Congressman Daniel Webster 6/17/2024

The Webster Wire

Listening to Floridians

Dear Friends:

 

Last week, I voted to pass legislation that upholds my commitment to Americans to deliver a nation that’s safe. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025, or FY25 NDAA, improves the quality of life for our nation’s service members and their families, and provides the resources necessary for our military to counter threats from our adversaries.

 

I’m pleased the FY25 NDAA builds upon the work of House Republicans in last year’s NDAA to ensure that our nation’s military is focused on being the best fighting force in the world, and not woke politics. I am particularly pleased that an amendment I cosponsored to block funding for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s policy of using taxpayer dollars to cover abortion costs for service members was adopted and is part of this bill.

 

I was not pleased that our bipartisan Coast Guard Reauthorization Act was excluded from this year’s NDAA. This important legislation is necessary for the Coast Guard to carry out their national defense mission to protect our coasts, secure our maritime borders, ports and waterways, and respond to emergencies and disasters. I will continue to work with House and Senate Leadership to get our Coast Guard bill included in this legislation and sent to the President.

Holding Garland Accountable

 

On Wednesday, I voted to pass a resolution holding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in Contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with lawful Congressional subpoenas. The House Judiciary and Oversight committees recently issued subpoenas requesting the audio transcripts from President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur regarding the investigation into President Biden’s classified documents case.

 

While Special Counsel Robert Hur decided against prosecuting President Biden – citing his poor memory – President Trump continues to face similar allegations led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. By failing to produce the audio recordings, AG Garland deprives the American people of transparency and Congress of its duty to ensure the law is being impartially and fairly applied.

 

On Friday, the Department of Justice – led by Attorney General Merrick Garland – announced that it would not move forward in prosecuting the Attorney General despite the House voting to hold him in contempt. In response, Speaker Mike Johnson announced that he would certify the contempt reports to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and move to enforce the subpoena in federal court. Make no mistake, my House Republican colleagues and I will continue to pursue accountability for this two-tiered system of justice.  

 

Seeing and Serving You

 

While in Washington, I met with constituents from the Greater Orlando Builders Association, a 700-member trade organization in Central Florida that promotes the building and construction industries. We discussed the growing issue of 404 permitting, which regulates the discharge of materials into waters of the United States. I have advocated for the state of Florida’s request to administer the Clean Water Act Section 404 program, rather than Washington bureaucrats. The state should have the authority to decide on critical projects such as Everglades restoration, protections of wetlands, and endangered species infrastructure projects. I am committed to preserving our state’s natural beauty for generations to come while ensuring federal regulation does not overstep its bounds and strangle Florida’s ecosystem and taxpayer dollars.

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It was a pleasure to meet with the Senese Family of Winter Garden as part of the Patients Rising Legislative Fly-In! Patients Rising is non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring access to quality and affordable healthcare for patients across the country. During our meeting, we discussed the Optimizing Research Progress Hope and New (ORPHAN) Cures Act, which would incentivize drug manufacturers to research and develop treatments for rare diseases. I am committed to ensuring Americans have the health care they need, from the provider they choose, at a price they can afford. This should include the efficient and timely provision of vital treatments and medication for rare diseases and conditions.

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Florida’s agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Florida’s economy. Pam Jones, my Community Relations Representative for Orange County, attended the 96th Florida FFA State Convention & Expo with Executive Director Ronnie Simmons. On Tuesday evening at the First General Session, FFA Students from Apopka Middle School, Wekiva High School, and Lakeview Middle School presented the Colors, led by Mr. Duncan Sikes, Agriculture Teacher/FFA Advisor at Apopka Middle School. Governor Ron DeSantis was the surprise guest speaker, accompanied by State Senator Jay Collins and State Representative Chuck Clemons. Pam also attended Thursday’s Sixth General Session for the Awards Ceremony. Each of FFA’s young leaders have shown a commitment and passion to the agriculture industry. Congratulations to all!

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Pam also attended the Lake County Emergency Operations Center Hurricane Season Kickoff Meeting recently. Joined by the Emergency Management & Communications Teams, Public Safety Director, David Kilbury, and leadership of Lake County’s cities and towns, Meteorologist William Ulrich led the presentation on the active season coming this hurricane season. Officials from Lake County shared the preparedness plan in place for Lake County. For additional resources on how to stay prepared this hurricane season, please visit my website at https://webster.house.gov/disaster-preparedness.

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Cindy Brown, my Community Relations Representative in Lake and Sumter Counties, recently participated at Home Dedications for the Hunter Family and Broughton Family with Habitat for Humanity Lake and Sumter Counties and New Covenant United Methodist Church’s Helping Hands Outreach Ministries. Congratulations to the Hunter and Broughton Families and thank you to all volunteers involved!

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Earlier this month, Pam attended the Cheers to 50 Years Volunteer Recognition Banquet for Volunteers for Community Impact (VCI) with Executive Director Hue Jacobs. VCI aims to end the isolation that many seniors feel and do this through high-impact volunteer opportunities in Orange, Volusia, Osceola, and Seminole counties. VCI operates many programs, including the Senior Companion Program that places a volunteer into the home of an elder living independently to assist them. This past year, they had 36 volunteers for this program helping 99 clients remain living independently.

 

Your servant,

Daniel Webster
Member of Congress

Constituent Corner

Constituent Corner

The IRS had misapplied several estimated tax payments for multiple years, resulting in a confusing exchange of correspondence, documents, and checks with a constituent from The Villages. The constituent contacted my office for assistance, to which my staff inquired with the IRS, who determined and corrected the mistakes, resolving the issue.

Constituent services is a critical element of our congressional office. The federal government is a massive operation, and my office is available if you ever need assistance in navigating the bureaucracy or cutting through red tape. We are here to serve you.

Survey

A U.S. appeals court announced that oral arguments will be held challenging the law that forces TikTok, a company owned and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to divest from TikTok or face a ban.

 

Do you think TikTok should be forced to divest from CCP ownership in order to continue operating in the United States?

( ) Yes

( ) No

( ) Unsure

 

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Results of last week’s survey which asked… “Do you think Attorney General Merrick Garland should be held in contempt for failing to comply with a Congressional subpoena?”

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