David Jolly

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

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

Congressman Jolly co-sponsors legislation authorizing expanded air strikes against ISIS

2014/09/10

Seminole, Fla. – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has co-sponsored legislation, H.R. 5416, to give the President the authorization he needs for expanded air strikes against the radical group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as legislation, H.J. Res. 123, to create a clear path forward by repealing the outdated 2002 Authorization of Military Force and requiring the President to present a plan to Congress on U.S. strategy to fully confront the threat of ISIS. “Over the past month the United States and the international community has witnessed a level of violent terrorism in Iraq and Syria that shocks the human conscience, and it is abundantly clear that ISIS poses a direct threat to the national security interests of the United States,” Jolly said. “ISIS has already executed two American citizens and has willfully massacred thousands of Christians and other religious minorities with beheadings, crucifixions, and public mass executions,” Jolly continued. “The President must expand our efforts to empower our allies in freedom to destroy ISIS, and the American people deserve to have their representatives in the United States Congress engage in a thorough and deliberative debate over both our national security strategy and the Constitutional authority of the President to act,” Jolly added. #  #  # Read More

8.4.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/08/08

Dear Friend, It was a busy week in Washington, as Congress prepared for the August district work period. I’m pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate acted swiftly to pass a bipartisan emergency Veterans Affairs bill to address the ongoing crisis within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The legislation is a good first step and provides some immediate relief, but we must continue working on a long-term solution.  Ultimately, I believe we need to give every veteran a choice card so they have complete control of their health care and if they want to go outside the VA system to a private provider they can do so. The legislation passed this week sets aside $10 billion forsomeveterans to seek medical care outside the VA system.  Another $5 billion will be used to hire additional medical staff at VA facilities around the country, as well as lease space for 27 new facilities including one in New Port Richey.  The VA Secretary will also be given greater authority to fire employees while streamlining the appeals process if the bill is signed into law. On Friday, the House passed legislation that would boost border security and accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants.  This bill dramatically reduces the President’s spending request from nearly $4 billion to under $700 million and fully offsets each dollar spent through spending cuts and rescissions to other federal programs.  This bill includes $334 million to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and $22 million for hiring additional immigration law judges to expedite cases and removal orders.  Additionally, it provides $70 million for our National Guard to assist Border Patrol agents with surveillance, intelligence, and humanitarian activities.  You can watch my remarks here. Additionally, the House voted to freeze the President’s implementation of his administratively created and unlawful program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Congress this week also approveda $10.9 billion bill to fund highway projects through May 2015.  However, this is only a short-term fix and the financial issues facing the Highway Trust Fund must still be addressed.  I do not believe the answer is raising the federal gas tax which already stands at 18.4-cents per gallon. In other legislative news, I recently cosponsored bipartisan bills that would limit the cost of prescription drugs, saving seniors and other money.  For instance, H.R. 460 Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2013 would limit the cost of prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries.  Additionally, I’m pushing H.R. 351 Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2013, which would repeal Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board.  Simply put, I believe that the federal government should not make your medical decisions. On Tuesday, I was honored to host in Washington, D.C. Pastor Jeff Parish of First Baptist Indian Rocks.  I invited Pastor Parish to deliver the U.S. House of Representatives’ opening prayer which you can watch here. My staff will hold mobile office hours in Clearwater this Thursday.  I’ll have staff on August 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Clearwater Main Library.  The Clearwater Main Library is located at 100 North Osceola Avenue.  Then from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on August 7th I will have staff at the High Point Neighborhood Family Center located at 5812 150thAvenue, North in Clearwater. With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

7.26.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/08/08

Dear Friend,   This past week I penned an editorial that was published by a number of media outlets. Printed in the Tampa Tribune under the headline “Restoring a Congress that Works”, I explain how I believe in the radical notion that Congress should work. Congress should govern. And Congress should work more, not less.    You can read the complete editorial here.   Additionally, this past week I reiterated my belief that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined only by a couple’s faith, their God, and their principles of marriage, by saying: “As a matter of my Christian faith, I believe in traditional marriage. But as a matter of Constitutional principle I believe in a form of limited government that protects personal liberty. To me, that means that the sanctity of one’s marriage should be defined by their faith and by their church, not by their state. Accordingly, I believe it is fully appropriate for a state to recognize both traditional marriage as well as same-sex marriage.”   This is the same view I’ve held for more than a decade and I took time this week to further explain my position in a letter you can read here.   I do hope you take a minute to read it and as I wrote in the letter, I hope one day we as a community and as a nation can find agreement on this matter.  Until then, I am grateful to know of the convictions of so many on this issue and will continue to treat the matter with exceeding respect.   Legislatively, the House approved continuing the Brand USA travel program, which is a public-private partnership that encourages tourists to come to the United States. Brand USA requires no taxpayer funding, results in more than 1.1 million international tourists who contribute to the economic growth of our Pinellas County community, and ultimately returns funds to the U.S. Treasury, thus reducing our deficit. I spoke in support of Brand USA this week on the House floor and you can see my speech here.   The 2014 hurricane season is here and I encourage everyone to make an emergency plan and practice it. That was the message of two Public Service Announcements I recorded on Wednesday with The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore.        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., 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 22ndAvenue North, Suite C in St. Petersburg. The office number there is (727) 823-8900.  News on a new north county office will be forthcoming in the near future. With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

7.12.2014 E-Newsletter

2014/08/08

Dear Friend,   As someone who was born in Dunedin, it comes as no surprise that for the eighth year in a row, Honeymoon Island is Florida’s most popular state park. With its 4 miles of beaches and 3-mile long walking trail, the park is a great place to relax and explore nature. Look carefully and you might spot osprey, owls even a bald eagle or two.   This past week I had the pleasure of spending time at Honeymoon Island talking with park manager Peter Krulder.  Enjoying one of our area’s greatest treasures before returning to Washington, D.C. was definitely a highlight of my week.       Earlier this week, you may have seen news stories on the Florida Department of Transportation’s Port Tampa Bay cruise ship study.The entire FDOT report is available here. The study lays out options for growing the region’s cruise ship business. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee I believe it's important we begin a dialogue now and explore all options to make sure we are positioned to maximize future cruise business opportunities. The options discussed in the report are a great start. Keep in mind, Port Tampa Bay has a $15 billion annual economic impact and if there are ways to increase that number, we should work tirelessly to do that.   The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held two meetings this week. During one of those meetings we heard from four whistleblowers who accused the VA of retaliating against them for exposing poor medical care. You can see excerpts from the hearings and my questioning by clicking here.   Ultimately, I believe we must give veterans a choice where they get their medical care and I’ll continue to push for that as we move forward.   Recently I met Lisa Hoang Shockley and her family and discussed what we can do to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Following the meeting I sent a letter to the FDA encouraging the agency to continue working collaboratively with scientific and clinical experts and the SMA advocacy community in the development of clinical endpoints.       Finally, a reminder we will have mobile office hours in Safety Harbor this coming week.  We’ll have staff on Thursday, July 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce located at 200 Main Street. With much respect, David W. Jolly Member of Congress Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

There is no media available for this member

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