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  • Message from Congressman Matt Gaetz - 07/11/2020

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    July 13, 2020
    Representative Matt Gaetz
    U.S. Representative for the First District of Florida

    1721 Longworth House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-4136
     
     
    Hello, Friends —
    This week, Democrats continued in their push to defund the police. It is ridiculous that Democrats continue to relentlessly advocate for these bad policing policies that will hurt the very communities they are endeavoring to protect. 
    Meanwhile, in the House Armed Services Committee, war hawks of both parties pushed to keep our troops overseas. Endless, ever-escalating conflicts are the opposite of an “America First” agenda!
    In other news, the Trump Administration moved to finally withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization. With millions of Americans unemployed, there is no reason why we should be funneling hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to an organization that is ineffective at best, and does not have our best interests at heart. 
     
     
    JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
    Americans are growing weary of the cost of the lives of our people in ‘forever wars.’ Not only do endless conflicts drain our resources and put our soldiers in harm’s way, but the idea that we need to be ‘the world’s policeman’ weakens our reputation as a voice for freedom. 
    I questioned General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the unverified claims that Russia had been placing ‘bounties’ on American soldiers. Click HERE to watch the full questioning. 
     
     
    PASSING OF AN AMERICAN HERO
    This week, Joseph Ainsworth, a 104-year-old veteran of World War II and the Korean War passed away. Mr. Ainsworth represents everything good in an American, and his loss is felt deeply in Northwest Florida. 
    Even after years of selfless service, VA rules prevented Mr. Ainsworth from receiving certain pension benefits. Under current law, any veterans whose net worth exceeds $129,094 are ineligible for these benefits, valued around $2,000, and used to help pay for medical care. 
    In February, in honor of Mr. Ainsworth, I drafted the Joseph Ainsworth Act which excludes all veterans over 99 years old from this arbitrary net worth limitation. The sacrifices our troops make are priceless, and we shouldn’t let arbitrary metrics stop veterans from receiving the benefits they deserve.
    It is my hope that Congress can come together to respect the memory of Mr. Ainsworth and all those who have served our country by passing this bill into law.
    To read the full story of the Joseph Ainsworth Act, click HERE
     
     
    FLAG DELIVERIES
    In an abundance of caution, we will be postponing flag deliveries until we can safely reopen our Washington, D.C. office, which I hope will be soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
     
     
    ARE YOU LISTENING?
     
    Listen to my podcast, “Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz,” for a behind-the-scenes look into the latest news from the Washington swamp. With new episodes released daily, you won’t want to miss it!
     
     
    CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION
    As Florida continues reopening its economy, click for further information on the status of Escambia, Okaloosa, Holmes, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties:  Additionally, all of our local military installations are regularly updating their websites with details about base access (and more) due to the pandemic. For more information, visit: Finally, my staff and I have received several queries about unemployment during the pandemic. Below are some helpful resources:
    • Please visit here to file an unemployment claim.
    • Please visit here for a video tutorial on applying for reemployment assistance.
    • Please visit here for a COVID-19 Reemployment Resource Guide.
     
     
    Gaetz in the News
    Northwest Florida Daily News — July 9, 2020
    Hurlburt Field, Tyndall AFB, Gulf Test Range in line for millions as bills make way through legislative process
    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., whose Northwest Florida District includes Eglin AFB, has been instrumental in the House of Representatives in securing funding for the modernization of the range, whose telemetry equipment is not fully capable of monitoring and recording the performance of the modern munitions tested in the range.

    The American Conservative — July 2, 2020
    House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
    “A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow. I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan. Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”

    Air Force Magazine — July 2, 2020
    House Armed Services Committee Passes 2021 Policy Bill
    Arguments over Germany pitted members like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who sit on opposite ends of the political spectrum but believe the military is overspending and overextending itself abroad, against lawmakers who say leaving an important strategic post would damage the military’s ability to respond to threats around the world and keep an eye on Russia.

    Business Standard — July 9, 2020
    US preparing to take ‘additional actions’ against China, says White House
    In a tweet, Congressman Matt Gaetz said the US needs to be more resilient, diligent, and aware of the fact that China is an enemy.

    The Hill — July 9, 2020
    Some in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan
    Though the amendment enjoyed bipartisan support in the House Armed Services Committee, another bipartisan contingent of representatives stood up in opposition. This effort was led by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of President Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a former co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign.

    Florida Daily — July 9, 2020
    Members of Florida Delegation Help End Funds for VA Testing on Dogs
    “I am proud to see that there is real progress being made to close the chapter on VA dog testing. Thanks to President Trump just signing historic, bipartisan legislation to restrict VA dog testing and phase out all unnecessary VA dog and cat experiments by 2025, there is great opportunity afoot to protect veterans’ health all while encouraging the VA to allocate funds and resources towards important programs that will truly benefit our veterans,” said Lara Trump before praising Mast and cosponsor U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “I’m encouraged by the advocacy of lawmakers like Congressmen Brian Mast and Matt Gaetz, for leading on this issue and in particular introducing the PUPPERS Act to end this program.”
     
     
    What We’re Reading
    NPR — July 1, 2020
    5 Takeaways From China’s Hong Kong National Security Law

    Breitbart — July 1, 2020
    NYT Targets Mount Rushmore: Indigenous Land, KKK Ties, Slave Owner Presidents

    Fox News — July 7, 2020
    Kayleigh McEnany scolds reporters for not asking about deadly weekend of violence across America

    Reuters — July 7, 2020
    U.S. withdrawal from WHO over claims of China influence to take effect July 2021

    Washington Examiner — July 10, 2020
    Majority of Seattle City Council supports plan to cut police budget in half

    National Review — July 9, 2020
    The Fragility of the Woke

    Fox News — July 10, 2020
    Chinese virologist accuses Beijing of coronavirus cover-up, flees Hong Kong: ‘I know how they treat whistleblowers’
     
     
     
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    My Panhandle — June 26, 2020
    Gulf drilling at issue as military spending bill reaches the finish line
    The act, known as the GOMESA, is supported by military leadership, Neubauer added, and Florida’s political leadership including Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Neal Dunn, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Rick Scott. Gaetz and Dunn worked together this year to make sure the restriction was in the military spending bill when it passed the House.

    WKRG — June 30, 2020
    Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz defends Missouri couple shown pointing guns at protesters 
    Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz weighed in on a controversial video showing armed homeowners pointing guns at protesters as they marched to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. “In Joe Biden’s America your job is illegal, you are locked in your home, borders don’t exist, MS-13 lives next door and the police aren’t coming when the mob arrives. This is all of us.”

    WKRG — June 30, 2020
    Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz defends Missouri couple shown pointing guns at protesters 
    Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz weighed in on a controversial video showing armed homeowners pointing guns at protesters as they marched to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. “In Joe Biden’s America your job is illegal, you are locked in your home, borders don’t exist, MS-13 lives next door and the police aren’t coming when the mob arrives. This is all of us.”

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    Contact:
    Dawn McArdle, District Director
    dawn.mcardle@mail.house.gov, 850-479-1183