Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee, held a joint hearing today with Rep. John Mica (FL-07), Chairman of the Transportation and Public Assets Subcommittee, to conduct oversight of the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program. DeSantis issued the following statement:
“For the last two years, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Urban Area Security Initiative funding to Orlando because they felt that terrorists were ‘unlikely to attack’ Orlando. FEMA was wrong and last month’s attack in Orlando was the deadliest attack in the United States since 9/11.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency must allocate preparedness funding in a way that recognizes recent terrorist trends. FEMA must listen to the appeals of cities that are the closest to the threat as they are the first responders and best know the risks. This also includes adding Volusia and Brevard counties – both of which sent personnel to Orlando in response to the Pulse nightclub attacks – to the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area, which will better reflect the area’s true risk. Central Florida contains many so-called soft targets and DHS must take the appropriate action to protect this key region.”Read More
Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) issued the following statement after Senate Democrats again blocked funding for Zika:
“The House has voted multiple times to provide funding so that the federal government may combat the public health threat posed by the Zika virus. These resources will help to develop effective treatments and bolster preventive measures. Harry Reid and his lieutenants in the Senate need to stop playing games and allow the Zika funding and related measures to move forward. Also, the Obama administration needs to start putting existing resources to use; leaving over 80% of the appropriated Zika money sitting idle isn’t going to do anything to protect the American people.”Read More
Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) released the following statement after questioning Attorney General Loretta Lynch when she appeared before the House Committee on the Judiciary today:
"Attorney General Lynch delivered a dismal performance before the House Judiciary Committee. Her refusal to answer any questions regarding the classified information case against Hillary Clinton demonstrated contempt for Congress and the American people.
Even though serious questions remain about the appearance of impropriety in the case -- from Lynch's private meeting with Bill Clinton to President Obama's endorsement of Secretary Clinton -- Lynch retrenched to a 'hear no evil, see no evil' posture that provided zero insight into her decision to accept the FBI's recommendation. Indeed, she would not even discuss her Department's analysis of the statutes that govern classified information."Read More
Washington, DC –Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) today questioned FBI Director James Comey on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. Comey’s testimony included the statement that he did not believe that the FBI’s “investigation established that [Clinton] was actually particularly sophisticated with respect to classified information and the levels and the treatment."
DeSantis issued the following statement: "Director Comey acknowledged that an FBI employee who treated classified information with extreme carelessness would be subject to termination, revocation of security clearance and be barred from future employment in a national security position. He also testified that Secretary Clinton lacked 'sophistication' about classified information, which was stunning given that she headed the State Department and was herself an original classification authority. While I disagree with Director Comey's legal conclusion, and believe that Secretary Clinton's gross negligence harmed our national security, It is clear that the FBI investigation revealed damning information about Clinton's conduct in office and demonstrated that she has repeatedly made false statements to the public regarding classified information on her private server."Read More
Washington, DC – Sens. Deb Fischer (NE) and Cory Booker (NJ) introduced the Senate companion to Rep. Ron DeSantis’ (FL-06) bill H.R. 4764, Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers, or the PAWS Act. The PAWS Act will expand access to service dogs through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for post-9/11 veterans with severe post-traumatic stress.
“I applaud Senators Fischer and Booker for standing with our veterans against post-traumatic stress by introducing the PAWS Act in the Senate,” DeSantis said. “Providing the best care possible for servicemembers who are battling post-traumatic stress is a pressing issue that is yielding broad support in both houses of Congress. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass this legislation so that our veterans can receive the care they need.”
“Our wounded warriors have made tremendous sacrifices for their country,” said Fischer. “Many bear invisible wounds and struggle each day. I’m proud to join Senator Booker to introduce the PAWS Act in the Senate and Congressman DeSantis, who has introduced the House version. Our bill would bring the joys and love of man’s best friend to help our veterans cope with the scars of war.”
“We are forever in debt to our brave wounded warriors for their sacrifice to preserve our freedoms,” Booker said. “I am proud to join Senator Fischer and Congressman DeSantis to introduce bipartisan legislation that will enable the VA to provide service dogs to increase the quality of life and provide therapeutic comfort for our heroes as they readapt to civilian life.”Read More
Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) issued the following statement regarding the FBI’s findings in the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified informationinformation:
"Today's recommendation that Secretary Clinton face no charges is baffling. The FBI investigation into Clinton found that she was 'extremely careless' in handling highly classified information, that numerous email chains contained top secret information that Hillary should have known could not be stored or transmitted on an unsecured server, that Hillary failed to turnover thousands of work-related emails to the State Department, that hostile actors may have hacked into Clinton's email account, and that a person engaged in similar conduct would face serious security and administrative consequences. The evidence uncovered in the investigation further demonstrates that Secretary Clinton did not tell the public the truth about her email arrangements and her handling of classified information, and failed to produce all relevant emails as she was required to do.
Based on Director Comey's statement, the elements of the offense for a violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(f) were all met, yet no prosecution will commence. Moreover, the serious consequences (i.e., termination of employment, loss of security clearance) that would face almost anyone else who committed similar conduct are completely absent; indeed, Secretary Clinton will not be barred from future federal employment but may end up as the next President of the United States.
It is hard to believe that a mid-level official could have engaged in similar conduct and gotten off scot-free. This business of applying two different sets of rules -- one for the elite, one for everyone else -- undermines the constitutional system and corrodes the nation's political fabric. The American people deserve better."Read More
Following news reports that at least 12 detainees previously held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center have been implicated in attacks on and in the deaths of American citizens, Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), a Naval Reserve Officer who served at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center during his active duty service, responded:
“We have known that large numbers of released detainees return to the terrorism and the admission by the Obama administration that at least six Americans have been killed at the hands of released detainees starkly demonstrates the danger of putting terrorists back into circulation. These numbers almost assuredly do not include American deaths that occurred at the hands of units commanded by released detainees, such as Mullah Zakir. Nor do the numbers include the death and destruction that released detainees have visited upon the local civilian populations. The bottom line is that, by releasing unrepentant terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration is contributing to the security threats that U.S. personnel and our allies face on a daily basis.”
DeSantis and Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) previously introduced the Guantanamo Bay Recidivism Prevention Act which would prohibit foreign assistance if a country received a detainee from the Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay on or after February 1, 2015, and the detainee subsequently appeared on the administration’s detainee recidivist report (as defined by Section 319 of Public Law 111 – 32).Read More
Washington, DC – Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-06) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) today introduced a resolution to recognize July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day. Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 570 member communities with 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries on six continents. Celebrating their 60th anniversary, Sister Cities International’s mission is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.”
“The partnerships developed by Sister Cities International have helped foster peace by cultivating connections between different cultures,” DeSantis said. “Partnering our communities with international cities provides the opportunity to develop relationships and projects that benefit our relations with people in foreign countries. For the past 60 years, Sister Cities International has had a positive impact on my district and beyond, and I am proud to introduce this resolution to designate July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day.”
St. Augustine, located in DeSantis’ congressional district, currently holds partnerships with George-Town, Great Exuma, Bahamas; The Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Aviles, Spain and Ciudadella de Menorca, Spain. Volusia County currently holds partnerships with Campeche, Mexico; Bayonne, France; and Diamantina, Brazil.
Mary Kane, President and CEO of Sister Cities International, stated, “The concept of citizen and people-to-people exchange has always been an essential first step to building mutual understanding and respect between nations and their citizens. As we’ve seen time and again in the years since Sister Cities International was founded, governments (and even countries) come and go, but cities and their people remain. We hope this global day will help more people understand the important role that everyone plays in making this world a more peaceful place.”Read More
Last week the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on whether to impeach Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen for obstructing justice, providing false testimony to Congress, disregarding Congressional subpoenas, and stonewalling a congressional investigation.
Civil servants like Mr. Koskinen have historically been held to a higher standard than private citizens because they have fiduciary obligations to the public. Under Mr. Koskinen’s leadership, the IRS has breached these basic fiduciary responsibilities.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 65 that the power to impeach a civil servant would protect the public against “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” At nearly every turn, Koskinen both abused his power and violated the public’s trust in the IRS.
For years, the IRS abused its far-reaching power to systematically target groups based on their political views—a fundamental violation of American citizens’ First Amendment rights.
In response to mass public outcry over this abuse of power, Congress called Lois Lerner, then-director of the IRS’s exempt-organizations unit, to explain her agency’s actions. Instead, she pled the Fifth Amendment.
On August 2, 2013, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, demanding that all communications sent or received by Lois Lerner be preserved. Meanwhile, multiple Congressional investigations into corruption at the IRS were taking place. President Obama said new leadership was needed that would “help restore confidence going forward.”
Amidst the controversy, John Koskinen was brought on as the new commissioner to clean house and reform the scandal-ridden agency.
Following Koskinen’s confirmation by the Senate, on February 14, 2014, the Oversight Committee reissued the original subpoena to him, reaffirming the request to preserve all of Lois Lerner’s correspondence. The IRS’s Chief Technology Office also issued a preservation order instructing employees not to destroy any emails or back-up tapes.
Yet, despite the Congressional subpoena and do-not-destroy order, the IRS inspector general found that the IRS employees in Martinsburg, West Virginia erased 422 backup tapes, destroying as many as 24,000 of Lois Lerner’s communications.
Rather than restore the American peoples’ confidence in the agency, Commissioner Koskinen instead stonewalled Congress’ investigation, provided false testimony under oath, disregarded multiple subpoenas and was complicit in allowing evidence to be destroyed.
And then Mr. Koskinen chose to deliberately keep Congress in the dark.
In February of 2014, the Commissioner’s counsel Kate Duval identified a gap in Lerner’s emails. She learned several days later that the gap was a result of a 2011 hard drive crash. Mr. Koskinen was made aware of these missing emails, yet he withheld the information from Congress for four months until June 13, 2014. He testified under oath four times before Congress during that 4-month period saying he would turn over all of Lerner’s emails, making no mention of the fact that the bulk of them had been “lost.”
Making matters worse, the IRS waited for a Friday news dump to admit in the seventh page of the third attachment to a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee that many of Lerner’s emails had been lost.
Commissioner Koskinen again provided false testimony, claiming under oath that he had “confirmed” the information on the bulk of the back-up tapes was unrecoverable. Yet an inspector general found that of the 1,000 back-up tapes, approximately 700 hadn’t been erased and were in fact recoverable.
The inspector general also revealed that Koskinen’s staff hadn’t even bothered to search Lois Lerner’s email server, BlackBerry, or the Martinsburg, West Virginia facility housing the back-up tapes.
For years, the IRS Commissioner obstructed congressional oversight efforts, obfuscated justice, and provided false testimony under oath. That alone would meet the Federalist Papers’ standard for impeachment of a civil servant: “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” But the corruption at the IRS under Commissioner Koskinen’s leadership runs much deeper.
Since the revelation that the IRS systematically targeted conservatives for years based on their beliefs, the agency—under Koskinen’s watch—has done virtually nothing to reform internal protocol to ensure that every Americans’ First Amendment rights are protected.
A Government Accountability Office report found that no significant measures have been implemented to ensure that civil servants at the IRS don’t unlawfully target Americans based on their political or religious views.
Congress has the duty to hold Commissioner Koskinen accountable for failing to live up to his obligations of service to the American people. As even President Obama has said, we must help restore confidence going forward.
Republican Jim Jordan represents Ohio's Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Republican Ron DeSantis represents Florida's 6th district in the U.S. House of RepresentativesRead More
Washington, DC – The House tonight adopted a Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) amendment to H.R. 5055, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which prohibits funds from being used to purchase heavy water from Iran. DeSantis issued the following statement:
“The Obama Administration has continually offered gratuitous concessions to Iran that go beyond even the major unilateral concessions contained in the Iran deal. Purchasing heavy water from Iran is not required by the deal and will infuse even more cash into the coffers of the Iranian regime. This amendment is simple: we should not use taxpayer dollars to subsidize Iran’s nuclear activities through the purchase of heavy water.”Read More
427 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
On January 3, 2013, Ron DeSantis was sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives as the federal representative for Florida’s sixth congressional district, which encompasses St. Johns and Flagler counties, as well as large portions of Volusia and Putnam counties.
A native Floridian with blue collar roots, Ron worked his way through Yale University, where he earned a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School.
While at Harvard, Ron earned a commission in the United States Navy as a JAG officer. During his active duty service, he served as a military prosecutor, supported operations at the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and deployed to Iraq during the 2007 troop surge as an advisor to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal (meritorious service) and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
He has also served as a federal prosecutor, prosecuting a wide range of cases involving offenses such as child exploitation, fraud, and interference with military air navigation.
He has written on constitutional first principles in various outlets and in his book, Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama.
Ron lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL with his wife, Casey Black DeSantis, an Emmy award-winning television host. He is currently an officer in the U.S. Navy reserve.
Retweeted by RepDeSantis
Congressman Ron DeSantis visited the Port Orange Family YMCA and answered some questions from our summer campers!... https://t.co/iynE3A9Jn7
DOJ has declined how many cases under 18 U.S.C. 793(f) due to gross negligence standard? Lynch didn't have answer: https://t.co/90Y3gUg57t.
Staff from my office will be hosting office hours in Bunnell next Wednesday from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. Please stop by!
It was our privilege to escort the McKinney Family from Edgewater around the United States Capitol on their recent visit to Washington, DC! If
I had such a great time visiting summer campers at the Port Orange YMCA yesterday. One camper asked me how I would describe my family in just
Every day, the men and women of the Daytona Beach Police Department work hard to keep our community safe. I appreciated them taking the time
Spoke with local farmers who work in the fern industry this morning in Pierson! We discussed their concerns with the harmful new rules and regulations