Fighting for Florida

Hi, I’m United States Senator Marco Rubio.
 
Today I’m wearing purple to mark World Pancreatic Cancer Day. This is a day to remember those we’ve lost to this disease, stand in solidarity with the families fighting it today, and commit to doing what’s necessary to ultimately beat this terrible cancer.
 
All of us know someone who has battled cancer. And of all the types of cancer, pancreatic cancer is by far the deadliest, with more than 90 percent of patients succumbing to it – including great Americans like Steve Jobs, creator of the iPhone, and Sally Ride, the first female astronaut in space.
 
There is federal research funding available specifically for pancreatic cancer.  However, we can and must do more.
 
So on this World Pancreatic Cancer Day, let’s come together to fight this disease, and raise awareness about how we can reduce our risks and detect it earlier.
 
We’re all “In It Together,” and there’s so much that can be done to make a difference.
 
Thank you.
 

Veteran's Day

Nov 11 2016

On this Veterans Day, our nation reflects and honors the brave men and women who have valiantly served and sacrificed for America. We owe a tremendous debt to the over 20 million veterans living in the United States today, including 1.6 million in Florida.  It is because of them that we can enjoy the freedom and prosperity America offers.

Today should not be the only day we thank our veterans. Whether in the workplace or our neighborhoods, veterans deserve our support 365 days a year. Once their service to this nation is finished and they come home to rejoin us and their families, we have made a promise to take care of them – that’s a commitment we must keep.

The strength of our armed forces is unparalleled, and it’s because of our men and women in uniform that we can call this country the land of the free and the home of brave. May God bless our men and women in uniform, and may God bless America.  

This month, we mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a tradition first started in 1945 by the U.S. Congress. NDEAM celebrates the skills and talents of workers with disabilities and their contributions to our country as part of the American workforce. Equal opportunity is a key part of the American Dream, and when workers with disabilities are empowered by their employers, it’s yet another example of what makes America great.

It’s important to remember that not all disabilities are visible. Many Americans persevere in their daily lives with a disability that usually goes unnoticed by those around them. That’s why I encourage businesses to create welcoming environments for our loved ones, friends and neighbors who have an impediment beyond their control. We should help every worker achieve their full potential, regardless of the obstacles they face. About 13 percent of Floridians live with some sort of disability, and I applaud the numerous companies in our state that collectively employ 370,000 residents with disabilities.

In the U.S. Senate, I’ve supported efforts to help people with disabilities. I voted for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which President Obama signed into law in July 2014. This legislation requires state vocational rehabilitation programs to set aside at least 15 percent of their federal funding to help young people with disabilities transition from secondary school to postsecondary education programs and employment.

I also cosponsored the Able Act,  which was signed into law that same year. It allows individuals with disabilities to create tax-advantaged savings accounts to cover qualified disability expenses like education, housing and transportation. And I’ve been a champion for people with spinal cord injuries, annually sponsoring a resolution along with Senator Bill Nelson designating September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

I’ve also focused on disability benefits for our veterans. In addition to my efforts to improve and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, I’ve sponsored legislation such as the Protect Our Disabled Heroes Act. It creates criminal penalties for anyone who solicits or receives a fee or compensation from a veteran for advice on how to file a benefits claim.

As your representative in the U.S. Senate, I’m proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and I will continue working to ensure people with disabilities are treated fairly and have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. We must strive to strengthen our economy and promote policies that create more good-paying jobs for all Floridians. 

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to Private Nonprofit Organizations (PNPs) for physical losses up to its loan limits. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster. Additionally, PNPs can obtain loans for unmet working capital needs.
 
PNPs located in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco, and Pinellas counties in Florida are eligible to apply to SBA due to physical & economic damage resulting from Hurricane Hermine on Aug. 31 through Sept.11, 2016.
 
PNPs located in Alachua, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Hardee, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Manatee, Marion, Polk, Sumter, Taylor and Wakulla counties are eligible for economic damage only.
 
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 28, 2017.
 
The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to PNP organizations for physical losses up to its loan limits. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster. Additionally, PNPs can obtain loans for unmet working capital needs.
 
Apply online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
 
SBA’s Customer Service Center: 800-659-2955
(800-877-8339) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
Downloaded applications at: www.sba.gov/disaster.
Completed applications should be mailed to:
 
U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road,
Fort Worth, TX 76155
In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, our office stands ready to assist Floridians impacted by the storm.

In this post you will find a list of assistance options that may be available to you. For further assistance, please feel free to contact our office toll-free at 1-866-630-7106.

Yom Kippur

Oct 11 2016

Yom Kippur
By Marco Rubio

As sundown approaches, Jews around the world will gather tonight in synagogues from Tallahassee to Tel Aviv, Hollywood to Haifa, and Jupiter to Jerusalem, to hear the Kol Nidre (“all vows”) – which may be the most solemn Jewish prayer of all. Yom Kippur, which continues until tomorrow night at sundown, is a sacred day for Jews who pray to release prior vows, repent for the past, and resolve for the future. I join in solidarity with the Jewish community to observe this Day of Atonement, and pray that God shall seal the Jewish people in the Book of Life.

Rosh Hashanah

Oct 02 2016

As Jewish people around the world begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah tonight at sundown, I join them in welcoming this New Year and offer them my warmest wishes for a sweet and peaceful new year ahead.

Helping Our Veterans Seek Higher Education

By Marco Rubio

On Monday, September 19, 2016, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Expiring Authorities Act (H.R. 5985), by a vote of 89-0. 

I was proud to vote in support of this legislation – which the president signed into law today – because, among other things, it allows the VA secretary to continue paying GI Bill education benefits to student veterans for up to 18 months after their school’s accreditor loses federal recognition.  

In recent years, we’ve seen the negative impact on our veterans when the colleges they are attending go out of business or lose their accreditation. This problem has affected hundreds of veterans in Florida, and many more throughout the country, who have seen their studies halted from one day to the next. 

Just this month the closure of one such school, ITT Tech, left at least 688 student veterans in Florida and almost 7,000 nationwide out of school. Many of these students came to our office seeking assistance, and unfortunately, our options in assisting them were limited. Until now. 

This new law will now provide some relief to these veterans by allowing them to continue receiving their education benefits, including a living allowance, while they look for another VA-accredited school or university to attend. I was proud to support it.

Today, I joined the Bay County Chamber of Commerce for their monthly breakfast. It was an honor to visit and speak with those who have a vested interest in promoting a pro-growth environment for the Bay County area.
 
As I mentioned in my remarks, we must work together with our business leaders to strengthen our economy, grow good-paying jobs, and help Florida workers and families achieve the American dream.
 
Because of job-killing regulations and bureaucrats in Washington, Florida workers are under attack. But I am fighting back. 
 
I continue to challenge the federal government on regulatory issues such as its flawed basis for imposing fishing regulations that affect everyone on the Gulf. I am also pushing for a resolution to the Army Corps of Engineers’ mismanagement of water that had directly harmed the Apalachicola Bay, which serves as an economic driver and an important ecosystem to this region.  
 
I appreciate the Bay County Chamber of Commerce for hosting me today. One of the best ways I can represent and serve Florida in the U.S. Senate is by hearing directly from our community leaders, job creators, and other hardworking Floridians. They are the backbone of our state’s economy and I will continue to push for policies that help grow more good-paying jobs right here in Florida.