David Jolly

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Congress should spend more days in session

2014/07/23

I believe in the radical notion that Congress should work. Congress should govern. And Congress should work more, not less. Republicans, Democrats and Independents in Congress should all have a part in the process. Each member, having been elected by their community of approximately 700,000, should have an opportunity to contribute to the legislative process that ultimately determines the future of our country. I’ve had the privilege to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District for just over four months. Like most other first-time candidates, I ran against the dysfunction and the discord in Washington. Once elected, however, members of Congress must not resign themselves to that dysfunction. We must fix it. So what do we do?  First, we return to regular order. We return to legislating. Bills should be fully heard in committee. Members of both parties should be permitted to offer amendments and to be heard. This simple adherence to regular order will by itself soften the vitriol and the rhetoric across the aisle, because win or lose, all members will have the opportunity to be heard. Here’s the good news. The House, under strong leadership of the Speaker, has made remarkable progress in returning to regular order. For all of the President’s complaining about Congress, the fact is that the House has passed over 300 bills that sit in the Senate unheard, victims of the Senate majority’s inaction. The House has also engaged in a regular order, open amendment budget process this year, allowing hundreds of amendments to be offered by the minority party. The Senate should follow suit. And the President must himself remember that he is vested with the Article II authority of the Presidency, not the Article I authority of the Congress. We have equal branches, each vested with responsibility to act. Congress sets its agenda based on the priorities it believes are right for our country, just as the President pursues his agenda. It is time the President stop the rhetoric and politicking, and realize a simple truth — Mr. President, you do your job, we in Congress will do ours. And despite any frustration the President may have that the House opposes his agenda, he should remember that he does not have the privilege to, as one of the current Democratic senators recently said, “borrow” the Article I authority of the Congress. And so accountability must go both ways. Both parties, both branches of government, should do better. Finally, I am often asked about the most important impression I have as a new member of Congress. And it’s this. We should be in session more. We cannot rightfully address the many concerns of the American people if we are not in session. By increasing the days that we are in session, I believe we will create an environment where Republicans, Democrats and Independents can work together, substantively, thoroughly, and with great deliberation.  We will create a Congress that works. U.S. Rep. David Jolly represents Congressional District 13. Read More

Congressman Jolly says cruise ship study will help start dialogue

2014/07/08

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) released the following statement today regarding the FDOT Tampa Bay Cruise Ship Study.  "It's important we begin this dialogue now and explore all options to ensure the Port of Tampa is positioned to maximize future cruise business opportunities. The options discussed in today's report are a great start. The Port of Tampa has a $15 billion annual economic impact and if there are ways to increase that number, we should work tirelessly to do that. But no option should come at the expense of our environment." The entire FDOT report is available here. NOTE: Congressman Jolly is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. #  #  # Read More

7.4.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/07/07

Dear Friend, Happy Independence Day! Please click on the American Flag below to view my  Independence Day message:    Here’s a list of local Independence Day events from Destination Tampa Bay where you can see fireworks light the sky. Most are scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m., weather permitting. St. Petersburg. Fireworks on Spa Beach at The Pier, 615 2nd Avenue N. Best places to watch are the city's waterfront parks along Bayshore Drive. 727-893-7465.  Clearwater. Patriotic concert, kids' games, vendors and fireworks. Events start at 4 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St.   Safety Harbor. Parade on Main Street at 10 a.m. Live entertainment and family fun starting at 5. Watch from the lawn of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and the city's Waterfront Park and along Bayshore Boulevard near the Marina. 727-723-2822 or 727-724-1572.   Dunedin. Hometown USA / 4th of July Celebration at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Watch the Blue Jays, then hear Greg Billings Band and end the night with a spectacular fireworks display.   Gulfport Waterfront Arts Celebration.  Kids' Fishing Derby from 8 to 11 a.m. and a sand sculpture contest.  Auto show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Locally handcrafted items on display. Historic Waterfront Arts District, 3129 Beach Blvd. S. 727-322-5217.   Largo. DJ music and activities for all ages and festival foods in Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. No alcohol, pets or personal fireworks are permitted. 727-586-7415.   Treasure Island. Beer truck, food and crafts vendors, children's activities and live music by Horses Wild at Sloppy Joe's. Free Fireworks on the beach at 107th and Gulf Blvd. 727-367-1600.   Madeira Beach. "Mad Beach Festival" with a hula-hoop contest, food and beverages, live music for most of the day. Archibald Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd. Craft Festival Saturday and Sunday.   Tarpon Springs. Patriotic Picnic in the Park in Craig Park with lots of fun events, live music and a water slide. Fireworks off Sunset Beach best viewed from Fred Howard Park.   Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete. Enjoy a barbecue buffet, live music and prime seating in the Museum's glass conservatory. Then watch St. Petersburg's fireworks display with prime seating. 727-822-1032. A reminder you can follow me on Twitter or like my page on Facebook.  Next week we will also have mobile office hours in Dunedin. We’ll have staff on Tuesday, July 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hale Senior Activity Center which is located at 330 Douglas Avenue. Keep in mind you, should you need assistance or have questions or issues that my staff can assist with, our Seminole District office is located on the Seminole Campus of St. Petersburg College at 9210 113th St. and you can reach us by  calling there at (727) 392-4100. You can also visit our St. Petersburg office which is located at 425 22nd Avenue North, Suite C. The office number there is (727) 823-8900. With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

6.28.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/07/07

Dear Friend,  Let me begin by wishing you and all Americans an early Happy Fourth of July! I also hope you join me Friday in taking a moment to reflect on the meaning of Independence Day and the powerful words our Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago; embracing individual liberty as a founding tenant of our new nation. This past week I had a number of memorable meetings in DC, including time spent with two families touched by childhood cancer. I met with the Woodworth family (pictured above) from Brandon as part of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer 2014 Childhood Cancer Action Day. I was asked and proudly agreed to join the Childhood Cancer Caucus and co-sponsor legislation to continue funding several pediatric cancer research programs. I also had the pleasure to meet with teen cancer survivor Tony Colton of Sarasota. A real inspiration, Tony is passionate about bringing awareness to issues facing pediatric cancer centers and was at the Capitol advocating on behalf of All Children’s Hospital. As you may have read in the Tampa Tribune this week, Tony convinced the All Children’s staff to install a “weight-gaining station” in the hospital where patients can make their own protein-packed milkshakes.   Then I met with 5-year-old Jaden Vidal Velasquez of Tampa (pictured below). Jaden was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. I spoke with Jaden and his family about the care he receives at the nationally recognized Chronic-Complex Clinic at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and how we might be able to help establish similar medical homes around the country. It was a pleasure to host our district’s Congressional Art Competition winner Kobi Matthews and his father this week (pictured below). Kobi’s winning entry will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for the next year. A junior this fall at Shorecrest High School, Kobi will also be eligible for scholarship opportunities from the Savannah College of Arts and Design. Congratulations Kobi! On the legislative front I continue to push for giving veterans a choice when it comes to their health care. After reading about the allegations of more than 1,000 appointments to the gastrointestinal clinic at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center being canceled in recent years, I also reached out and spoke directly with Director Suzanne Klinker and her staff. She reassured me the matter is being looked at but beyond that the director informed me they have yet to see a formal complaint or be contacted by the Inspector General. A special thanks to Stetson University College of Law for presenting me this week with one of their annual Distinguished Service Awards. It is a humbling honor. A reminder we will have mobile office hours in Clearwater this coming week. We’ll have staff on Thursday, July 3rd at the Clearwater Main Library from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. The Clearwater Main Library is located at 100 North Osceola Avenue. Then we will have staff from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the High Point Neighborhood Family Center located at 5812 150thAvenue North. With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

6.21.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/06/23

Dear Friend, After hearing from more than 300 people at our veterans intake day this past week, I am again calling for expanded healthcare choices for veterans to alleviate wait times at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. I supported recent measures to loosen restrictions on the use of outside medical providers, but following our intake meetings I am calling for more dramatic changes to ensure veterans have control of their medical provider decisions.   A survey taken by nearly 200 veterans at the June 17th event revealed close to half (40%) had already requested at some point to be referred to a non-VA provider. Of those who had sought outside care, 48% rated that experience as ‎either poor or very poor, indicating there’s a strong reluctance on the part of the VA to send people to a non-VA provider.    There is a strong interest on the part of local veterans to go outside the VA system for care. And if the VA cannot provide timely care at VA facilities, veterans should have expanded options to see private sector doctors and medical providers.   At a time when we are hearing about wait times lasting months, we must eliminate barriers that prevent veterans from getting the care they deserve. The VA has made great strides in the last several weeks to clear the waitlist by using non-VA medical providers. But long-term reform must include statutory changes to fully put veterans in charge of their health care. Veterans deserve a choice, plain and simple.   I discussed this issue in greater length in an op-ed piece I wrote for the Tampa Tribune this past Sunday. You can read the op-ed here.   This week the House GOP also elected a new leadership team unanimously. I congratulate Rep. Kevin McCarthy for being elected the new House Majority Leader and Rep. Steve Scalise on being elected the new House Majority Whip. I'm proud to belong to a party big enough for diverse views but unified in our fight for the American people.   Two stories caught my eye this week; Safety Harbor was named one of America’s top five cities for runners and St. Petersburg was named best U.S. beach destination for a summer vacation. Glad to see others are recognizing what we already know, Pinellas County is a great place to relax, live and raise a family.   If you have time, I will appear Sunday (June 22nd) on Bay News 9’s Political Connections. The show airs at 11:00 a.m. and again at 8:00 p.m.   We will have mobile office hours in Safety Harbor this coming week.  We’ll have staff on Tuesday, June 24th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at VFW Post 10093 which is located at 965 Harbor Lake Court. We will also have mobile office hours on Thursday, June 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce which is located at 301 Main Street.   Keep in mind, should you need assistance or have questions or issues that my staff can assist with, our Seminole District office is located on the Seminole Campus of St. Petersburg College at 9210 113thSt., Seminole and you can reach us by calling there at (727) 392-4100. You can also visit my St. Petersburg office which is located at 425 22nd Avenue North, Suite C in St. Petersburg. The office number there is (727) 823-8900.   With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

Congressman Jolly Calls for Expanded Choice for Veterans

2014/06/18

Seminole, Fla. – After hearing from more than 300 people at his veterans intake day this week, Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) is again calling for expanded healthcare choices for veterans to alleviate wait times at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. Jolly has supported recent measures to loosen restrictions on the use of outside medical providers, but following his intake meetings called for more dramatic changes to ensure veterans have control of their medical provider decisions. A survey taken by nearly 200 veterans at Tuesday’s event revealed close to half (40%) had already requested at some point to be referred to a non-VA provider. Of those who had sought outside care, 48% rated that experience as ‎either poor or very poor, indicating there’s a strong reluctance on the part of the VA to send people to a non-VA provider.  “There is a strong interest on the part of local veterans to go outside the VA system for care. And if the VA cannot provide timely care at VA facilities, veterans should have expanded options to see private sector doctors and medical providers,” Jolly said. “At a time when we are hearing about wait times lasting months, we must eliminate barriers that prevent veterans from getting the care they deserve. The VA has made great strides in the last several weeks to clear the waitlist by using non-VA medical providers. But long-term reform must include statutory changes to fully put veterans in charge of their health care. Veterans deserve a choice. Plain and simple." Jolly also noted a strong majority (68%) of veterans who completed the survey rated their local VA care as adequate or better. In fact, many veterans came to the intake with the sole purpose of complimenting the staff and administration at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. “That doesn’t surprise me,” Jolly said. “We’ve heard for weeks from a number of veterans who say despite the ongoing scandal, they love the care they receive through the VA and that reflects the commitment of so many of the hardworking VA employees.” Nearly a third (31%) of local veterans who completed the survey said they had waited more than 45-days at some point to see a primary care physician. And many said they had recently been contacted by the VA to assist with getting them off the waitlist and into private sector healthcare. “Addressing this scandal cannot just center around blame, rather it needs to spark a dialogue of ideas that leads to change - a continued dialogue and coordination between our veterans, the VA, and the Congress. Comprehensive reform must address the interest of our veterans first and foremost." Jolly thanked officials from the Bay Pines Healthcare System, the Veterans Benefit Administration, Stetson University College of Law, the American Legion, American Veterans, Pinellas County Veterans Services, the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Offices of Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Dennis Ross for their help with Tuesday’s event #  #  #       Read More

Congressman Jolly holds VA Intake

2014/06/17

Seminole, Fla. – More than 300 people turned out for Congressman David Jolly’s VA Intake today. His staff collected 183 surveys from veterans about their VA care at today’s event. Results from the surveys will be sent out tomorrow. #  #  # Read More

Jolly: ‘Historic’ reforms needed at VA

2014/06/16

The overwhelming majority of veterans are proud to receive medical care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And rightfully so. VA hospitals such as the C.W. Bill Young Medical Center and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital are staffed by skilled, caring professionals dedicated each day to helping those who have served our nation in uniform. But today, there’s a historic crisis within parts of the Veterans Health Administration. Long wait times for health care have resulted in the deaths of veterans. Deaths. And some VA personnel actions have resulted in the initiation of an FBI criminal investigation. On Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., I will host a Veterans Intake Clinic at my office at 9210 113th St. in Seminole to hear directly from veterans regarding their experience with wait lists and the quality of service they receive at our local VA facilities — concerns and compliments. No appointment is necessary. Each veteran, but also each American and each member of Congress, demands and deserves from the VA an immediate solution to clear the wait lists now. The good news is we are starting to see action and urgency from the VA. Although I believe the administration of President Obama did not act swiftly enough, under the guidance of newly appointed acting secretary Sloan Gibson, 50,000 veterans awaiting care have been contacted by the VA to expedite appointments, and the department is in the process of contacting another 40,000. Additionally, through reforms provided by Congress and the administration, if the VA cannot provide timely care to veterans at VA facilities, these veterans will soon have expanded options to seek care from private-sector doctors and medical providers. Bonuses for some VA employees have been frozen for two years to free up roughly $800 million that will be used to pay private medical providers to help alleviate the VA patient backlog. And, provided the president concurs with recent legislation passed by Congress, senior VA management responsible for the recent crisis will be held accountable and terminated. In my opinion, these urgent actions alone do not sufficiently address the long-term reforms that will be required to ensure this never happens again. The VA needs cultural reform to address what one senior administration official recently referred to as a failure of integrity by regional leadership. The VA needs dramatically better financial management. And the VA needs to inject the management efficiency we expect from leading private sector medical providers. Despite what some opinion leaders and the press have suggested, the crisis was absolutely not created by funding levels for the department. In less than 10 years, the VA’s budget has grown from $73.1 billion to $139.1 billion — an increase of 90 percent. And it’s scheduled to grow even more. But during the same period the patient load has increased by just 16 percent. Additionally, Congress has provided over $1 billion to the VA for information technology upgrades, yet the department still operates on a scheduling system that is based on technology from 1985. In 1985, Ronald Reagan was president, the Internet did not exist, household personal computers did not exist, voice mail did not exist and cellphones did not commonly exist. Yet the VA retains its 1985 electronic scheduling system with very little modification. In fact, when members of my staff recently visited the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center to examine how appointments are made, it was confirmed that the computerized scheduling system is more than 20 years old. It is time the VA gets with the times. Veterans deserve more. After clearing the wait list, the administration and Congress simply must enact historic broad-based institutional reforms that maintain the integrity of the VA health-care system that veterans want and deserve but also install new efficiencies, such as expanded non-VA medical care to veterans, expanded private sector management of VA facilities, streamlined employment rules that hold employees accountable for malfeasance, and budget reforms that focus limited resources on the delivery of health care instead of continued bureaucratic negligence. The C.W. Bill Young and James A. Haley VA Medical Centers each have a rich legacy of providing quality care to those who have carried our flag. The demands for reform that Congress makes of the administration today are to ensure this legacy of care continues. It is not a political fight, nor should it ever be. But it is a fight of conviction for everyone who believes that those who rushed to the front lines to defend our nation should not now be sent to the back of the line to receive the medical care they have rightfully earned and now richly deserve. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, represents the 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read More

6.14.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/06/16

Dear Friend, Sunday is Father’s Day and I’d like to start by taking a moment to recognize my dad for his guidance, support, love and the life lessons he’s taught me.  My father, as many of you know, is a retired pastor and he used to have a note on his phone that asked the question 'Who Can I Encourage Today'. It reflected his soul and spirit, and taught me much about our relationships with others. So a public thanks to my dad and all other fathers for all the wonderful things you do!   Legislatively, it has been a very busy week. The President signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) which will extend the federal authorization of the 50-year ongoing beach renourishment project in Treasure Island. The House also passed theVeteran Access to Care Act which allows the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with non-Department facilities to provide care for eligible covered veterans. That includes veterans who have waited longer than the wait time goals established by the VA and live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility or who have elected to receive care at a non-Department facility. I believe this was a simple step that can provide immediate relief for some veterans waiting months for needed care. Utilizing the private sector and non-VA facilities to reduce these wait times is not only common sense, but the fastest way to get veterans the care they deserve.   An audit released this week also shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that systemic problems exist within our country’s VA system. It shocks the conscience that more than 1 in 10 VA schedulers reported that supervisors had instructed them to falsify appointment dates to make waiting times appear shorter. This type of cover-up is abhorrent and places the lives of veterans at risk. Following the release of the VA audit, the FBI announced it was opening a criminal investigation.The unfortunate reality of the VA crisis is that an FBI investigation is in fact a proper next step. We only fix this crisis by exposing the systemic problems that got us here and insisting on aggressive penalties and reforms.   A reminder, on Tuesday, June 17th, my staff and I will hold a VA Intake Day at my Seminole district office to help gauge the quality of the medical care local veterans are receiving. The event will take place between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.   This week I also had the privilege and honor to recognize the high school students in Florida’s 13th Congressional District who have received an appointment to one of the U.S. military service academies. These are exceptional students with high character who have already exhibited great leadership skills and achieved academic success. I have the utmost respect for these young men and women and I know everyone joins me in congratulating them as they prepare for their next chapter in life. I look forward to following their careers in service to our nation. The appointees include: Logan Cowan of Clearwater (U.S. Air Force Academy), Joshua Kravitz of St. Petersburg and Yui Cuoto of Treasure Island (U.S. Coast Guard Academy), Michael Rusnak of Seminole (U.S. Military Academy) and Fallon Arnold of Pinellas Park, Nima Beheshti of Clearwater, Luke Dalton of Safety Harbor and Elisabeth (Shea) Timmons of Dunedin (U.S. Naval Academy). Below is a picture with some of the appointees.       We will have mobile office hours in Safety Harbor this coming week.  We’ll have staff on Thursday, June 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce which is located at 200 Main St. Keep in mind, should you need assistance or have questions or issues that my staff can assist with, our Seminole District office is located on the Seminole Campus of St. Petersburg College at 9210 113th St., Seminole and you can reach us by calling there at (727) 392-4100. You can also visit our St. Petersburg office which is located at 425 22nd Avenue North, Suite C in St. Petersburg. The office number there is (727) 823-8900.   With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

Congressman David Jolly congratulates area military service academy appointees

2014/06/13

Seminole, Fla. – Congressman David Jolly recognized the high school students in Florida’s 13th Congressional District Thursday night who have received an appointment to one of the U.S. military service academies. “These are exceptional students with high character who have already exhibited great leadership skills and achieved academic success,” Jolly said. “I have the utmost respect for these young men and women and I know everyone joins me in congratulating them as they prepare for their next chapter in life. I look forward to following their careers in service to our nation.” The appointees include: Logan Cowan of Clearwater (U.S. Air Force Academy), Joshua Kravitz of St. Petersburg and Yui Cuoto of Treasure Island (U.S. Coast Guard Academy), Michael Rusnak of Seminole (U.S. Military Academy) and Fallon Arnold of Pinellas Park, Nima Beheshti of Clearwater, Luke Dalton of Safety Harbor and Elisabeth (Shea) Timmons of Dunedin (U.S. Naval Academy).    [[{"fid":"255","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] The students will be part of the U.S. service academies’ class of 2018.   #  #  #     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