Fighting for Florida

Happy Passover

Apr 18 2011

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With the Festival of Passover upon us, I would like to share some thoughts and express my best wishes to the Jewish community in Florida and around the world.
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This week, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution that asked the United Nations to rescind a report that unfairly concluded Israel targeted attacks on civilians during 2008-2009. The report, known as the Goldstone Report, accused Israel of potential war crimes. Since its publication, the lead fact-finder has said he was wrong to have made these conclusions.
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Last week, Senator Rubio introduced the Decrease Spending Now Act with Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to rescind $45 billion in unspent taxpayer dollars that are currently sitting in federal coffers. The bill, which requires a report to Congress and the Secretary of the Treasury on these efforts within 60 days, has gained several notable co-sponsors to this fiscally-responsible legislation, including Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Senator Rubio: The President’s Speech Set Us Back…

Senator Rubio: “Well, first of all, the President's plan is not a debt reduction plan. The President is basically saying he thinks instead of raising the debt over the next ten years by $12 trillion, we should only raise the debt by $8 trillion, so that's the first thing I would tell you. The other two things we learned from his speech is that everything that's wrong in America is George Bush’s fault, according to Barack Obama, and that the problem in our country is that people aren't paying enough in taxes. But the speech was not a real serious public policy effort. I actually think that it sets us back in terms of solving the problems that we're facing here in this country.”

Senator Rubio: Budget Deal Takes Us In The Wrong Direction…

Fox News’ Peter Johnson: “Will you vote against the budget deal?”

Senator Rubio: “Yeah. I think it takes us in the wrong direction and I’ll tell you why. I've only been here four months now, but that's just long enough to realize how deep this problem is. I don't know what's wrong with people around here, but this thing’s not going to solve itself. This is getting worse every day and we're running out of time. We're either going to solve this problem or we're not, and right now, we aren't doing anything to solve this problem. This budget deal that was cut doesn't help solve the problem.”

Senator Rubio: I Will Vote To Defund Planned Parenthood…

Senator Rubio: “First of all, no program can be untouched. This notion by some of my colleagues here that this program can't be touched and somehow it can’t be on the table is absurd. I don't care what they do. There’s no program in our budget that should be off the table in terms of looking at it and understanding whether it's justified or not. Second of all, we simply can't afford to continue fund things like this. We are adding $12 trillion to our debt over the next ten years. That's outrageous. I'm going to vote to defund it. Third, I have problems with what Planned Parenthood does and ultimately what the aim of their organization is. And it's not their stated aims, it's what they actually do.”

Event_Bay of Pigs Veterans
Mr. President, on April 17, 1961, 1,500 individuals from the United States and Cuba valiantly volunteered in the Bay of Pigs mission to liberate Cuba from Fidel Castro's grip. They were a diverse group from all backgrounds of Cuban society, all united by the ideal that freedom is a God-given, inalienable right.

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to support legislative efforts that would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to rescind money from certain unobligated balances of discretionary appropriations. The “Decrease Spending Now Act,” introduced as H.R. 1111 by Representative Price (R-GA) and as S. 726 by Senator Rubio (R-FL), is commonsense legislation that allows us to apply unused taxpayer dollars to pay down our deficit.

Nearly every federal department ends each year with billions of dollars in unobligated funding. This is money that Congress has appropriated to agencies but has gone unspent, often for years at a time. A recent report by the OMB found $703 billion in unobligated federal money gathering dust in department coffers waiting to be spent. Research conducted by Senator Tom Coburn’s office estimates that more than $82 billion of these funds are between six and 20 years old.

Needless to say, at a time of record deficits, the very existence of a glorified “slush fund” amounting to $703 billion is simply unacceptable. Despite the enormous unspent balances, year-after-year Congress has borrowed billions more dollars to increase funding levels for programs. It is a sad indictment of Washington’s budgeting habits that Congress has been appropriating money far faster than even our voracious bureaucracy can spend it. At a time when many families are watching every penny of their own finances, such gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars must stop.

Both parties are now locked in heated debate over the size and substance of reductions in government expenditures. Even the modest cuts being proposed, which make a nearly imperceptible dent in the budget deficit, are being unjustly impugned as harmful to core government functions. Even at this decisive moment in politics, Washington should be able to agree that using unspent federal funds for deficit reduction is far wiser than forcing taxpayers to pay for unneeded departmental funding increases or continuing to add to our $14 trillion debt. It is therefore encouraging that 81 Senators, including 34 Democrats, are already on record as having supported a similar proposal as part of S. 223, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill. Accordingly, we hope your colleagues maintain their backing of this commonsense legislation and make passage of these proposals a priority.


Brandon Greife
Federal Government Affairs Manager

PDF of letter can be found here.


Dear FreedomWorks member,

As one of our one million-plus FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 726, the Decrease Spending Now Act. Introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the bill mandates that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withdraw $45 billion from unobligated balances of discretionary appropriations within 60 days.

A recent OMB report states that this year’s federal budget contains over $700 billion in unobligated balances. This means that hundreds of billions of dollars sits unspent in numerous government agencies. The report finds that $309.1 billion sits in the Treasury, $12.2 billion at the Agriculture Department, $16.4 billion at Labor, $71.4 billion at Defense and $25.2 billion at Housing and Urban Development. Sen. Coburn’s (R-OK) office found that at least $100 billion of these funds can safely be redirected immediately to reduce the national deficit. It is estimated that $82.4 billion of these funds are between six and twenty years old.

Congress must seek to eliminate wasteful spending wherever they find it. One of the most obvious examples of needless spending is Congress appropriating more money to a federal agency than it can spend. With our nation at over $14 trillion debt, we clearly cannot afford for our federal budget to include hundreds of billions in unobligated balances.

The Decrease Spending Now Act is a modest proposal that is a step in the right direction towards reining in excessive spending. Senators must stay true to their word by supporting any effort to reduce wasteful spending. I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor Sen. Rubio’s Decrease Spending Now Act today.


Matt Kibbe
President and CEO
[Click here for a PDF version of this letter]
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Hi, I'm Marco Rubio, and I'm proud to be your senator from the state of Florida. Thanks for visiting our website, as we introduce some of its features that will allow us to do a better job for you here in Washington, D.C. and across the state of Florida.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), a freshman member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tells National Review Online that the United States should "derecognize" the Qaddafi regime and set up a provisional embassy in Benghazi to begin "assisting the opposition's needs and to negotiate the terms of formal recognition."