Congressman Deutch Blasts Trump for Vowing to Defund Social Security, July Jobs Report, Trump’s Florida Bus Tour and More

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Donald Trump signed an executive order deferring payroll taxes, saying, “If I’m victorious on November 3rd, I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax…If I win, I may extend and terminate. In other words, I’ll extend it beyond the end of the year and terminate the tax, so we’ll see what happens.”
 
The payroll tax funds Social Security, an entitlement program that helps more than 4.7 million Florida residents stay afloat and contributes $107.8 billion to our state economy. In response, Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, whose district is home to more than 151,000 Social Security beneficiaries, released the following statement: 

“Donald Trump has been a disaster for our seniors. His chaotic response to the coronavirus pandemic has threatened our seniors’ lives — and now he’s using the pandemic to gut Social Security’s funding,” said Congressman Deutch. “Make no mistake: Donald Trump just unilaterally decided to cut Social Security’s funding source and, if he gets a second term, vowed to defund Social Security once and for all.

“For the sake of our seniors, we cannot allow Donald Trump another four years and the chance to permanently defund this lifeline to so many of our neighbors and loved ones.
 
“The road to the White House runs through Florida and Donald Trump is about to hit a wall of angry senior voters who have just had enough.”

Additionally, Vice President Joe Biden released a statement this evening on Donald Trump’s executive order, saying in part, “Unable to deliver for the American people in a time of crisis, Donald Trump offered a series of half-baked measures today. He is putting Social Security at grave risk at a time when seniors are suffering the overwhelming impact of a pandemic he has failed to get under control. And make no mistake: Donald Trump said today that if he is re-elected, he will defund Social Security.”


Commissioner Nikki Fried Statement on July Jobs Report


Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July jobs report, revealing that over 16 million Americans are still out of work and the unemployment rate remains above 10 percent. In response, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried released the following statement:
  
“Unemployment is still in the double digits because Donald Trump never stepped up to lead this nation — he ignored the experts, pushed conspiracy theories, and still doesn’t have a plan to manage the pandemic. As thousands of Floridians worry about paying their rent, buying groceries, and keeping their families safe, what is Trump doing? He’s hosting campaign rallies and tweeting insults at his political opponents. It is going to take tremendous leadership to pull us out of the hole Donald Trump left us in, and that is why we must elect Joe Biden in November.”


Florida Democratic Party on Trump’s Florida Bus Tour 


In response to the news that the Trump campaign is launching a bus tour in Florida on Monday, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:
 
“How many more Americans have to die before Donald Trump takes the coronavirus pandemic seriously? Florida just had its deadliest month of the crisis, unemployment is still in the double digits, and the Trump campaign is recklessly endangering public safety to distract from Trump’s failed leadership. Floridians want a plan to get out of this crisis so they don’t have to worry about risking their health and their lives when they go to the grocery store — not a bus tour. It’s time for a president who will get us through the pandemic and rebuild our economy, while keeping Americans safe, rather than his own re-election.”


Florida Democrat flips City Commissioner seat in Republican stronghold, Levy county

Commissioner-elect Hayes victory was a part of FDPs $2 million “Down Ballot Elections” initiative to flip County and municipal seats across the state.
FLORIDA – On Tuesday August 4th, Democrat Lance Hayes, a pastor and community leader in Levy county, flipped a Chiefland City Commissioner seat. This seat was held by Republican incumbent Tim West and is the first win for Democrats in deep red Levy county since launching their $2 million investment in County and Municipal races this past June.

“I am so grateful to the Chiefland community for trusting me to lead and represent our community,” said Lance Hayes, Chiefland City Commissioner elect for group 4. “I am ready to continue working to ensure that all residents of Chiefland are heard and represented”.  
Commissioner elect Lance Hayes was recruited to run for this seat by the Florida Democratic Party’s Municipal Victory Program. He participated in several MVP training programs which helped lead him to victory.
 
Lisa Peth, Director of the Florida Democratic Party’s Municipal Victory Program noted that “Lance Hayes is emblematic of what Democrats can achieve when we work together. Pastor Hayes was a part of our campaign blueprint trainings in 2019 and we are proud to have worked with him and the Levy County DEC in flipping this seat. People across Florida are looking for new leadership and in Chiefland they found that leadership in Lance Hayes.”
  
The Municipal Victory Program (MVP) was started in 2019 and is part of the Elections Department in the Florida Democratic Party. Last year, MVP trained over 600 individuals interested in running for local office. This year, we have 400 Democrats running at the municipal and county level across the state. 


Congresswoman Val Demings on the 55th anniversary of Voting Rights Act 


Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, a law that has been attacked by Republicans and the Supreme Court. While Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress refuse to support the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act, Democrats have passed the legislation in the House. Florida Congresswoman Val Demings issued the following statement:
 
“Fifty-five years ago today, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law, but we know that the fight against racial discrimination at the ballot box is far from over as Donald Trump and Republicans in Washington and here in my state of Florida continue to suppress the vote. Heroes like Congressman John Lewis shed blood so that every single American could vote and it is our duty to carry on his fight.

“Democrats in the House have passed legislation to restore this important law, but Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are once again putting their own interests ahead of the American people by refusing to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The best way for my Republican colleagues to honor Rep. John Lewis is to support his life’s work by protecting the right to vote.”


Congressman Darren Soto on Trump’s Potential Eviction Crisis in Florida 


The Orlando Sentinel reported that Osceola and Orange counties are expecting a “flood of eviction filings” as the coronavirus pandemic, and ensuing unemployment crisis, maintains its grip on Florida. While Donald Trump allowed the federal government’s eviction moratorium to expire, Governor DeSantis’s executive order supposedly extending the eviction freeze included language that “explicitly allow eviction filings to resume and for some residents to be kicked out.”
 
Trump and Republicans in Washington sat on their hands for two months after the House Democrats passed the HEROES Act, which would have extended the eviction moratorium and provided $175 billion of additional funds for rent and mortgage assistance.

On Saturday, Vice President Joe Biden released a statement on the need to pass an emergency housing package to help Americans struggling to pay their mortgage or rent.
 
In response, Congressman Darren Soto, who represents Central Florida, including Osceola and parts of Orange Country issued the following statement:
 
“President Trump’s failure to extend unemployment benefits and pass desperately needed rental and mortgage assistance has left thousands of Floridians in an impossible situation, now made worse by DeSantis’ lie that they would freeze evictions. Florida families will be kicked out of their homes because this President refused to take action — sitting on his hands and twiddling his thumbs for two months after House Democrats passed $175 billion in mortgage and rental assistance in the HEROES Act as part of their comprehensive COVID relief. It didn’t have to be this way, but Trump continues to mismanage the coronavirus crisis.” 


ICYMI: Florida Faith Leaders Slam Trump Administration’s Failed Leadership on COVID-19 as Pence Visits Florida for More Photo Ops

Before Mike Pence’s campaign events in Clearwater and Tampa yesterday, Florida faith leaders slammed the Trump administration for their cruel policies and for their failed, ineffective coronavirus response that has led to Florida surpassing 500,000 COVID-19 cases and setting a new record for single-day hospitalizations. 

During yesterday’s call, faith leaders called out Donald Trump and Mike Pence for their cruel policies, including their attacks on the Affordable Care Act in the midst of this pandemic, their inhumane immigration agenda and their absolute failure to lead our country out of this crisis, which has disproportionately hurt Black and Brown communities in Florida and across the country. Read more below: 


Bay News 9: The Democratic National Committee is running digital ads on the Tampa Bay Times website throughout the day as Pence visits the region. “Nothing Pence says today can change Trump’s total incompetence in responding to the coronavirus — it didn’t need to be this bad, it’s getting worse, and his failure in handling this crisis effectively has cost Floridians their jobs and lives,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement. “Instead of this photo-op, Pence should be listening to the voices of Floridians who are still suffering as COVID spikes, or the Floridians of faith who are repulsed by Trump’s efforts to strip away health care coverage from millions in the midst of a pandemic. In November, Floridians of every faith and political persuasion will hold this administration accountable by voting Trump and Pence out of office.” 

Associated Press: In a conference call, Florida Democrats criticized Pence’s visit. “It is not to promote inclusion, it is a political stance to try to get votes and not pay attention to what’s happening in our country — what’s happening to the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, that was meant to help people who need those services, who can afford health care,” said the Rev. Gina Durbin, King of Peace, St. Petersburg. “This current administration does not have the best interests of those who are on the margins.” Tampa Bay Times: But not all religious groups welcomed Pence. Ahead of his visit, Florida faith leaders held a conference call to criticize Trump’s policies. “As a pastor that has served the LGBTQ community, it is sickening … to hear how our faith is hijacked by the current administration,” said Rev. Gina Durbin of King of Peace in St. Petersburg. “As we hear about the Vice President coming to do a faith in America tour, it is not to promote equality, it is not to promote inclusion, it is a political stance to try to get votes and not pay attention to what’s happening in our country.” 

WUSF: With Pence on their home turf, Florida Democrats virtually stumped for Biden Wednesday. The party hosted a Zoom call with various progressive religious leaders, who ripped the Trump administration as not being the champions for evangelicals they purport to be. Rev. Joe Parramore, with the group Faith in Public Life, was first to speak on the call. “So let’s be clear: my faith is in stark contrast to the message of the Trump administration, that seeks the rise of Christian nationalism, that seeks to keep those on the margins suppressed and oppressed, and continues to seek ways of suppressing the vote in our country and our state,” Parramore said.


Florida Democratic Party Slams Trump’s Disastrous Record with the Latino Community

  
Today, Vice President Joe Biden released his agenda for the Latino community, reaffirming his commitment to expanding opportunity and prosperity for the Hispanic community in Florida and across the United States. This leadership is in sharp contrast to Donald Trump, who has blocked progress and attacked the Latino community throughout his presidency. 

“In 2016, Donald Trump asked Latinos ‘what the hell do you have to lose?’ with a Trump presidency — and three and a half years later we have a bleak answer,” said Karla Alvarado, Florida Democratic Party Spokesperson. “During his time in office, Donald Trump has stoked racism and fear, separated families, decimated our economy, and failed to confront a pandemic that is disproportionately killing the Hispanic community. Hispanics need more than lip service from a president, we need true investment in our economic mobility, health care, and education. Biden is prepared to deliver for us.”

BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO THE LATINO COMMUNITY

TRUMP: “To those African Americans and Latinos suffering in our country, I say, very simply, what the hell do you have to lose? Vote for Donald Trump. I am going to fix it.” [Trump Campaign Rally, 10/4/16]

REALITY: Trump’s failed coronavirus response disproportionately hurts Florida’s Latino community. 

  • Trump’s failure to handle the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to the Latino community, from skyrocketing unemployment (14.5% in June) to a disproportionately high death and infection rate. 
  • In Florida, Hispanic residents make up 25% of the population, but 44% of the cases and 27% of the deaths.

REALITY: Latinos experienced the largest gain in health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Trump is threatening those gains in his push to repeal the ACA. 

  • Hispanics experienced the largest gain in coverage since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions in 2014. 
  • Latino children’s health insurance coverage rates improved to a historic high of 92.5 percent in the second year after the ACA’s coverage provisions took effect. 

REALITY: Trump blocked disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico, abandoning the island when they most needed support.

  • Donald Trump said the federal response to Hurricane Maria was “incredibly successful,” despite the devastation to the island and high death toll. 

REALITY: Trump’s cruel immigration policies have torn families apart. 

  • Trump illegallyrescinded the DACA program and sabotaged every bipartisan immigration deal that would have protected American Dreamers.
  • After the Supreme Court blocked Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era DACA program, the Trump administration announced it will not accept new applications.
  • The Trump administration separated more than 1,100 migrant families at the border, withno system to bring them back together.

REALITY: Trump has undermined efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela, and refused to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in the United States.

  • Trump said that he would be willing to meet with dictator Nicholas Maduro”
  • Trump has refused to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in U.S. 
  • The Trump administration has ramped up deportations of Venezuelans.”

REALITY: Trump’s tax scam left out Latino working families.

  • Trump’s tax scam left out Latino Americans, who received only about 7% of the benefits from the law
  • By 2027, most Hispanic Americans stand to face a tax increase under Trump’s tax scam, with only 30% of Hispanic Americans earning more than $75,000.

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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