Fighting for Florida

As someone with several first responders in my family, I value the work they do across the country each day. Our nation especially owes a debt of gratitude to the heroes and volunteers who served our fellow citizens during and after the September 11th attacks.
Programs designed to meet the unique health needs of those Americans should be renewed, and those who rely on them should not face uncertainty and continued anxiety over their future. To help achieve these goals, today I co-sponsored S. 928, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.
I continue to believe that we should prioritize our 9/11 first responders' needs above other things that the federal government is spending money on – and in many cases, wasting money on. While I am co-sponsoring this bill, Congress should nonetheless find appropriate ways to pay for this reauthorization and ensure a sustainable long-term solution.
Congress must keep faith with the heroes and victims of 9/11, while also making sure our federal government is living within its means and protecting taxpayers. As we continue working on this issue, I hope we can improve this legislation or reach an agreement that meets both these goals.
Today marks the 6th anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder at the hands of Russian officials. Sergei was detained and tortured for over a year after exposing Russian government corruption. The anniversary of his brutal murder reminds us that governments will go to great lengths to hide their corrupt practices, even take an innocent man’s life. Unfortunately, the Russian officials who are responsible for Sergei’s murder remain at-large. The U.S. should intensify efforts to implement the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 to bring to justice the individuals responsible for Sergei’s death as well as other Russian human rights violators, such as those involved in the brutal assassination earlier this year of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov.
In honor of Sergei’s memory, the Senate should pass the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act which would impose financial and visa sanctions on individuals responsible to human rights abuses and corrupt government officials around the world. The United States should not allow these criminals access to our country or financial institutions.
My thoughts and prayers are with Sergei’s family and friends today as they remember a man who died for trying to expose the corrupt practices of the Russian government.  The United States stands by the Russian people on this sad day and will continue to support their efforts to ensure their leaders respect the rule of law.
On this International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, I join with Christians around the world in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Scripture tells us that when one part of the body suffers the entire body shares its suffering. When it comes to the Christian faithful, without question, the body is suffering.
From the underground house church in China where worshippers gather in fear of communist government persecution, to the displaced Iraqi and Syrian Christians wondering if they will ever return home to the cradle of Christianity, the Church internationally is under seige. From the imprisoned believer in Pakistan facing a possible death sentence for believing in God, to the starving Christian in a North Korean prison camp, churches around the world are increasingly under assault.
Today I stand in solidarity with these suffering believers and thank God for the steadfast and unwavering faith of so many, young and old, in the midst of oppression, marginalization, kidnapping, imprisonment and even death. I pray that God would grant them courage and even hope in the midst of these trials.

Yom Kippur

Sep 22 2015

Rubio: "It is my prayer that our Jewish friends and neighbors, especially our allies in the great nation of Israel, find peace and renewal as they observe this sacred time of reflection and atonement."
Rubio: "In a world where life is increasingly not valued, where people are summarily discarded, America must stand for the belief that all life is worthy of protection."
"Today, as our nation marks POW-MIA Recognition Day, join me in taking a moment to remember these American heroes, as well as their friends and families."


Sep 15 2015

As the Obama White House prepares to roll out the red carpet for Chinese president and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, I am joining with my fellow CECC Co-Chair, Rep. Chris Smith, in the #FreeChina’sHeroes initiative to highlight the cases of individuals who are presently imprisoned, detained or disappeared in China.

Rosh Hashanah

Sep 13 2015

Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, is a time of reflection and new beginnings for the Jewish community. We wish the Jewish people in the U.S., Israel and throughout the world a day of many blessings and peace as they celebrate this High Holiday.
Let us also recognize the profound influence that Judeo-Christian values have had on shaping this great nation and how they are among the many reasons we are so closely linked to Israel. Although this past year has brought many great challenges to Israel, it also reminded us of why the Jewish state remains a friend of the U.S. like no other - one we must continue to defend and protect.
In this time of prayer and reflection, my family and I wish all members of the Jewish community a happy and healthy new year. May this celebration bring with it lasting peace and prosperity.
Shanah Tovah U’metukah.
For those of us who lived through that day, we can hardly believe that 14 years have passed since the September 11 attacks against our nation. As Americans, this day will always be a day for us to remember those we lost and the heroic efforts of our first responders and fellow citizens who risked, and many of whom sacrificed, their lives while attempting to save others. While the painful memories of these attacks will forever be a part of our lives, so will our resilience as a nation following them.
On this anniversary, we are reminded of the greatness of America through the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, intelligence community, our diplomatic corps, and law enforcement agencies who every day honor the memory of the fallen heroes of September 11th by defending America at home and abroad and working to prevent another terrorist attack.  From the battlefields of the war against terror to Benghazi, Libya, many of these brave individuals have paid the ultimate price in the fourteen years since September 11, 2001.
But like any anniversary, this day is also a time to look forward. After my recent visit to the memorial in Chattanooga dedicated to the 5 U.S. servicemen killed there in July and the ongoing debate regarding the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, I am reminded of the patriotic duty we have to remain vigilant in our daily lives to ensure the uniqueness of our nation remains a reality for many generations to come. Fourteen years later, with threats to our nation from abroad and here at home growing, we live in a world as dangerous as ever.
As we honor those we lost that September morning, we should renew our commitment to stand for the freedoms we have always defended and commit to a foreign policy that promotes American strength and reflects our core values as a nation.