Brightline Rail Town Hall Meeting

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Bring a friend and a neighbor and meet your Congressman Ted Deutch  District 22; on this major topic of mass trains that are scheduled to ride on the CRX lines this scheduled late Summer. Hear the facts on how many trains, various times; beautification of the areas?  Train Whistles? If railroad crossing gates are stuck shut down, who do we call?  These are many questions from the Fort Lauderdale Areas that need to be addressed. With massive road construction on Sunrise Blvd; 13th Street going east to west ; Broward Blvd; questions that needs to be addressed.

Scheduled to join Congressman Ted Deutch is Ali Soule from Brightline Transportation; Representatives from Metropolitan Planning Organization of Broward County, Broward County Intergovernmental agency; also invited City Commissioner Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale and County Commissioner of Broward County, Tim Ryan.

A presentation is scheduled and then Q & A from the public. Please feel free to announce this to your Civic Association; Nextdoor.com or your FB page,

ArtServe. 1350 E.Sunrise Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, Fl  33304
Time:7 pm

Wasserman Schultz Statement in Observance of Memorial Day


“Each Memorial Day, we gather to pay tribute to those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve this great democracy. These brave men and women fought valiantly so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms, liberty and security that we all enjoy in America.
It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of daily life and overlook their constant vigilance and sacrifice – all across the world – past and present. These courageous soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen and women put their lives on the line for all of us every day.
We are deeply saddened when they do not come home to the families, friends, and communities they so bravely fought to protect. This Memorial Day we must share their stories, honor their families and memories, and never, ever forget their ultimate sacrifice.”

Have Hate Biased Crimes Gone Up Since Trump Was Elected

The number of hate incidentsThinkProgress has tracked since Nov. 9, 2016, when Donald Trump was declared a president-elect. Of the 261 incidents, 109 — or 42% – "included specific references to Trump, his election, or his policies."
Now, the number does seem notably smaller than Southern Poverty Law Center's 867 reported post-election hate crime incidents. ThinkProgress' tracker only included acts of hate violence toward individuals and communities rather than public and private places — like vandalized mosques or spray-painted churches. The incidents listed in ThinkProgress' database also only included incidents that were backed up with news coverage, police reports or through the publication's own investigation into the incident.
Click Image above to enlarge 

ource: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress
According to the report, New York had the highest amount of hate incidents with 33 since Nov. 9. California followed with 27, Texas with 25 and Florida with 18 incidents. The report also found that 26.8% of the incidents targeted Jewish people, black people with 22.9%, LGBTQ people with 13.7%, Muslim people with 11.8%, Latinx with 10.3% and other with 14.9%. The reported incidents included acts of violence toward Trump supporters and protesters under "other."
It should be noted that while hate violence toward Muslims only accounted for 11.8% of the total incidents, Muslims are significantly the smallest population of all groups listed in the report.
You can find detailed reports of the hate incidents and the interactive database hereThinkProgress will no longer be tracking hate violence, but ProPublica will be continuing the efforts. You can find their reports here.



The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors® has announced merger with the Realtors® Association of the Palm

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The Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors® (GFLR) has announced the member vote passed for the merger with the Realtors® Association of the Palm
Beaches (RAPB). This merger will form the third largest local Realtor® association in the nation
becoming the Realtors® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. According to the
National Association of Realtors® (NAR), this is the first local association merger of 2017.
“With a 99% passing rate, as well as the highest voter participation in the history of the RAPB,
our members turned out in record numbers to vote in support of the merger”. said Dionna Hall,
Chief Executive Officer of RAPB. Hall will be installed as the CEO of the merged Association
and MLS.
“I want to thank our members for showing up and; making their voice heard in today’s
GFLR+RAPB merger vote. This was the best turn out we’ve ever had for a member-driven
decision. I’m honored to represent GFLR & all of our dedicated members,” said Ron Lennen,
President of GFLR.
Association members will have more opportunity with leadership involvement and the ability to
bring forth ideas and issues that are very localized with Regional Boards in Western Broward
County, Eastern Broward County, Southern Palm Beach County, Northern Palm Beach County
and the Treasure Coast.
The merging of these two “mega boards” creates a rare opportunity for the Realtors® in Palm
Beach, Broward and St. Lucie Counties to have the best in class representing over 25,000
Association members and 30,000 MLS subscribers. The merged association’s multiple listing
services will carry more than 40,000 on-market listings, totaling over $21 billion in inventory.
This creates both a single source for homebuyers and greater exposure for sellers throughout the
Southeast coast of Florida. The company will become one of the ten largest MLSs in the United
States.
“We are very excited to bring our members together in being the voice of real estate for more
than a 100 mile span. After seeing our members overwhelming support, I’m confident that we
made the right decision for our Association and our local real estate market.” said John Slivon,
President of RAPB.
According to NAR, the national trend shows mergers and partnerships are becoming more
popular among Boards and Associations for a variety of reasons including overlapping markets,
similar services, geographic considerations, cost-savings, membership benefits and wider

recognition in the marketplace. NAR’s “core standards” have been a driving force in association
mergers and dissolutions involving tens of thousands of Realtors®. The “core standards”
mandate a minimum level of service from location associations.

World OutGames cancels opening and closing ceremonies

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"It is with deep regret that due to financial challenges, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance and soccer," the event's board of directors said in a statement. "The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision."
According to the event's website, World OutGames was supposed to bring more than 450 events to South Florida this year in the areas of sport, culture and human rights.
The World OutGames was created by the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association, although the OutGames are open to all who wish to participate, regardless of sexual orientation.

The World OutGames is scheduled for Friday to June 4. 

Local GOP Operative Worked With Russian Hackers to Hack Florida Election in 2016

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Aaron Nevins 

A Republican political operative in Florida asked the alleged Russian hacker who broke into Democratic Party organizations’ servers at the height of the 2016 campaign to pass him stolen documents, according to a report Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.
In return, that operative received valuable Democratic voter-turnout analyses, which the newspaper found at least one GOP campaign consultant took advantage of the information. The hacker went on to flag that same data to Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of Donald Trump’s who briefly advised his presidential campaign, and who is currently under federal investigation for potential collusion with Russia.
The Wall Street Journal’s report presents the clearest allegations to date of collusion between people connected to Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Cybersecurity experts were sounding the alarm as early as last July that Guccifer 2.0, which had tapped into both the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic National Campaign Committee, was connected to the Russian military intelligence apparatus. However, in September, Florida GOP consultant Aaron Nevins wrote to Guccifer 2.0 to tell the hacker to “feel free to send any Florida based information,” according to the Journal.

Guccifer 2.0 ended up passing Nevins 2.5 gigabytes of stolen documents, including information about Democrats’ get-out-the-vote strategy in Florida and other swing states, the Journal reported. Nevins then posted the documents on his blog, HelloFLA.com, under a pseudonym.
The stolen documents Nevins published on his blog and then passed along to Florida journalists included detailed analyses commissioned by the DCCC of specific Florida districts—reports that revealed how many dependable Democratic voters, likely Democratic voters, and frequent-but-not-committed voters resided in each area.
Stone told the Journal that while he did receive a link to Nevins’ blog from Guccifer 2.0, he didn’t share the stolen data published on the blog with anyone.
The Journal originally reported that one Florida Republican campaign consultant said he used the stolen information. The newspaper initially said a campaign consultant for U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), Anthony Bustamante, ramped up his TV ad buys and dialed back a mailer effort. The Journal subsequently updated its story to reflect that a Mast spokesman said Bustamante stopped working for the campaign in June 2016, months before the stolen documents were published, and noted that it could no longer reach Bustamante.

Miami Man Who Looks Like Joker Held in Psychiatric Unit



A man with green hair and face tattoos resembling The Joker from the Batman films has been arrested after allegedly pointing a gun at traffic. Lawrence Sullivan, 29, from Miami, was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed firearm on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. The self-described tattoo model has a number of face tattoos, including…

Ros-Lehtinen’s Bill to Denounce Violence and Persecution of Gay Men in Chechnya

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“I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to condemn the discrimination and atrocities that plague LGBT individuals so that soon we can achieve equality in every corner of the world.”

 Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement following the House Foreign Affairs Committee passage of her bill, H.Res. 351, condemning the violence and persecution in Chechnya, a bipartisan resolution she authored that calls on Chechen authorities to immediately cease the abduction and violence of men based on their real or perceived sexual orientation; and calls on Russia to uphold its international commitments and protect the human rights of all of its citizens.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“I am pleased that the Foreign Affairs Committee has once again stood up to defend the freedom and human rights of those living under the shadow of oppression and tyranny in a broad bipartisan manner. By passing my resolution, we send a unified message that this body will continue to raise the alarm about Chechnya and Russia’s declining human rights record and that this unwarranted persecution of gay or perceived to be gay individuals must end now. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to condemn the discrimination and atrocities that plague LGBT individuals so that soon we can achieve equality in every corner of the world.”

Joining Ros-Lehtinen in introducing this resolution were U.S. Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), and Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Wasserman Schultz on Updated CBO Score for Trumpcare Bill




“Today’s disturbing CBO score confirms exactly why Republicans rammed through their destructive Trumpcare legislation without hearings, and without a CBO score that would reveal its devastating impact. It is a tax cut for the wealthy, masquerading as a health care bill that would cruelly leave 23 million Americans without coverage. It strands those with pre-existing conditions to face ‘extremely high premiums,’ weakens Medicare, and pushes a disgraceful age tax onto millions of Americans who are approaching retirement.

The pain doesn’t end there: those who are in need of mental health, maternity or emergency services would face higher costs, and Trumpcare effectively brings back annual and lifetime spending caps. Every reputable doctor and patient advocacy group warned Republicans that this is what Trumpcare would do. Yet they passed this deeply unpopular piece of legislation anyway. It’s a billionaire’s dream – and a nightmare for anyone with a pre-existing condition. The updated CBO score released today confirms that. Democrats in Congress and every corner of the country will fight to defeat this depraved attack on people who simply want and deserve to maintain the affordable, quality health care they gained through the Affordable Care Act.”
 

Deutch, Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz to Hold Press Event on LGBT Rights, Equality Act

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On Friday, May 26th at 10:45 am  Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) will be joined by Democratic Leader Nancy 
Pelosi (CA-12) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) for a public discussion on Congressional Democrats' efforts to achieve full equality for the LGBT community, including their support for the Equality Act. The Equality Act is a landmark civil rights legislation that would guarantee federal protections for LGBT individuals.

The Members of Congress will be joined by constituents who will share their stories of LGBT discrimination.


The Pride Center 2040 N. Dixie Highway Wilton Manors, FL 
  

Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)   Robert Boo, CEO, Pride Center Mayor Gary Resnick, Wilton Manors Constituent Speakers TBA
      This is a RSVP only event; so please make sure to RSVP by email to 
deutch.office@mail.house.gov
deutch.office@mail.house.gov
This public event is open to the press. Please RSVP to Jason Attermann for planning purposes. 



Rep. Deutch Statement on Six Month TPS Extension for Haitians


 Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), representing portions of Palm Beach and Broward Counties home to many Haitians residing under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), issued this statement on the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security to extend the TPS designation for Haiti for six months:

“I am pleased that the Administration gave Haitians a temporary six month six-monthf TPS rather than abruptly ending the humanitarian measure and throwing thousands of lives in limbo. But it’s quite clear that conditions in Haiti won’t improve sufficiently in six months to justify letting TPS expire. This six month extension keeps tens of thousands of Haitians uncertain of their future. Progress has been made in Haiti, but the country is still far from recovered. Sending these people back into dangerous conditions directly violates the principle reason for granting TPS in the first place.”

Congressman Deutch joined with his Florida colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to Secretary Kelly urging him to extend the TPS designation for Haiti.

Wasserman Schultz on Homeland Security Decision Regarding Haiti's TPS Status




Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in response to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly's announcement regarding the Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti:

“Today’s decision to provide a six-month grace period from deportation for more than 58,000 Haitians is a welcome but temporary solution, and it falls woefully short of what is needed. The move appears to be designed to allow families time to voluntarily return to Haiti or prepare to leave the country. It’s the absolute minimum that the Department of Homeland Security could have done.

However, this additional time does provide an opportunity to make the very compelling case that sending people back to a country still ravaged by earthquake, food shortages, disease and other harsh conditions is simply inhumane. I will continue to work with advocates, the Administration and other lawmakers to extend this deadline as quickly as possible. America needs a smart, compassionate deportation policy in cases where a safe return can’t be guaranteed, or a home country cannot successfully reintegrate its own people. Haiti is clearly such a case.”

Trump's Odd Diet Likely Complicates Overseas Trip






President Donald Trump eats like a 6-foot-plus, 240-pound petulant child—if that irritable youngster had the ability to push a button and make a lackey fetch a Coke. He's set to embark on his first official trip overseas Friday with pit stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, Italy and the Vatican—something he's reportedly pouting about, huffing and…

Deutch: 'Trump's Mass Deportation Act' Designed to Cleanse U.S. of Undocumented Immigrants


 Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, spoke during a House Judiciary Committee markup hearing against H.R. 2431, the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act.”

Calling it President Trump's "mass deportation act," Congressman Deutch strongly opposes the bill's criminalization of undocumented immigrants in the United States and "massive buildup and militarization of deportation forces and detention facilities."

Congressman Deutch said, "I will never spend a moment's time trying to figure out how to put in place a policy that is inhumane and un-American, that calls for rounding up 11 million people and shipping them out of our country. No."

Click the graphic below to watch Congressman Deutch's remarks against H.R. 2431.

Wasserman Schultz on New Sanctions Against Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued new sanctions that target members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia or TSJ):

“I am pleased that the Trump Administration has finally issued sanctions targeting Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice. The humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Venezuela is an affront to all who believe in freedom, democracy, and justice, and it is appalling that the members of the Tribunal, who are tasked with protecting these values, are actually contributing to their corrosion.

Last September, I worked with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to pass a resolution in Congress condemning the Maduro regime’s actions leading to the humanitarian, economic, and political crises in Venezuela. Since then, I have relentlessly urged the Administration to sanction these disgraceful judges. Most recently, I was proud to join more than 30 of my colleagues on a letter to President Trump, urging him to immediately deploy new sanctions against the Venezuelan state actors responsible for perpetuating violence and engaging in human rights violations. 

Several months later, Venezuelans are still being denied access to food and lifesaving medicine, violence has continued to erupt across the country, and the Supreme Tribunal has responded by stripping powers from the National Assembly, and helping the Maduro regime to silence the opposition and lock up brave human rights defenders like Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma.

While I firmly believe that this decision by the Treasury Department is long overdue, I welcome this positive step in the right direction, and again urge President Trump to use all available diplomatic tools in support of democratic values and human rights in Venezuela.”

5TH Annual Autism in Flight Rises to New Heights at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.


Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief gets on board a JetBlue flight with children at the 5th Annual Autism in Flight event at FLL
Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief gets on board a JetBlue flight with children at the 5th Annual Autism in Flight event at FLL

Today we have wings and we're going to fly," said Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief as she greeted children and their parents who were participating in the 5th Annual Autism in Flight program at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.  

The Autism in Flight Program began in 2013 after Mayor Sharief was contacted by a family in her district with an autistic child and learned of the potential challenges they faced when using airports.  Seven Broward County Public Schools now participate in the program that provides a real life travel experience for children with autistic spectrum disorder.  An estimated 5,000 children with autism spectrum disorder are enrolled in Broward County Public Schools (BCPS). 

"Autistic children experience the world quite differently than the rest of us.  Airport travel can be daunting, so this is a learning experience for the children, the families and airport employees. In the past five years this program has grown and we are able to help more children and families enjoy traveling on an airplane," said Sharief.

The children check in at the ticket counter, go through a TSA security check and board a real airplane provided by JetBlue for a mock "take-off."  Trained JetBlue crewmembers provide assistance throughout the process. JetBlue pilots and flight attendants are onboard to simulate the true flying experience as they meet and interact with the children. Behavioral consultants are on hand to assist students with any issues that might arise. The plane actually travels on the tarmac for a short distance before returning to the gate.

This year 4th and 5th graders from Coconut Palm Elementary, Silver Lakes Elementary, Dania Elementary, Floranada Elementary, Norcrest Elementary, Park Springs Elementary and Tradewinds Elementary participated in the program. Autism in Flight is part of JetBlue's ongoing Blue Horizons for Autism platform.

Mayor Sharief was joined by Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, Broward County School Board Members Patricia Good and Robin Bartleman, Broward County Aviation Director Mark Gale, Director of JetBlue's FLL Airport Operations, Jason Annunziata and Valerie Wanza, Chief Performance & Accountability Officer, Broward County Public Schools. 

Democracy Reform Task Force Members Introduce Bill to Close Political Conflicts of Interest Loophole



 Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22), John P.  Sarbanes (MD-03), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Mark Pocan (WI-02), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)  introduced the Conflicts from Political Fundraising Act, a bill to close a glaring ethics loophole in the appointment process for high ranking government officials. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Under current law, a presidential nominee must disclose their personal financial information to the Office of Government Ethics to highlight and address any potential conflicts of interest. However, the nominees are not required to release information about their political solicitations or contributions, which may also create risks or appearance of conflicts of interest. For example, if a nominee asked a corporation for a $1,000,000 contribution to a political action committee before his appointment, they should disclose that and be disqualified from participating in any decisions involving that corporation.

The Conflicts from Political Fundraising Act would require nominees to disclose whether they have solicited or contributed funds for political purposes to 527 political action committees, or tax-exempt groups formed under sections 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) of the tax code.

“Because of the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, big money has too much influence in our elections. That’s why we need to be certain that presidential nominees aren’t going to put their own political interests above the interests of the American people,” said Rep. Deutch, a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. “Under current law, billionaires can anonymously flood our elections with unlimited amounts of money one day and become heads of an agencies the next. We can’t let the failures in our campaign finance laws be compounded by failures in our ethics laws. That’s why we need to close this loophole. Until we overturn Citizens United, the American people won’t be able to place their full trust in the president’s highest-ranking appointees unless they are required to disclose their fundraising activities.”

“Americans of all political stripes expect cabinet officials and other executive branch appointees to be chosen because of their capacity to serve – not because of their political contributions,” said Rep. Sarbanes, Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. “Unfortunately, our ethics disclosure system for Presidential nominees is broken. Campaign donors can – and do – easily parlay their political activity into high-profile jobs. Excluding disclosure of campaign giving from the ethics review process leads to massive conflicts of interest and a weakened public trust. That's why I am proud to join Representative Deutch and Senator Whitehouse in introducing the Conflicts from Political Fundraising Act, which would close this senseless loophole and ensure the American people and Congress have all the facts when considering Presidential nominees.”

“The American people deserve a government that is free from conflicts of interest,” said Rep. Lofgren, a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. “This bill will go a long ways towards ensuring greater transparency and will help hold public servants accountable to the public – not special interests.”

“The American people have a right to know when presidential appointees have oversight responsibility of entities and political causes that they have previously supported with financial contributions,” said Rep. Cicilline, a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill which will help to bring more transparency and accountability to the executive branch.”

“As we work to get big money out of politics and overturn Citizens United, we must also close loopholes that allow mega-donors to effectively purchase high-level Administration positions – using campaign contributions to put them in the position of regulating the very industries and special interests they represent," said Rep. Schakowsky, a Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. "The American public deserves to know whether those who serve in their government have conflicts of interest. I am proud to join Senator Whitehouse and Representative Deutch in introducing legislation to increase transparency and guarantee that critical information is made known.”

“Citizens United unleashed a tsunami of corporate spending in our politics, threatening to drown out the voices of individual citizens. It’s time to update our ethics rules to prevent that spending from hatching serious conflicts of interest at the top levels of our government,” said Senator Whitehouse. “We ask high-level appointees to disclose their financial relationships, which may have a serious influence on the work they do if confirmed. We also need to ask about fundraising relationships, which can be just as thorny. That will help us avoid potentially serious conflicts of interest and the scandal that would follow.”

A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.

Wasserman Schultz on Appointment of Special Prosecutor



Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement on the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller III as special prosecutor:

“I’m encouraged by the Justice Department’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump-Russia connection, and I have a deep respect for former FBI Director Mueller. Assuming he is given true independence, this appointment will remove some of the clouds that have hung over our system of justice during this deeply troubling situation. It’s certainly overdue.

However, the investigation must include Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, the Kremlin’s possible ties to the Trump campaign, and the President’s alleged interference in the Michael Flynn investigation. This is a positive step, but more still needs to be done to ensure that we provide the whole truth to the American people.”

Rep. Deutch Statement on Reports Trump Asked Comey to Drop Flynn Investigation



Congressman Ted Deutch, a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued this statement in response to the news that President Trump reportedly asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn:

"For the last seven days, the American people have endured one shocking revelation after another, putting extraordinary stress on our democratic institutions. 

"One week ago, the President fired Director Comey for, as he later admitted, leading the Russia investigation into the Trump campaign and White House. Then we learned that the President leaked highly classified intelligence to top Russian officials. Today, it’s being reported that the President tried to pressure Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, one day after he resigned and weeks after the White House learned that their compromised National Security Advisor was at risk of blackmail by Russia.

"We simply cannot accept these daily revelations as normal. We need an independent counsel who can pursue this investigation to its completion, without political interference and without the threat of being fired by the President. We need the House Judiciary Committee to do its job and call the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Acting FBI Director, and former Director Comey to testify under oath. 

"The President asked the FBI Director to shut down one investigation, then fired the FBI Director in order to shut down another investigation. In the end, the President’s actions must lead to a new, fully independent investigation to determine any evidence of undue influence or obstruction of justice by this White House."

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ STATEMENT ON REPORTS TRUMP ASKED COMEY TO END FLYNN FBI PROBE




Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in response to news reports that President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end a federal investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn:

“If President Trump pressured then-FBI Director Comey to close down an investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn, it would represent an egregious corrosion of the rule of law. The latest reports indicate that the President possibly abused his executive power, or attempted to obstruct justice. Either one, if true, would represent one of the most disturbing allegations yet.

Along with this latest revelation and President Trump's subsequent firing of Director Comey, it is increasingly evident that Trump has interfered with an investigation into whether he or his campaign colluded with the Russian government. It is essential that we put our country and the rule of law above politics now, and allow an independent counsel to broadly investigate the Trump-Russia ties without fear of presidential influence.”

Ranking Member Deutch Statement on Reports Trump Disclosed Classified Intel to Russians



Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Member of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, issued this statement following reports that President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister and Russian Ambassador to the United States:

"If reports are accurate, President Trump revealed vital and highly classified information in the Oval Office to Putin's top officials. This reckless move jeopardizes our intelligence sources, exposes extremely sensitive information, and seriously calls into question our president's judgment. This dangerous behavior threatens our global alliances in the fight against terrorism and actually makes America less safe."

SNL's Melissa McCarthy Returns as Desperate Sean Spicer


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It’s been a bad week for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. After he spent several minutes Tuesday night hiding in the bushes from reporters following President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, White House rumors suggested Trump might be about to ax his top comms chief. And then, Melissa McCarthy reprised her role…

HealthCare Press Conference Tuesday



South Floridians telling their healthcare stories to highlight the harmfulness of House Republicans' TrumpCare bill:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Southern Bureau Office Community Room
700 SE Third Avenue, 1st Floor
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL- 23) will discuss the disastrous TrumpCare plan and the significant harm it would have on millions of Americans.
The TrumpCare bill passed by House Republicans earlier this month would take away health insurance coverage from at least 24 million hard-working Americans, eliminate guaranteed essential health benefits like mental health and emergency room care, gut Medicaid, weaken Medicare, and allow insurance companies to discriminate against women and people with pre-existing conditions.
The Members of Congress will be joined by constituents with moving stories of the life-saving policies of the Affordable Care Act and the prospective devastating impact that TrumpCare would have on their health and financial security, including:
Lauri Tillman, whose grandson Jackson was born with a neurological condition. The cost of Jackson’s life-saving treatments in the first four months of his life exceeded $1 million. Thanks to the ACA's ban on annual and lifetime coverage caps, Lauri's family can continue to afford Jackson's ongoing healthcare needs.
Robert Loukota, who has lived with HIV for decades and was recently diagnosed with a genetic blood disorder. After losing his employee-based health plan, subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act helped him afford a healthcare plan in the individual market.
Ron Sarraf-Berrios, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease in 2007, and for years struggled to cover the expensive treatments. Ron’s ACA policy helps him afford $8,000 in weekly treatment costs.
Dr. Aaron Elkin, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., an OB-GYN who advocates for better healthcare services and coverage for women and families. Dr. Elkin is the Past President of the Broward County Medical Association.



Press Only



Editors note* We saw on Facebook on an unaffiliated post that this was open to the public, it is not, we are sorry for any confusion 

House LGBT Caucus Aging Task Force Demands Trump Administration Not Erase LGBT Elders



 Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chair of the LGBT Aging Issues Task Force, and 49 members of the U.S. House of Representatives demanded the Trump Administration reinstate LGBT demographic questions to the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP).

“As we fight for full equality for our LGBT family, it’s important to recognize the unique needs of LGBT seniors,” said Deutch.  “Older LGBT Americans often face new levels of discrimination as they age and struggle with higher than average levels of poverty and social isolation.  Federally funded programs should not contribute to this terrible homophobic and transphobic culture.  We need the data from these surveys to better ensure that LGBT seniors are receiving the care they need and deserve, without prejudice.”

The NSOAAP is used to evaluate whether the billions of dollars in funding for programs assisting older Americans are being used efficiently and effectively.  Since 2014, the NSOAAP has included LGBT-specific questions that yielded vital data on the extreme challenges facing LGBT elders.  On March 13, 2017, the Administration on Community Living—which oversees the NSOAAP—revealed that they intended to remove the LGBT-specific questions from the 2017 survey.

In 2011, a wide-ranging study from the National Senior Citizen Law Center (now called Justice in Aging) and other organizations captured alarming evidence of widespread discrimination against LGBT seniors in long-term care facilities.




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