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Rubio Releases Pro-Florida Agenda for the 118th Congress
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced nine pro-Florida bills for the 118th Congress.
- “Florida is blessed with abundant natural resources, rich agricultural industries, thriving small businesses, and a growing advanced manufacturing sector. Our state continues to lead the way, serving as a beacon of hope and opportunity for Americans.
- “We’ve accomplished a lot over the past 12 years, and I’ll continue fighting on behalf of the hardworking men and women of Florida to solve problems and deliver commonsense solutions.” — Senator Rubio
Rubio detailed his Florida-focused priorities in a Medium post.
In addition to his pro-Florida bill reintroductions, Rubio introduced a bill to ensure federal disaster relief is responsive to the needs of individuals and communities impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, and Fiona. In December, Congressional Democrats wrote a disaster supplemental behind closed doors, to the disadvantage of states that were impacted by hurricanes in 2022. Senator Rubio’s legislation would closely model his plan for recovery proposed soon after Hurricane Ian’s landfall. The bill also addresses shortcomings in federal hurricane response by giving the Secretary of Agriculture flexibility to provide disaster relief in the form of block grants to states, and would establish a formal process for a state to request the waiver of flood zone restrictions for the issuance of FEMA trailers based upon the unique circumstances of a disaster, among other reforms. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor.
Below is a list of bills Rubio reintroduced:
American Shores Protection Act. First introduced in July 2021, the legislation would codify the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida that was put in place by a September 8, 2020 Executive Order by President Trump. Under the legislation, the moratorium would be in place for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida and South Atlantic until 2032. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor. Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Clean Water Allotment Modernization Act. First introduced in January 2020, the legislation would modernize and enact long-term reforms to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Rick Scott (R-FL) are cosponsors. Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
South Florida Ecosystem Enhancement Act. First introduced in February 2022, the legislation would reauthorize and reform the South Florida Geographic Program to support ecosystem restoration and monitoring efforts across the contiguous aquatic ecosystems of southern Florida. Congressman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary of National Significance Act. First introduced in June 2021, the legislation would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to formally enroll the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary Program into the National Estuary Program as an “Estuary of National Significance.” Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor.
Defending Domestic Produce Production Act. First introduced in September 2018, the legislation would help Florida fruit and vegetable growers combat unfair trade practices by countries like Mexico. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor. Congressmen Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Defending Domestic Orange Juice Production Act. First introduced in June 2022, the legislation would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lower the required level of sugar/solids content (brix standard) in not-from-concentrate pasteurized orange juice from 10.5 percent weight of orange juice soluble solids to 10 percent. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor.
Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act. First introduced in January 2019, the legislation would exempt the premium cigar industry from the overregulation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s misguided rule requiring premium cigar manufacturers to regulate the manufacturing, importation, packaging, labeling, advertisement, promotion, sale and distribution of premium cigars. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Budd (R-NC), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are cosponsors.
Sand Acquisition, Nourishment, and Development Act. First introduced in February 2017, the legislation would make it more cost-effective to replenish Southeast Florida’s economically valuable beaches, which also serve as critical shore protection.
Fishing Equipment Tax Relief Act. First introduced in September 2016, the legislation would create fairness in federal excise taxes by equalizing the tax rates for portable, electronically aerated bait containers and the parts used to assemble it. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is a cosponsor.
Want more information? Rubio outlined his plans for the third term in an op-ed for The American Conservative.