Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. It is that time again for my weekly update from Florida’s United States Congressional District 22.
I wrapped up another incredible week yesterday by running in the first annual Stand Among Friends Disability Center run on the lovely campus of Florida Atlantic University. The theme of the event was “Emb(race) our Differences” and I was honored to have a fantastic time getting to know the Achilles wheelchair racing team. I ended up running the 10K race, finishing with a fairly good time of 49 mins and 18 secs, earning me 2nd place in the 50-54 age division. As I waited during the awards ceremony, a gentleman came up and shook my hand and stated that he disagreed with my “politics” but was impressed with my attending the event. He then said, “How about those senators from Wisconsin? They are doing whatever it takes!”
Folks, let me be clear when I tell you this. Those state senators from Wisconsin are cowards in my assessment. What kind of representative democracy have we become when elected officials run from executing their prescribed duties? In the military we have General Order #1, “I shall not leave my appointed place of duty or post until properly relieved.” If a leader takes off, we call it “desertion.” What manner of person runs and hides instead of making a stand, making a decision?
I am also today reflecting on the murders of four Americans were executed by Somali pirates. We ordered our U.S. Navy warship to only follow the pirates and keep with Rules of Engagement. This kind of direction most certainly gave advantage to the seaborne Islamic terrorists. The United States could not even send a Naval vessel to rescue its citizens from Libya. Instead we sent a ferry.
Yet, in all this, our President decides to throw a Motown party in the White House. Heck, why didn’t he just join the Democrat Senators from Wisconsin?
What is our Country becoming? Have we so forgotten what leadership is that we would celebrate the cowardice of those 14 hiding away in some other State?
The words of Alexander the Great resonate, “I do not fear an army of Lions if they were led by a lamb, I would fear an army of sheep if they were to be led by a Lion”.
On another note, it appears my confrontation with the South Florida Executive Director of CAIR, Nezar Hamze, and his absurd inquiries, has gone viral. Why? Because I believe that the American people are tired of irresponsible cowards who call themselves “elected officials.” The American people are looking for principled men and women who will stand firm, make the hard decisions, and serve the interests of the people and not try to “collectivize” them into a dependent entitlement class.
To those of you reading this missive, ask yourself, what forms your beliefs about America? I see is a huge ideological chasm developing in America that is not about party but rather a philosophy of governance.
Here are a few highlights from my District work week:
– A great meeting with “Alligator Ron” Bergeron about the natural South Florida wonder we call the “River of Grass,” otherwise known as the Everglades. I learned when it comes to the Everglades, it is about water “quantity” first and “quality” second.
– We had two more super town hall meetings in Pompano Beach and Jupiter. Thanks to all who came out and a special hat tip to our law enforcement partners who provided a safe and secure environment for our constituents.
– I attended the Grand Opening of the Vets Center in Jupiter which will provide support counseling services to our Veterans and their families. We presented the facility with a special flag which had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
– Our visit to USSOUTHCOM headquarters in Doral was exceptional. HOOAH to Major General (Sel) Ayala, the Chief of Staff, and his staff. My greatest concerns were confirmed during a series of briefs and discussions. I am even more committed that we do not neglect this Combatant Command which is responsible for the area of responsibility closest to our South Florida home.
– Spoke at Florida Atlantic University seminar series sponsored by Dr. Marshall DeRosa and the James Madison Institute. The topic was “The American Cause.” It is always heartwarming to speak before young people about American exceptionalism and our founding principles. Our current geopolitical situation is cause for great concern and it has far reaching economic ramifications, which we are experiencing.
– I attended the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) winter symposium conference in Ft. Lauderdale. It was ole’ home week to see many of the Generals with whom I had served. Most welcoming was seeing “Cobra 6” LTC(R) Scott Rutter with whom 20 years ago, that day, he and I, Ranger 14, were young Captains in Task Force 2-16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, crossing the breach beginning ground combat operations in Desert Storm. Seeing the new technologies being developed for our Army was gratifying. We MUST take care of our ground Warriors!
– The Palm Beach Lincoln Day dinner was held this week with guest speaker, former Speaker of the House Honorable Newt Gingrich. He gave a very detailed, insightful speech on policy and principles and I was honored to give the Lincoln tribute.
– Friday I had the pleasure of attending the Suncoast Community High School grand opening in Riviera Beach. This is one of the top 100 High Schools in America and after viewing several of the students’ energy science projects, you know why. Investment in education is not about more money, it is about investing ourselves; parents, local private sector businesses, and yes, our elected officials going into the classroom. Let’s get back to basics and make education in America challenging and relevant.
I wrapped up the week by visiting the men and women of the United States Coast Guard Station, Lake Worth Inlet. There I had lunch with the Coasties and had a two hour brief with RADM Baumgartner, CO USCG 7th District, and CAPT Scraba, CO USCG Florida Sector. After having the USSOUTHCOM brief, this was a perfect fit. We MUST support and promote the main
“Arm of Engagement” in this area, our United States Coast Guard. They operate along a plethora of complex missions, all of them contributing to our safety and security on the high seas.
One thing is for sure, the world is changing before our eyes and our enemies recognize the weakened state of America.
I have now returned to Capitol Hill and must do the business of keeping our government operating, but also ensure we begin the task of cutting spending. Let me be very clear, it is neither my intent nor my House GOP colleagues’ intent to shut down the Federal Government.
However, I shall remain focused and shall not blink. It is time that those who have promoted fiscal irresponsibility be made responsible for their inept actions. If our President chooses political gamesmanship over leadership and fiscal prudence, then the sooner he departs the White House the better.
Steadfast and Loyal.