Wasserman Schultz Statement On Iran’s Reported Ballistic Missile Test

 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement on Iran’s reported ballistic missile test:

Reports of an Iranian ballistic missile test over the weekend are a truly alarming development. If true, this would represent a violation of international law and U. N. Security resolutions. For that, Iran must be held accountable. If this reported ballistic missile testing action is not met with a clear and determined rebuke, Iran will take that silence as tacit consent to further destabilize a region already plagued by violence and escalating threats of it. While the test appears to have failed, my hope is that the U.S. and its allies will hold Iran accountable at the U.N. Security Council, and show its leaders that there are consequences for such actions.”       

Sen. Marco Rubio's latest Response to Trump's Muslim Ban

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Call, Write or Visit Maro Rubio, and tell him to grow a pair 
284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3041
Contact: www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
Rubio;s Miami Office:
8669 NW 36th Street
Suite 110 
Doral, FL 33166
Phone: (305) 418-8553

Senator Marco Rubio's office has been inundated with phone calls about the Trump Muslim Ban, Rubio's response on Monday was milk toast at best, now he is blaming it on the State Department.

As per Talking Points Memo who contacted Rubio:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that his staff was trying to seek additional details about President Trump's executive order on immigration, but they were told by the State Department that the agency had been ordered not to share information with Congress.
"They're aren't a lot of answers as of today. In fact, my staff was told the State Department, as of today, was ordered not to talk to Congress about this issue," Rubio told reporters Monday evening. "I don't know the reason. Maybe, perhaps, they're still kind of working through how this is going to apply, so perhaps they don't want to give us information that is wrong."
Rubio was one of several members of the Senate Monday night who expressed frustration with the Trump administration that neither Congress nor federal agencies had been briefed on Trump's executive orders on immigration, which banned immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries for a period of time as well as halted the Refugee Resettlement program.
Representing a tourist-reliant state, Rubio said his office had several questions it would liked answered, but they still were waiting for details. One reporter in the scrum asked again why that might be the case.
"That is what we were told. You'd have to confirm that separately," Rubio said. "We reached out to State Department, and we were told the directive was that they were not to share any information today. Again, I suppose its because they aren't clear what to tell us yet, but that cannot be a permanent position."

Marco Rubio's Milquetoast Response To Trump's Muslim Ban

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Call, Write or Visit Maro Rubio, and tell him to grow a pair 

284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3041
Contact: www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) issued the following joint statement regarding the President's executive order:
After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading. However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days.
We generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning. But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns.
We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states.
And we are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us.
We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."
That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special.

Wasserman Schultz Statement on Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in celebration of the eighth anniversary of the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

“As his first act in office, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and told American women that in order to move forward, we must make equal pay for equal work a top priority. Unfortunately, his successor is moving us in the opposite direction.
I am proud to have been an original cosponsor of that bill. But obviously, our fight was just beginning. In Florida, women still earn only 85 cents on the dollar for every dollar paid to men for comparable work, and for minority women, the gap is even steeper. Florida’s African American women make 61 cents on the dollar for every dollar paid to white men, and the gap for Florida’s Latinas is even worse, at 59 cents on the dollar, according to a 2016 estimate.
As a mother of two daughters, it’s possible that neither one will reach pay equity with their male counterparts until they both near retirement, according to one study. Worse, those same inequities will shadow them throughout their retirement due to lower Social Security and retirement plan contributions.
That’s simply not acceptable. The wage gap persists regardless of industry, occupation and education levels. And while I am proud to have cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would build on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act’s legacy by giving women the legal tools and protections they need to overcome a lack of transparency in wages, it’s not going to be enough.
Women not only need legal protections that enable them to identify and challenge discriminatory pay and employment practices, they need a minimum wage increase, and family-friendly workplaces that legally ensure access to paid family and medical leave, as well as paid sick days. Women also need affordable child care, and access to comprehensive reproductive health care. That’s how we erase the wage gap.
Unfortunately, we appear to be moving backward. As Congress and the President move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the economic impacts and personal hardships this will unleash are going to land disproportionately at the feet of women. Just as Lilly Ledbetter did, we must all muster the courage to stand up, speak out, and fight with all we’ve got to end this injustice.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Trump's executive order on immigration

Following is a comment from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on the president's executive order on immigration:
“We have to do everything we can to protect ourselves from those who want to do us harm, but a hastily-issued policy that bans everyone from one of these seven countries from entering the U.S. – including the Iraqi interpreters who served alongside our troops in Iraq – is not the answer.”

Wasserman Schultz Statement On Trump’s Unconstitutional Executive Order Banning Muslims And Its Timing

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today on President Trump’s unconstitutional Executive Order banning Muslims and its timing:

“The fact that President Trump failed to even mention Jews or antisemitism in his statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day was insensitive, disappointing and trampled on the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi's during the Holocaust.
But his omission is far more troubling in light of the fact that he chose that same day to ban Syrian refugees, halt all refugee admissions to the United States, and temporarily suspend all visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries. It’s an egregious ignorance of history, at the very least. But regardless of that, these are unacceptable actions to take on any day. We weaken our nation by turning our back on those fleeing from religious, political and violent oppression.  We are a nation of immigrants, and we cannot quietly accept this. 
As a representative of tens of thousands of immigrants, I will stand with my immigrant and non-immigrant constituents and fight this unconstitutional and immoral policy with every ounce of energy I have. As the granddaughter of immigrants who fled persecution in Eastern Europe, I will not allow history to repeat itself by barring people fleeing for their lives and watch them perish because America turned our backs. 
Never Again means something to me even when it clearly means nothing to President Trump and his administration."

Airport Protest All Across The Country Against Trump

Protesters rally against the new immigration ban issued at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

A protest at John F. Kennedy Airport, where 12 refugees were detained Saturday, swelled to more than 2,000 people, including some celebrities. The agency that runs the airport tried to restore order by shutting down the train that runs to airport terminals. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, reversed that decision, saying people had a right to protest. “The people of New York will have their voices heard,” he said in a statement.

Newark, New Jersey

More than 120 people clutching signs denouncing the Trump immigration orders gathered at Newark Liberty International Airport. NorthJersey.com reports that they joined lawyers who’d rushed to the airport to defend the rights of refugees and immigrants who were being detained and denied entry.


Dozens of people converged on Denver International to show their support for refugees. Standing in the main terminal Saturday, they sang “Refugees are welcome here.” Some held signs declaring their identity, such as Jew or Christian, and the phrase “I come in peace.” Denver has some direct international flights but it wasn’t clear whether anyone has been detained under the president’s executive order.

Portland, Oregon

A protest by several dozen people in and around Portland International Airport briefly disrupted light rail service at the airport. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the demonstrators carried signs and chanted “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here” and “No ban no wall America is for us all.”

Los Angles 
About 300 people expressed their displeasure with the ban at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night. Protesters entered the airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal after holding a candlelight vigil.

San Francisco

Hundreds of protesters blocked the street outside at San Francisco International Airport’s international terminal to express their opposition to the barring of some people from Muslim-majority nations.

San Diego

As motorists honked their support, demonstrators outside San Diego International Airport chanted “No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here.”

WATCH: Debbie talks voter fraud on CNN

President Trump is rehashing the 2016 election again. Mind you, we’ve all accepted his victory because he is currently sitting in the White House.

But now he’s repeating the same baseless claim about voter fraud.

With zero evidence to back him up, President Trump is alleging three to five million votes were cast illegally.

He tweeted that undocumented immigrants, people registered in two states, and people impersonating dead people perpetrated voter fraud on a massive scale -- even though countless studies have found instances of voter fraud are extremely rare.

President Trump wants to launch a major investigation into voter fraud that is no doubt an excuse to institute oppressive voter restrictions.

Debbie rebuked President Trump’s bogus allegations on CNN. Click below to watch her interview.

ACLU of Florida Resources for Volunteers

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Upcoming training opportunities:

Join the ACLU of Florida for an informative and educational training, "How to engage with your legislators." If you are interested in advocating on behalf of the ACLU in your city, participating in fly-in lobby days in Tallahassee, and wondering how you can engage in meeting with elected officials, join us for this online training to get you prepared to take action during the 2017 legislative session.

Training #1: Feb. 81-2:15 PM ET
Training #2: Feb. 96:30-7:45 PM ET
Registration will open on Feb. 1.

Action Steps:
1.     Fill out our volunteer questionnaire: 

2.     Become a card-carrying member and recruit three or more of your friends or loved ones to become ACLU members. 
3.     Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and help us spread the ALCU’s message.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACLUFL/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ACLUFL 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aclufl/ 
4.     Fundraise! Make a tax-deductible contribution to support the work of the ACLU.

5.     Get involved with a local ACLU of Florida chapter.
6.     For more ways to take action, please visit our Take Action page and download our “What Can I Do Now?” guide

Bystander Training: Do you feel at risk or want to learn what to do if you experience or witness harassment?
1.     Feel at risk? The ACLU has comprised a list of resources for immigrants, Muslims, members of the LGBT community, protesters, journalists, women, people of color, etc. about their rights and what to do if they are violated.https://www.aclu.org/feature/feel-at-risk
2.     Hollaback! is a global movement to end harassment powered by a network of grassroots activists. They are hosting one-hour webinar trainings on how to do your part to protect your neighbors and yourself from harassment.

For questions, please feel free to reach out to me at cbruce@aclufl.org or Sara Latshaw at slatshaw@aclufl.org.

Rep. Ted Deutch on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

At a time when anti-Semitism is surging around the world and attacks on Jewish communities are almost daily occurrences, it’s even more important that the world remember the horrors of the Holocaust when six million Jews died and put into practice the lessons from this dark period of history. We must raise our voices against injustice, protest bigotry and intolerance, and demand action in the face of humanitarian crises and widespread violence.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is also an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the promises made to Survivors to provide them with the care and support they need in their senior years. We must continue to work with the German Government to ensure that Survivors receive the support they need to live their final years in dignity and comfort.
Today should also serve as a reminder to countries that have not yet enacted restitution laws that they should follow through on their pledge under the Terezin Declaration to compensate victims of Nazi persecution and their families for stolen property.

Rep. Deutch Slams Trump's Devastating Executive Order on Refugees

Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement condemning President Trump's executive order imposing severe restrictions on our refugee admissions program:

"Our nation has a proud history of welcoming refugees from around the world fleeing horrific conditions in their home countries, and escaping extreme violence and persecution to seek safety in the United States.

"In a direct attack on this proudly American value, the President’s executive order on refugees starts a period in which the United States closes its doors to the most vulnerable people, including children, seeking safety in our country.

"Our top priority is guaranteeing the safety and security of the American people, and I believe we need a thorough and comprehensive vetting process for all people seeking asylum or refuge.

"However, the President’s decision - to slam the door on all refugees for four months and Muslim refugees indefinitely, and to cut by more than half the number of refugees seeking safe haven this year - will leave thousands of vulnerable families and children around the world in limbo, leaving them to suffer horrific atrocities and persecution.

"This will mean the LGBT individual from Uganda or any country that criminalizes homosexuality, and the thousands of Baha’i, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim refugees persecuted in Iran, would continue to live in fear of persecution without any hope of being welcomed in our country where Lady Liberty’s torch will no longer light a path toward freedom.

"This Executive Order will not strengthen our national security, but it will leave thousands of families vulnerable to violence and suffering. Our nation has shut its doors to those fleeing violence before. We should not return to those days."

Wasserman Schultz Statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we come together as a global community to remember the six million Jews and millions of other innocent people, who perished at the hands of the Nazis. We mourn those who lost their lives during one of history’s darkest moments and recommit ourselves to upholding the principle of “Never Again.”
“And as we mourn these innocent lives lost, we also honor the survivors, and those righteous among the nations who courageously fought against this genocide. We must constantly strive to honor their legacies through our words and actions. It is no coincidence that today also marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. It serves as a reminder that in the face of cruelty and suffering, we must always be the liberators and not the bystanders; we must courageously ask questions instead of thoughtlessly taking orders; and we must defend those who are defenseless, instead of feebly accepting the status quo.”

Reps. Wasserman Schultz, Deutch, Community Leaders Stand Against President Trump’s Disastrous First Week of Policies

Photo By Carol Porter 

 U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch and an array of community leaders will stand firmly opposed to President Trump’s disastrous first week in office. The group will address a number of issues on Monday, including Trump’s push to:
·         Repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan
·         Build a costly wall along the U.S.-Mexican border
·         Mandate a federal hiring freeze that will impact numerous services, including processing veterans’ paperwork
·         Threaten local cities and municipalities to stop being “sanctuary cities” or  face the loss of federal funding
·         Slam the door on refugees around the world trying to escape violence and persecution in their home countries
 U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)
David Barkey – Anti-Defamation League
Khurrum Wahid – Emerge USA
Elizabeth Blandon – Immigration Attorney
Stan Pannaman – Vice President, Broward Veterans Coalition
Alan Ehrlich – Senior services advocate
Dan Reynolds – Division Pres., Federation of Public Employees
Kathy Connell – ACA supporter    
Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

                        Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
                        Media Staging Area between Terminals 1 and 2
            100 Terminal Drive
            Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315


Rep. Deutch to Lead Democrats on Ethics Committee; Returns as Ranking Democrat of Middle East Subcommittee


 Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) was selected to serve in two significant leadership roles in the U.S. House of Representatives. A testament to his standing among his colleagues as he begins his fifth term, Congressman Deutch will serve as Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee and continue to lead the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa as Ranking Member.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced the new appointment this morning. “Congressman Ted Deutch’s integrity commands the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Leader Pelosi said. “In his service on the Ethics Committee, Congressman Deutch has shown he is tough and fair, and in his new role as Ranking Member he will be a pillar of ethics and accountability.” As the lead Democrat, Congressman Deutch will ensure that all members of the House of Representatives abide by the House ethics rules and are held accountable for violations.

“In a time when ethical standards are one of the highest priorities for Americans across the country, I am committed to ensuring that the members of the House of Representatives are keeping their commitments to those they were elected to serve," said Congressman Deutch. "I’m honored and humbled to serve in this role.”

In addition, this morning his Democratic colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted for him to serve as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa for his third consecutive term. Among his responsibilities as the Ranking Democrat, the Congressman will continue to work to strengthen our national security and interests across the region, call attention to human rights abuses and humanitarian crises, and exert oversight over the Executive Branch’s foreign policy decisions.

“I’m proud of the bipartisan work we were able to achieve last Congress in the Subcommittee with my colleague Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and I look forward to continuing this productivity in this Congress," said Congressman Deutch. "From guaranteeing Israel’s security and ensuring strict compliance with the Iran nuclear deal to calling attention to the human rights abuses of the Assad regime and fighting terrorist groups like ISIS, this Subcommittee’s jurisdiction covers an active region with serious national security implications for the United States.”

Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Introduced in House, Senate

The bill was introduced by Reps. Deutch, McGovern, Raskin
and Sens. Udall, Bennet
 Days after the seven year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), and Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) in re-introducing the Democracy for All Amendment. This constitutional amendment would help to reverse the concentration of political influence held by large corporations and the wealthiest Americans capable of spending millions of dollars in American elections. To help get big money out of politics and restore democratic power to the American people, this amendment would affirm the right of the people to pass state and federal laws regulating spending in elections.

For more information on the amendment, click here for a background summary and click here for a section-by-section and answered FAQs.

“The Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision reserved meaningful political participation for the rich and wealthy special interests,” said Congressman Deutch. “At every turn and on nearly every issue, from gun safety to climate change, unlimited political spending ensures that Congress is tuned in to the needs of special interests and tunes out the voices of the American people. It’s time to get money out of politics to guard our elections against a dangerous threat that erodes the faith of the American people in our democratic institutions.”

“The 2016 election was supposed to be a call to ‘drain the swamp’ — because so many Americans are fed up with business as usual in Washington, where moneyed special interests drown out the voices of regular Americans,” said Senator Udall. “But instead of reform, President Trump has set out rewarding Wall Street insiders and billionaire donors with cabinet and other key positions in the new administration, and the ultra-wealthy and well-connected look to have more power than ever in determining the future of our democracy. Each year, because of Citizens United and subsequent decisions, the door has opened wider for rich special interests and corporations to pour unlimited sums of money into our elections and root themselves in our government. The only real way we can put our democracy back in the hands of all Americans, instead of a privileged, powerful few, is to amend the Constitution. Our Democracy for All Amendment restores the authority of the American people – through Congress and the states – to regulate campaign finance, so that our elections aren’t put up for sale to the highest bidder. Millions of people across the country and over a dozen state legislatures, including New Mexico’s, have voiced support for a constitutional amendment, and we must keep pressing forward to ensure a government that is of, by, and for the people.”

“There's too much money in our politics. It is a corrupting force. It undermines our democracy and drowns out the voices of the people,” Congressman McGovern said. “The Democracy for All Amendment empowers Congress and state legislatures with the ability to limit spending in political campaigns in their respective states. It will help return power to the people and take it out of the hands of special interests. Citizens United was a dreadful decision that has done great harm to our democracy. This is a way to begin to take back our country."

"Coloradans want commonsense reforms to fix our broken campaign finance system and bring some semblance of sanity to our politics. This constitutional amendment would do that by establishing the authority of Congress and the states to pass reasonable campaign finance rules," Senator Michael Bennet said. "In order to get Washington working and restore faith in our democracy, we must end the flood of unlimited secret money that's drowning out the voices of Colorado families.”

"Seven years ago, five justices overturned two centuries of jurisprudence to determine that private business corporations enjoy the political free speech rights of the people," said Congressman Raskin. "Today, after hundreds of millions of dollars in dark money have been spent by CEOs in the name of their unwitting shareholders and billionaires act as our new political bosses and cabinet secretaries, we can see what plutocracy looks like. I’m proud to support the Democracy for All Amendment to rebuild the wall of separation between massive corporate and private wealth and public elections.”

“Americans may be divided about many things, but they are united in their belief that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision was a disaster,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen. “They know that the political system is rigged, and that Citizens United-enabled spending by corporations and the super-rich is a big part of the problem. It is past time to overturn this decision and get big money out of politics. Public Citizen thanks Rep. Ted Deutch and other sponsors of the Democracy for All amendment for their leadership in advancing this vital initiative."

“Common Cause commends Congressman Deutch, Senator Udall, and many other members of Congress for their leadership in championing the Democracy for All Amendment to help reduce the influence of big money in politics,” said Aaron Scherb, Director of Legislative Affairs at Common Cause. “The Democracy for All Amendment would help ensure that the voices of all Americans can be heard in our democracy even if they can’t hire a lobbyist, make a large campaign contribution, or start a super PAC.”

“After the election, it’s clearer than ever that we need money in politics reform,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Super PAC spending during the 2016 cycle was nearly double what it was in the last presidential election. The voices of everyday Americans can’t be heard when wealthy special interests can tilt our elections to fit their interests. We applaud Senator Udall, Representative Deutch, Representative McGovern, Representative Raskin, and the other congressional champions who continue to push for needed reforms like the Democracy For All Amendment.”

“We applaud Members of Congress for re-introducing the Democracy For All Amendment to ensure that big money interests will no longer be able to dominate our elections and our government, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens," said John Bonifaz, President of Free Speech For People. "To advance the promise of political equality for all and to reclaim our democracy, Congress must pass this constitutional amendment and send it to the states for ratification.”

“Americans across the political spectrum know we must have the 28th Amendment so that people, not money and global corporations, govern America," said Jeff Clements, President of American Promise. "At American Promise, we applaud this progress in Congress and urge cross-partisan support for this effort.”