Congress

Rick Scott is Florida's Republican governor, not a senator-elect.

Yet there he was at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's left shoulder Wednesday when the Kentucky Republican welcomed GOP senators who will take their seats in January when the new Congress is sworn in.

The deadly mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., last week came less than a day after dozens of Democrats who campaigned on promises to strengthen gun laws were elected to the House of Representatives. Across the country, candidates from Virginia, Georgia, Texas and Washington state bluntly called for more gun safety, seemingly emboldened to take on the National Rifle Association.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / Miami Herald

One of South Florida’s longest-running political dynasties will remain intact for at least another two years, as eight-term Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart cruised to a convincing defeat over Democrat Mary Barzee Flores, who was making a long-shot attempt at flipping Miami-Dade County’s most conservative Congressional district.

Diaz-Balart, the incumbent representing Florida’s 25th Congressional District, was soundly besting Barzee Flores with — collecting 61 percent of the votes with almost 8 percent of the county’s precincts tallied.

Democrats appear confident they'll take back the House majority next Tuesday — a fact top Republican strategists all but concede privately less than a week before Election Day.

"Up until today I would have said if the election was held today we would win. Now I'm saying we will win," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday night on CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

TOM JAMES - WWW.PELICANMEDIA.TV

Florida is waiting on Congress to authorize two efforts that could help address algal blooms plaguing the state's coastal and inland waterways.

Jose A. Iglesias / El Nuevo Herald

Donna Shalala won the Democratic nomination for the 27th U.S. congressional district in South Florida Tuesday, setting up a key showdown that will determine the fate of a long-held Republican seat.

  

Shalala, a former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the University of Miami, edged past a crowded field with 32 percent of the vote.

She will now try to turn the seat Democratic after more than two decades with it under the control of Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring.

In October of 2013, the federal government shut down for 16 days — the third longest shutdown in history. A few women in particular came together to end the gridlock, including Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Andrew West / The News Press via the Miami Herald

Everglades advocates are telling Congress to get moving on a major restoration project needed to help prevent future algae blooms like the ones currently choking inland and coastal waterways in Florida. 

WLRN

Florida recipients of a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants from deportation are in Washington, D.C., this week, calling on Congress to pass a law that will let them remain in the U.S. 

Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras will face deportation in the next two years after the Trump administration's recent decisions to end protections for immigrants from those countries. The program has provided immigrants with temporary lawful status and work authorization. 

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Over Memorial Day weekend, President Trump tweeted that people should "put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there parents once they cross the Border into the U.S."

The president implied that children were being separated from their parents at the border because of a law enacted by Democrats.

Actually, the policy in question was enacted by his own administration.

Congressional Candidates Fight To Stand Out In Miami

May 20, 2018
Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

After holding a congressional seat for nearly 30 years, Republican Cuban-American Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida's District 27 will be stepping down, and the seat is already heavily contested. Five Democrats, nine Republicans, and one Independent candidate are running to fill the seat as of May 2018.

Tim Chapman

Faced with cyber-security threats to their voting systems, Florida election supervisors say they want access to some of the federal election security money Congress approved for all 50 states nearly two months ago.

But the state, which is supposed to receive $19 million, doesn't yet have the money, and election officials say they're growing impatient.

"We sure wish the money was available. It's frustrating," said Supervisor Mark Earley in Tallahassee's Leon County. "This is a big deal. There’s certainly room for improvement, especially in smaller counties."

The Koch brothers are going rogue.

For years the political network funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch funded politicians on the right, laying the foundation for the libertarian causes the two support. Their support has gone almost exclusively to Republican candidates, with rare exception.

But in the era of Trump, what it means to be on the "right" is changing, and the Koch network's tactics are changing to reflect new realities.

In last week's primaries, Republican internal divisions were highlighted. But Tuesday night, it was the Democrats' turn — and in some of the very places the party needs to win to take back the House.

The Florida Channel / WFSU

When Governor Rick Scott rolled out the first television ad in his campaign for U.S. Senate in April, it centered entirely on his desire to bring 12-year term limits to Congress. Meanwhile, this week saw the retirement of Senate President Joe Negron who says he is a “big believer in term limits.” The conversation has even reached the Constitution Revision Commission, with a proposal that would limit school board members to 8-year terms. 

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