David Jolly

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Dunedin family to be united with their adopted son from DRC

2014/11/22

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) is pleased to announce that Andrea and Chris Stewart of Dunedin have been issued an exit permit from the Democratic Republic of Congo to bring their adopted son Cruz home. “We are beyond blessed with the honor of being Cruz's family. For now, we will focus on his health and where the next steps take us into caring for orphans around the world,” said Chris and Andrea Stewart. Andrea Stewart and her 10-month-old son Cruz are expected to arrive at Tampa International Airport on Saturday (details below). Since being contacted by the Stewarts, Jolly and his staff have worked tirelessly to help unite the family. “The Stewarts have committed their lives to caring and providing for Cruz, a young boy who faces medical challenges.  I’m happy that Cruz is finally coming home, to the loving embrace of his parents, his siblings, and his church family, and to medical care here in Florida that will give him the healthy and abundant life that every child deserves,” Jolly said. The DRC stopped issuing exit permits for inter-country adoptions several months ago.  The move meant legally adopted children by U.S. citizens under Congolese law were unable to depart the DRC even though they possessed valid visas. The Stewarts were issued a rare exit permit on Thursday thanks in part to Jolly’s assistance. The Stewarts will be available for comment at TIA on Saturday. Read More

Congressman Jolly named to House Committee on Appropriations

2014/11/20

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has been named to the prestigious U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. Jolly was recommended for appointment to the Committee, which oversees the entire federal discretionary budget, by House Republican leadership. “I am honored and humbled to be named to the Committee on Appropriations.  It is the ultimate watchdog committee, scrutinizing virtually every federal program, identifying and eliminating duplicative federal services and areas of waste, fraud, and abuse.  The Committee is also the body that identifies areas of critical national investment from national security, to early childhood education, to the environment, to transportation and infrastructure.  And finally, the Committee is the place of first response within the Congress to national emergencies like hurricanes and natural disasters, and matters of international conflict and war," Jolly said. “Over the next two years, Congress and the President will be looking for areas to work together but will naturally face areas of strong but constructive disagreement.  As a guardian of taxpayer dollars, I look forward to working with the other Committee members in a transparent way to protect taxpayers’ interests,” Jolly noted. Jolly is one of only four Members of Congress added to the Appropriations Committee.  Appointments will be made official in January. Previously, Jolly served on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  Through the Committee on Appropriations, Jolly will retain full oversight jurisdiction over all activities of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Transportation. #  #  # Read More

Congressman Jolly introduces legislation to repeal Obamacare’s individual health insurance mandate

2014/11/18

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has introduced legislation (H.R. 5725) restoring the freedom of all Americans to decide what health care coverage is right for them and their family.  This week, Jolly introduced the “Patient Freedom Act of 2014” which would repeal Obamacare’s individual health insurance mandate. “I believe the American people should be in control their own health care coverage decisions, not government, and this bill gives them that freedom,” Jolly said. “Some may choose coverage that meets the Obamacare requirements.  Some may decide such coverage is not right for them.  This is about empowering the individual, not government.  And it says to the American people the following - if you like your Obamacare, you can keep it.  But if you don’t want the coverage levels of Obamacare, you are empowered and entrusted to make the decision that is right for you,” Jolly added. By repealing the individual mandate, the government would no longer be able to force a person to purchase health insurance.   Currently, individuals who do not meet the insurance requirements set by Obamacare face penalties. The individual mandate penalty in 2014 is $95 or 1 percent of a person’s taxable income, whichever is greater. That penalty increases to a minimum of $325 in 2015, and in 2016 the penalty rises to $695 or 2.5 percent of a person’s taxable income, whichever is greater. The Congressional Budget Office estimates about 6 million people will pay a penalty because they are uninsured in 2016. If Jolly’s bill is approved, the individual health insurance mandate would take affect retroactively, repealing the mandate for taxable years ending after December 31, 2013. #  #  # Read More

Congressman Jolly helps with Veterans Day surprise

2014/11/13

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) joined several businesses, organizations and more than 100 volunteers on Veterans Day to surprise a group of veterans with an outside makeover of the Martin Lott Residence. “Today’s efforts were about saying thanks to a group of veterans who have worn one of our country’s uniforms to preserve our nation’s freedoms,” Jolly said. The work at the Martin Lott Residence, which is owned and operated by Boley Centers, included painting the building at 3537 5th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. In addition, volunteers landscaped the property’s exterior, put up a new privacy fence, removed roughly 25,000 pounds of concrete and replaced it with new sod. Plus, the volunteers put up a basketball hoop, brought in new outdoor furniture and delivered two custom made cornhole sets featuring the logos of the five services branches. To keep the makeover a surprise, Congressman Jolly asked the current veterans staying at Martin Lott to be his guests of honor at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center Veterans Day ceremony. Afterwards, he took the group to lunch. The work at the Martin Lott Residence was done while the veterans were away. The work was unveiled when the group returned with the Congressman in the afternoon. Eight veterans currently reside at Martin Lott which is a facility for up to 10 veterans to stay at while participating in the C.W. Bill Young’s Substance Use & PTSD Integrated Recovery (SPIR) Program. The SPIR Program was designed to help veterans recover from military-related trauma and its associated consequences. Joining Congressman Jolly with the surprise makeover and beautification were volunteers from Abilities Foundation, Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, The Home Depot, L.R.E. Ground Services, Merit Professional Coatings and Smith Fence. Volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, MacDill Air Force Base, Stetson University’s Law Veteran Institute, University of South Florida St. Petersburg Veteran Service Organization and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 355 joined together to participate in the outdoor makeover. Congressman Jolly’s staff also helped out. Below are some comments from those involved in the Veterans Day Surprise. “ABC understands veterans experienced a difficult transition from military to civilian life.  Our industry believes helping our veterans through this transition.  ABC believes the field experience, values, and leadership skills learned while protecting America in military service translate well into a life building America as a craft professional.” - Steve Cona III, President and CEO, ABC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter “It is an honor and humbling to be able to give such little back to those who have given us so much.” – Raymond Smith,  Smith Fence “It’s impossible to say thank you enough to our military for the sacrifices they make and the freedom they provide us. But when the opportunity came to help these veterans we jumped at it.” - L.R.E. Vice President/General Manager Frank Vitale “L.R.E. prides itself in giving back to the community. It’s a tremendous honor to offer this token of gratitude and have it contribute to something as important as housing for our veterans.” - John Taylor, L.R.E. Ground Services "We consider every day Veterans Day, and we commend Congressman Jolly's initiative to recognize veterans' sacrifices year-round,” - Frank De Lucia, President and CEO, Abilities Foundation “The goal of The Home Depot is to continue to give back and today, Veterans Day, was the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for all the men and women who have served this country.” - Frank Essex, The Home Depot “We’re just proud to support our veterans and honored to be a part of this worthwhile effort.” - Eli Bedran, Merit Professional Coatings. #  #  # Read More

Congressman Jolly and other lawmakers urge the DRC to resume inter-country adoptions

2014/10/30

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) and a bipartisan group of 183 U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives are urging parliamentary leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to pass adoption reform legislation and resume inter-country adoptions after the DRC suspended issuance of exit letters last year. The change in policy by the DRC has prevented Chris and Andrea Stewart of Dunedin from bringing their adopted 10-month-old son Cruz home. Cruz has a heart and lung malformation and, according to the Stewarts, needs major surgery to save his life. “This is a moment where international policy directly impacts a family in Pinellas County - a family prepared to provide a loving, caring home for their new son. We call on the government of Congo to resolve this matter as soon as possible so that the Stewart family can be united with their son Cruz," Jolly said. Twice in the last month, Jolly has spoken with the U.S. Ambassador to the DRC in an effort to help the Stewarts. He has also personally written the DRC government asking them to grant Cruz an exit permit to allow the boy to be united with his family and get the medical care awaiting him in the United States. Below is the full text of the letter the 183 lawmakers signed and sent to the DRC.   Dear President Kengo and Speaker Minaku: We the undersigned members of the United States (U.S.) Congress send greetings to you and the members of the National Assembly and the Senate.  We value the good relationship between our two countries, and hope that the United States of America and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will continue to work together on issues of mutual concern. As fellow legislators, we also understand and respect your commitment to serving the needs of the constituents you have been elected to represent. We understand that your government has been engaged in a year-long process to strengthen your country’s intercountry adoption process.  We share your concern that this process be as protective of the children as possible.  At the same time we recognize how vital it is for children living without the love and protection of a family to be placed with an appropriate family as quickly as possible.  As Parliament considers the agenda for this legislative session, we ask that legislation to strengthen the adoption process be a top priority. We are concerned about the welfare of the hundreds of Congolese children who have been legally adopted under Congolese law by U.S. citizens but who are unable to depart the DRC even though they possess valid visas to immediately enter the U.S.  Some of these children have remained separated from their legal parents for over a year waiting for this final departure permission from the DRC.  Tragically, some of these children have died while waiting for exit permission, and others are very ill and need immediate medical attention. We hope that you will agree that swift action is necessary to prevent further loss of innocent lives and the continued suffering and distress for the children and their legal parents. We are aware of your concerns about the integrity of the DRC intercountry adoption process, and we respect your duty to discern how to protect the best interests of Congolese children.  For this reason, we reiterate our April 17, 2014 offer to President Kabila and Prime Minister Ponyo to support your government’s efforts to follow up on the well-being of Congolese children adopted by U.S. citizens and to work together to ensure that intercountry adoptions between our countries continue to be conducted in an ethical, transparent manner.  As lawmakers, we wish to assure you that U.S. law protects all children in our country, regardless of their country of birth or citizenship.  For example, for 40 years the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) has provided our states with support to improve their child protective services, ensuring that communities are able to prevent, assess and treat cases of child abuse and neglect. CAPTA sets high standards that have helped greatly in ensuring that all incidents of abuse or neglect are reported in a consistent manner and has enabled us to provide better protection and assistance to children experiencing abuse or neglect. The U.S. Congress has also enacted many laws that prohibit trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation of any children in the U.S., regardless of their country of birth.  The laws also impose stiff penalties, up to life imprisonment or death, for those convicted of committing such horrible crimes.  With respect to intercountry adoptions, Congress has passed two laws in the past 15 years which have strengthened our internal systems for overseeing and managing international adoption service providers.  These two laws, the Intercountry Adoption Act (P.L. 106-279) and the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (P.L. 112-276), together require that all U.S. adoption service providers be accredited through a rigorous review process which holds them to high ethical and performance standards.  These changes have resulted in a sharp decline in the number of adoption service providers because only those who meet these high standards are allowed to operate in the U.S. In conclusion, we remain committed to ensuring that federal laws in the U.S. continue to protect all children against abuse and neglect, and to appropriately punish any persons who violate these laws. We respectfully request that the Congolese National Assembly and Senate prioritize legislation that strengthens the Congolese intercountry adoption process.  This legislation would ensure that intercountry adoptions of Congolese children can be completed in an honest, ethical manner, and that the children who are currently waiting to be united with their legal parents can finally benefit from living with the security of a permanent, loving family.   # # #   Read More

Congressman Jolly to open third district office

2014/10/03

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has announced the opening of a third district office. Jolly’s third office is located in Clearwater at 29275 U.S. Highway 19 North in the Northside Square. “With a goal of always improving accessibility and making constituent services more convenient, the opening of a fully staffed office in Clearwater will help to better serve the people who live in Northern Pinellas County,” Jolly said. “We also want people to know we are here to serve and can assist them with issues ranging from the Veterans Health Administration and benefits to Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service,“ Jolly added. The Clearwater office is now open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To celebrate, Jolly and his staff will be holding an open house at the Clearwater office on Tuesday Oct. 14th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jolly also has district offices in Seminole at 9211 113th Street and in St. Petersburg at 425 22nd Avenue North. “A majority of our staff is based in Pinellas County and again this is by design, to best focus on the needs of the people we serve,” said Jolly. For more information on the event or Congressman Jolly, please call 727-392-4100 or visit http://jolly.house.gov. Read More

Congressman Jolly helps introduce legislation to honor businesses hiring vets

2014/09/23

Washington, D.C. - Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has joined Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) in introducing the Honoring the Hiring of Heroes (HHH) Act. The HHH Act will distinguish and incentivize businesses to employ our veterans by authorizing the Secretary of Labor to award special recognition to employers with veteran-friendly employment practices.  “Our veterans who have fought and sacrificed to preserve our freedoms and our liberties deserve not just our gratitude but deserve to be empowered when they come home and this award celebrates the employers that recognize the importance of that,” Jolly said.  “Veteran unemployment is frequently much higher than the general population, which is entirely unacceptable,” Cárdenas added. “Many American companies continue to focus on hiring the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation. However, it is important to celebrate the companies who are making the effort, not simply paying lip service.” The HHH Act would authorize the Secretary of Labor to distribute an award known as the “Employment Salute Award” to eligible businesses that demonstrate a track record of veteran employment. All recipients of the award will be listed in a section of the Department of Labor’s website and be exemplified for their work. The Employment Salute Award will not have a monetary value. It will be solely for recognition. Read More

Lawmakers on Everglades; Get it Done

2014/09/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Florida lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate today signaled they want to accelerate action on a major Everglades project that has been stalled by red tape. Legislation was filed today in both the House and Senate authorizing money for what’s called the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), immediately upon final approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Please find attached a copy of the legislation). The project itself is intended to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee overflows into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers by allowing more water to move south.   "The Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) is critical to restoring the Everglades and will reduce the volume of polluted water devastating the coastal ecologies and economies," said Congressman David Jolly (FL-13). "This innovative project is a major step towards restoring one of Florida’s greatest treasures and protecting it from future destruction.” “The urgent need for this project is clear,” added Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18), the lead House sponsor of the bill along with Jolly. “This bill would cut through bureaucratic red tape and authorize the project as soon as it is finalized by the Corps.” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who filed the companion measure in the Senate said, “we’re going to get this done. “We’re not only going to restore one of the world’s great environmental assets, we’re going to clean up the rivers and streams that so many in South Florida rely on for clean water,” Nelson said. The measure has garnered bipartisan support in both the House and Senate with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) joining Nelson’s version. "The Everglades is one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse places on earth, and Florida is lucky to have this national treasure in our own backyard,” said Rubio. “The Central Everglades Planning Project is not only an important component that will help ensure that future generations of Americans can enjoy all the Everglades has to offer, it is also a project that is essential to water management in our state. It was a shame the recently passed water bill did not include CEPP, but I'm hopeful that Congress, regardless of who controls it, will soon openly consider, debate and approve this important priority.” #  #  # Read More

Congressman Jolly wants Congress to spend more days in session

2014/09/22

Seminole, Fla. – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) wants the U.S. House of Representatives to spend more days in session. Jolly submitted a letter to the House Rules Committee last week requesting a permanent rule change that would formally require the House to be in session significantly more days during the 114th Congress, which will convene in January 2015.  “A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across America.  A change in the rules of the House to reflect that very basic principle is one that we as a House, as Republicans and Democrats, and most importantly as representatives of our neighbors and fellow Americans, should swiftly adopt,” Jolly wrote in his letter.   This year the House will be in session for only 110 days. “We should be in session more. We cannot rightfully address the many concerns of the American people like the national debt, tax reform, national security and education if we are not in session,” Jolly said. Jolly says he wants Congress to not only work more days, but also make sure they are putting in a full work week like most Americans. “I would respectfully request that your subcommittee require for any week that Congress is in session in Washington D.C. that such session run from 8:00 a.m. on Monday until 6:00 p.m. on Friday.  Simply put, a work week is a work week.  Our efforts should reflect those of every other working American,” Jolly added in his letter. Read More

Congressman Jolly votes against funding Syrian rebels

2014/09/17

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) released the following statement after today’s votes on H.J. Res. 124 and the Syria amendment. "Today I voted against authorizing the President to arm Syrian rebels. I believe the President's request falls far short of the Constitutional authorization required of the President and the responsibility of the Congress to debate the national security threat presented by ISIS. I also have concerns that arming the rebels will actually result in more episodes of terror against Syrian Christians and other religious minorities,” Congressman Jolly said. Congressman Jolly’s floor remarks on the matter can be seen here. “The measure to arm Syrian rebels ultimately passed and was attached to broader legislation meant to temporarily keep the government funded through December - a procedural move that was wrong in my opinion,” Jolly added. “But the first responsibility of Congress is to govern, and to keep the government open. While I do not believe the measure authorizing the arming of Syrian rebels should have been approved, nor should have been added to the government funding legislation, and I reflected that with my vote on the Amendment, I ultimately had to honor the basic responsibility of this office to keep the government open and therefore reluctantly voted to approve the underlying bill.  The bill reflects the opinion of a majority in Congress, but it is not my own," Jolly said. #  #  # Read More

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Contact Information

2407 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5961
Fax 202-225-9764
jolly.house.gov


Serving With

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Steve Southerland

FLORIDA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

John Mica

FLORIDA's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT