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  • Universities aren't Protecting Free Speech - So I'm Introducing Legislation to do it for Them
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 21, 2019 | Preview rr
    Tags: Education

    By Francis Rooney “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This quote, attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, is the embodiment of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this constitutional right is under siege on university campuses across the country. Many colleges and universities use dangerous and insidious methods to suppress free speech. One example is “free speech zones”, which are specifically delineated areas on a campus w... Read more

  • We must get rid of excess nitrogen in our water
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on September 7, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Water Quality

    In the 20 months I have served as your Congressman, improving our water quality has been my top priority. We have achieved more tangible results in building the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects and the Herbert Hoover Dike than in all of the preceding 18 years since the CERP was enacted in 2000. Congress and the administration have supported our requests to fund the infrastructure necessary to clean up the Okeechobee Watershed and reduce harmful discharges into the river.... Read more

  • Time to Free Workers From Corrupt Unions
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on July 24, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy & Jobs

    The recent Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs AFSCME ended a practice of abuse of public sector employees by their unions. The decision prevents unions from forcing the payment of dues by non-members and is a major victory for our civil servants. Now it is time to stop similar corrupt tactics used by unions to force private sector non-union employees to pay dues. Thanks to a hand-out by the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), unions can collect involuntary dues from former members who rec... Read more

  • Here’s How To Establish Term Limits Without Amending The Constitution
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on April 18, 2018 | Preview rr

    The idea of citizen legislators, espoused by our Founding Fathers, centers on the discussion of term limits. Many voters across the country and legislators across party lines have expressed support for term limits, making the idea one which attracts bi-partisan support. When my home state of Florida passed term limits, 76 percent of Sunshine State voters voted in favor. In fact, Florida is one of 15 states to currently have legislative term limits. This year, a nationwide poll conducted by McLau... Read more

  • Tax reform delivers for Southwest Floridians
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on April 13, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy & Jobs

    The Republican tax reform law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017 has had a positive impact on our Southwest Florida community. In a victory for low- and middle-income families, wages are rising, taxpayers are keeping more of their paychecks, and many businesses are increasing investment across the country, leading to more jobs and bonuses for employees. This year, middle-income families in Southwest Florida are taking home more of their hard-earned wages. An average family of fo... Read more

  • Raising the Profile of the Everglades in Congress
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 19, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Water Quality

    While we Floridians know the importance of the Everglades and the Lake Okeechobee watershed to Florida’s economy, folks in Washington often fail to realize the economic impact of the river of grass. This is why I have been bringing my colleagues in Congress to Southwest Florida so they can see firsthand the magnitude and importance of the watershed, and tangibly appreciate the challenges the ecosystem faces due to years of pollution, flood control, and population growth. The Everglades and the L... Read more

  • Time to pay attention to Latin America in an era of change
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 12, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    The United States should look beyond the traditional paradigm of security, migration, and narcotics when considering relations with Latin America. It is imperative to curb the influence of Russia, China, Iran and non-state actors like Hezbollah, in the region, and increase American trade to benefit our economy. We should forge closer diplomatic and economic ties with those countries committed to the rule of law and free enterprise, while working with partners in the region to encourage other cou... Read more

  • Worker centers: How unions circumvent federal rules
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 2, 2018 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy & Jobs

    Imagine a group designed to organize fast food employees, collect financial contributions from its members, and protest for higher wages from their employers. One might think this group I just described, Fast Food Justice, is a union. After all, the actions in which Fast Food Justice partakes are common union activities, such as collecting dues and making demands upon employers to effect change in the workplace. Incredibly, however, Fast Food Justice is not considered a union. It is classified a... Read more

  • Keep oil drilling out of the Eastern Gulf
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 17, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Water Quality

    Offshore drilling and related activities, including seismic testing, have no place in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium on exploration in the eastern Gulf established in 2006 will expire in 2022 unless Congress acts. It is imperative for the future of Florida and our tourism-based economy that this bipartisan effort to extend the moratorium succeed. I believe I have some credibility on this issue, having served on the board of one of the world’s leading land and offshore drilling firms ... Read more

  • The Differences Between Catalonia and Kurdish Iraq
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 13, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Foreign Affairs

    Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan are engulfed in identity crises. While the two independence movements are the subject of frequent comparison, their situations differ because of historical, cultural, and economic ties with their respective mother countries. Catalonia and Spain share a deep and longstanding unity, while Kurds have a loose union with the rest of Iraq and lack a shared history beyond the past one hundred years. Not surprisingly, a silent majority of Catalans seems to support a unified... Read more