of the Holocaust may never be repeated.”

“With anti-Semitism on the rise across the globe, it is critical that we take steps to educate future generations about the Holocaust,” Rosen said . “I applaud the inclusion of this bipartisan amendment which will help utilize the stories of survivors to stop hate before it starts, which could help to reverse the troubling increase of anti-Semitism in the United States. I will continue working in Congress on legislative actions to ensure that the phrase ‘Never Again’ rings true for all generations.”

“Ensuring that the past horrors of the Holocaust aren’t forgotten will help combat anti-Semitism and hate in our present and future. Our bipartisan effort will help preserve firsthand accounts of the Holocaust and other primary sources, which are vital to teaching future generations about one of the darkest chapters in human history,” Blumenthal said.

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today sent a letter to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green urging him to request that the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort be repositioned to the Bahamas as soon as possible, as well as any assets needed from the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group.

In the letter, Rubio writes that, “The USNS Comfort, and its crew of trained medical staff, flight deck and ability to desalinate water, would be ideal in helping the Bahamian people.”

Dear Administrator Green:

This past Friday, I traveled to the Bahamas and witnessed the destruction of Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. The devastation left behind on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands will certainly require the United States and the international community to provide strong support and assistance to aid them in their recovery.

There remains an immediate need for medical attention and communications, however, accessibility and resources are limited, and a lack of electricity continues to plague recovery efforts. Vertical-lift of those who are injured and require treatment by trained professionals is the only solution until debris is cleared and on-shore resources can be stood up. The USNS Comfort, and its crew of trained medical staff, flight deck and ability to desalinate water, would be ideal in helping the Bahamian people. While it is currently assigned to U.S. Southern Command’s Area of Responsibility, the USNS Comfort, if requested, could be reassigned to the Bahamas and provide short-term medical treatment as runways and ports come back online. Additionally, the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group, already in the area, has ships that are also capable of providing air lift and medical support.

It is critical that during this time of need for our neighbors, the United States uses all of our capabilities to continue to assist in the recovery efforts. This includes urgent efforts to save lives. As such, I respectfully implore you to strongly consider a formal request for the USNS Comfort to be repositioned to the Bahamas as soon as possible, as well as any assets needed from the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group. I stand ready to work with you as we help the Bahamas recover from this deadly storm.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Miami - U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) today urged President Donald Trump to approve the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration in anticipation of Tropical Storm Dorian. In their letter, the Senators asked the President to ensure that full federal resources are made available for the safety of the American citizens in Puerto Rico.

Dear Mr. President:

We write in full support of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the island in anticipation of Tropical Storm Dorian. As current projections indicate, Tropical Storm Dorian is forecasted to be near hurricane strength when it moves close to Puerto Rico. As such, we urge you to immediately approve this request to ensure that full federal resources are made available.

Puerto Ricans are still in the process of recovering from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island on September 20, 2017. As Tropical Storm Dorian approaches, the state and federal government must effectively coordinate in order to help reduce the potential loss of life and destruction of property. As we witnessed last October with Hurricane Michael, preparation and up-front resources are paramount.

We strongly urge you to consider all of the circumstances referenced in Puerto Rico’s request and approve this pre-landfall emergency declaration that will provide the resources necessary to ensure the safety of the American citizens in Puerto Rico. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Bill Passed: Stopping Bad Robocalls

If you’re anything like me, you’re sick and tired of receiving annoying robocalls at all hours of the day. But even more than being super annoying, these spam calls are taking advantage of people across our country - especially seniors - and it’s well past time to bring them to an end.
The good news: the House recently passed the bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act to help us take back our privacy and prevent robocallers from contacting us without consent.
This legislation will help fight back against the predatory scammers who disguise themselves as government agencies, hospitals and credit card companies to steal our private information.
It’s clear that this problem is only going to get worse unless we do something, so it’s time for the Senate to act quickly, pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk to become law!

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