Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today approved the second FY19 Minibus appropriations package (H.R. 6147), which includes key measures advanced by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that are critical to securing funding for agencies working to address harmful algal blooms, legislation to deny Chinese investors access to U.S. small business aid and to crack down on shell companies using cash transactions in luxury real estate.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I applaud the full Senate’s approval of these critical provisions that I championed on behalf Florida. With the harmful algal blooms plaguing South Florida, my amendment ensures that the federal government upholds its duty to understand and help prevent the potential health impacts that harmful algae toxins have on communities affected by Lake Okeechobee discharges as we continue to seek long-term solutions,” Rubio said. “Additionally, today’s passage includes a provision requiring Treasury Department’s to examine identification requirements for all shell companies making cash transactions. Lastly, this bill includes my amendment to deny Chinese companies access to American small business programs and prevent taxpayer dollars from being awarded to our biggest economic competitor.”

Today’s FY19 Minibus appropriations package contains: the FY19 Agricultural, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, the Financial Services and General Government, the Interior and Environment, and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bills.

Rubio provisions included in the FY19 Minibus appropriations package (H.R. 6147):

Amendment to Address Harmful Algal Blooms

  • A minimum of $5 million for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the human health impacts of exposure to harmful algal toxins, and to develop innovative methods to monitor, characterize, and predict blooms for early action.
  • Ensures that the U.S. Geological Survey receives a minimum of $200,000 to help understand the mechanisms that result in the presence of toxins in harmful algal blooms.

Amendment to Crack Down on Shell Companies’ Dirty Money in Luxury Real Estate

  • Mandates the Treasury Department conduct a study to examine requiring all shell companies that make cash transactions, regardless of their area, to disclose their identities.

The Denying Chinese Investors Access to U.S. Small Business Aid Act

  • Prohibits Small Business Administration (SBA) benefits from being awarded to businesses headquartered in China or owned by citizens of the People’s Republic of China.