Message from Congressman Matt Gaetz - December 23, 2020December 13, 2020
Representative Matt Gaetz
U.S. Representative for the First District of Florida
1721 Longworth House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515
Hello, Friends —
This was a busy week in the House. In addition to passing stopgap legislation to fund the government (thus preventing a government shutdown), the House also passed the House and Senate “conference report” of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill that funds our military.
The military is of paramount importance to Northwest Florida. Florida’s First Congressional District has one of America’s largest populations of active-duty servicemembers, as well as veterans; our outsized military presence is one of our district’s defining characteristics.
Although this year’s NDAA contains many good elements — including a well-deserved 3% pay raise for the men and women who defend our country — it also contained a poison pill: the NDAA would greatly limit the President’s ability to draw down troops in foreign countries, from Germany to Afghanistan.
I voted against the NDAA because the blood of American patriots is too precious to be spent unless it is absolutely necessary. I do not want another generation of young servicemembers to fight and suffer in unending, unwinnable wars. Congress should make it easier to bring our troops home, not harder. I voted against the NDAA not because I don’t support our troops, but because I love them so much.
My remarks on this year’s NDAA are below:
Click for video!
On Wednesday, December 9, the House voted to pass a short-term spending bill. This bill (a “continuing resolution,” or “CR”) funds the government for another week, since funding for most government departments and agencies was otherwise set to expire this weekend. Congress will return to Washington next week to pass yet another spending bill.
If you think this is a terrible way of funding the government, you’re not alone. Congress has known about the funding deadline for a year — so why has it taken them this long to act? And why are we simply kicking the can down the road, a week at a time?
Short-term CRs are an extremely poor solution to congressional procrastination. I hope that congressional leadership — of both parties — will refocus their priorities in the 117th Congress. It’s shameful that families across America can make a budget and stick to it, but Congress cannot.
Though the NDAA and the short-term spending bill were both missed opportunities, this week had at least one bright spot. On Wednesday, H.R. 3797— a bill to streamline and reduce burdensome restrictions on cannabis research — passed the House with broad, bipartisan support. This important legislation, which I am proud to have co-sponsored, brings us one step closer to unlocking new cures and innovative treatments.
When I first began serving in Congress, very few people seemed to be interested cannabis reform. With two large-scale bills on the subject passed in the last two weeks, it seems like the House is finally taking it seriously!
ARE YOU LISTENING?
Listen to my podcast, “Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz,” for a behind-the-scenes look into the latest news. You won’t want to miss it!
GAETZ IN THE NEWS
Harvard Political Review — December 11, 2020
In short, the Republican institution has been silent for too long on climate. This complacency over the years has allowed Democrats to control the narrative through radical programs like the Green New Deal, and it will only continue hemorrhaging young voters away from the GOP. But now is the opportunity to course correct. Detecting shifting winds earlier this year, Republican leaders like Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida declared “climate denial is a bad political strategy” and Rep. Dan Crenshaw acknowledged “it’s absolutely true a lot of people have concerns about the environment, and we do need a message for them.”
The Daily Caller — December 10, 2020
Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz commented Thursday on how Eric Swalwell has pleaded national security concerns when asked if his relationship with an accused Chinese spy was sexual, saying former President Bill Clinton is probably wishing he’d thought of that. “[Swalwell] also said that his sex life was classified. I know somewhere Bill Clinton is probably kicking himself saying ‘why didn’t I think of that when people started asking about my romantic follies,’” Gaetz told “Fox & Friends.”
Townhall — December 10, 2020
Last week, the New York Young Republicans held our 108th Annual Gala with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and journalist James O’Keefe in what may have been the most controversial event in our history. We had to fight through a labyrinth of busybodies, from power-crazed bureaucrats to fake news hacks to weak-willed conservatives to surly left-wing agitators and everything in between, just to have our event and celebrate freedom in the United States of America. We had to shuffle our venue, and we found new keynote speakers on the fly. It became a challenge to us. Regardless of the circumstances, we were going to have our party. Not just because we wanted to have some drinks and let off some steam, but because the American spirit cannot be deterred by the sorriest and most pathetic among us.
Los Angeles Times — December 9, 2020
“The federal government has lied to the people of this country about marijuana for a generation,” declared Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, the only Republican co-sponsor of the bill. “We have seen a generation — particularly of Black and brown youth — locked up for offenses that should not have resulted in any incarceration whatsoever.”
Newsweek — December 8, 2020
The last time the United States Congress debated and voted on authorizing U.S. military force, the year was 2002. The world was a very different place at that time. George W. Bush was President of the United States; Ashanti had one of the most popular songs on the airwaves; and Frasier was still on television. The U.S. has been militarily involved in at least eight countries since that time, from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Syria and Niger. Yet with the exception of a few lawmakers such as Ro Khanna, Matt Gaetz, Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul, Congress as an institution has been largely content with avoiding the tough votes on war and peace while critiquing the policy within the safe confines of the peanut gallery.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Daily Caller — December 9, 2020
Rebel News — December 9, 2020
NBC News — December 9, 2020
Okaloosa Schools — December 10, 2020
Forbes — December 8, 2020
Breitbart News — December 7, 2020