Fighting for Florida

Today, Human Rights Day, we celebrate the God-given rights of every individual, and remember that millions of people around the world are still denied their fundamental rights to live peacefully with freedom and dignity.

That is why the United States must continue to champion human rights in all corners of the globe. Unfortunately, our country has shamefully looked the other way when it comes to human rights violators like Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia. We’ve also done too little to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, who have endured years of violence under the brutal Assad regime backed by two other serial human rights abusers, Russia and Iran.

Instead of standing with the Cuban people against their oppressors, President Obama has showered the totalitarian Castro regime with endless one-sided concessions. I will continue to support Cuba’s political prisoners, dissidents and democracy advocates struggling to realize their human rights.

Chinese dissident and writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize six years ago “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Today, instead of holding this prestigious honor, he rots in jail under a harsh sentence—solely for criticizing his own government.

In Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi similarly languishes in prison, awaiting flogging simply because he encouraged political and religious debate.

These are just some of the faces of those fighting for the basic rights and freedoms we enjoy here in America. Our country must be a voice for the voiceless, and these heroes need our support. On this Human Rights Day, let us renew our commitment to championing their cause.

Growing up in the 1980s, I can still remember the sense of fear surrounding the fatal disease that came to be known as HIV/AIDS. While so many then knew its name and the death sentence it bore, no one knew how to treat it. And sadly, instead of compassion, the disease brought a stigma to those afflicted by it.

Fortunately, advancements in medicine and technology have brought hope to those with HIV/AIDS and allowed them to live their lives. But we shouldn’t get complacent. Living with HIV/AIDS is not easy; it brings unique challenges. We have yet to find a cure, but with continued breakthroughs in medicine, it’s my hope this generation will see the end of HIV/AIDS.

I’ve been proud to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative started by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama. Because of it, millions of people across the globe with HIV/AIDS are able to live more fulfilling lives, and millions of babies in Africa whose mothers are infected have been given the chance to live free of the virus.

We’ve achieved real progress, but the fight must continue. More than 36 million people across the globe have HIV/AIDS, and unfortunately, minority communities in the United States are impacted disproportionately. That’s why I will continue working to promote education, prevention, awareness, and research to improve treatment and find a cure.

Today, we remember and pray for those we have lost to this terrible disease, and honor their memory by redoubling our efforts to realize an AIDS-free world. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in Congress to help eradicate this virus.

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 24 2016

As we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and friends, it’s a chance to reflect on the abundance of opportunities and promise America offers. Ours is the greatest country mankind has ever known, in part because it was founded to protect the inalienable rights bestowed on us by our Creator, allowing us to thrive in a free and prosperous land.
 
As you enjoy turkey, pumpkin pie, and football, I encourage you to take some time this holiday to show gratitude to those around you – for the underpinnings of a strong and prosperous America always start with the family.
 
Finally, thank you to the servicemen and women at home and abroad who will not be able to be with their families this Thanksgiving. While you may be far away today, you are still close in our hearts.
May God bless you. May God bless our troops. May God bless Florida. And may God always bless the United States of America.
 
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
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.