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Congressman David Rivera's Week in Review: Week of February 13th


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) was in Washington last week focused on America's economy, South Florida's environment and human rights.

Congressman Rivera: Three Years after the Stimulus, President's Budget Highlights Continued Fiscal Irresponsibility

Congressman Rivera released the following statement on President Barack Obama's budget and the anniversary of the stimulus package.

"In February of 2009 President Obama made great claims about what his stimulus plan would mean for America's economy. He told the American people that spending $800 billion of our money would save, or create, 3.5 million jobs. He told us that this massive government expenditure would put us on a path to economic prosperity, cautioning that this was a process that would be measured in years, not months.

"Three years later, we have not seen the unemployment rate go below eight percent. Three years later, the percentage of working Americans has hit a 30 year low as more people give up on looking for work every day. Three years later, the national debt stands at more than $15 trillion and is growing by the second.

"Three years later, President Obama's solution to our nation's continued economic woes are the same as they were three years ago. President Obama presented a budget this week that asks for more of the same; more taxes, more spending and more borrowing as a means of creating jobs. The President's budget highlights his continuing fiscal irresponsibility.

"We cannot continue to spend money we don't have on failed government programs, while imposing burdensome taxes and regulations on job creators who are struggling in this economy. It is time for the President and Senate Democrats to work with House Republicans and stop blocking bipartisan bills that will create jobs and address Washington's spending addiction."

Congressman Rivera Welcomes Dr. Bicet's Testimony, Applauds Efforts for Freedom and Democracy in Cuba

Congressman Rivera released the following statement on the testimony of Dr. Óscar Elías Bicet before the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing entitled Further Human Rights Violations in Castro's Cuba: The Continued Abuse of Political Prisoners.

"Dr. Óscar Elías Bicet is a hero in the fight for a free and democratic Cuba. At great personal peril, Dr. Bicet has made it his life's work to denounce human rights abuses carried out by the Castro regime, and to establish a Cuban state based on the rule of law that respects human rights.

"I applaud Dr. Bicet's bravery and greatly appreciate his willingness to appear before the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. Dr. Bicet has once again highlighted the Castro regime's abysmal record on human rights and the need for true democratic change for the people of Cuba.

"Dr. Bicet expressed what Cubans in the fight for freedom hope to see from Pope Benedict's visit to the island next month. He has asked Pope Benedict to make the call for free elections a central message of his visit. It is my hope that Pope Benedict will respond to this request and support the right of self determination for the Cuban people, as well as take time to meet with brave opposition leaders like Dr. Bicet."

Congressman Rivera: Ambiguity in Energy Bill Could Allow Drilling 12 Miles from Florida Keys

Congressman Rivera released the following statement on his vote against H.R. 3408, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environment, Energy and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act.

"Under current law, no energy exploration is permitted east of the Military Mission Line through the year 2022. The line is set in the Gulf of Mexico at approximately 234 miles from Tampa and Florida's coast.

"While the PIONEERS Act extends the drilling ban through 2025, it also permits drilling in three blocks totaling approximately 450 square miles each, to occur east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico. However, there is no indication in the bill as to where these lease blocks would be. There is only a stipulation that they be "in areas with the most promising oil and gas resources.' This ambiguity means that drilling could, theoretically, occur as close as 12 miles off the coast of the Florida Keys.

"I fully support expanding our domestic energy capacity and exploration for additional energy resources. These efforts help decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthen our nation's economy. However, allowing exploration so close to Florida's beaches and shores, particularly South Florida and the Florida Keys, could have a negative impact on our state's environment and on our tourism and hospitality industry, a lifeblood of Florida's economy."

Congressman Rivera Congratulates Danny Quesada on His Efforts to Find a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis

Congressman Rivera spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday to congratulate Danny Quesada of Miami Lakes, Fla. on his efforts to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

"I stand before you to congratulate an outstanding young leader in my community, Daniel Quesada. In December 2001, when Daniel was only 13 months old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis--an inherited, chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States<" Congressman Rivera said.

"Today, Daniel is a fifth grade student at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School and is an accomplished runner who continuously finishes in the top at district races. Daniel continues to amaze doctors everyday with how well he runs and his ability to exercise with ease. Starting March 24th at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, Daniel will participate in a series of 5K races across South Florida raising awareness for his fight against cystic fibrosis. I'm sure the South Florida community will go out and participate in this event and show support for Daniel in his battle against this disease.

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