Do you know Ron DeSantis?

Career Politician?  Supports Illegal Immigration?  Absentee on Votes?  Weak on Child Porn?

– MAJOR ISSUES
  • U.S. ATTORNEY QUESTIONS
  • BEHAVING LIKE A CAREER POLITICIAN
  • TIES TO THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT
  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
  • GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT
  • BEHOLDEN TO SPECIAL INTERESTS
  • POCKETBOOK ISSUES
  • NATIONAL SECURITY AND VETERANS ISSUES
  • IMMIGRATION ISSUES
  • ABORTION
– TIMELINE
– PERSONAL ISSUES
– IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES
– POCKETBOOK ISSSUES
– NATIONAL SECURITY AND VETERANS ISSUES
– IMMIGRATION ISSUES

U.S. ATTORNEY QUESTIONS

  • DeSantis claimed that he “aggressively” prosecuted criminals during his brief time as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. However, a review of court records found that more than the half cases he worked on were resolved via plea deals, and it does not appear that he ever took a case to trial.
  • DeSantis cut plea deals with three men charged with child pornography crimes that resulted in significant reductions in their prison sentences.
  • Although DeSantis has touted his as anti-crime credentials as a U.S. Attorney, he was questioned by Pinellas County law enforcement officials about a violent nightclub brawl and for looking into parked vehicles.

BEHAVING LIKE A CAREER POLITICIAN

  • In 2013, DeSantis said he had no higher plan than to serve in the U.S. House. Since he said that, he has run for the U.S. Senate and now governor.
  • DeSantis announced his two campaigns for statewide office in Florida from D.C. and New York.
  • DeSantis makes $174,000/yr. from taxpayers as a member of Congress, but he has little to show for his time in D.C. He ranks among the least effective members of his caucus, and he has skipped nearly 30 percent of the hearings held by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. He also skipped House floor votes to fund veterans, law enforcement and first responders to campaign in Las Vegas.
  • Although DeSantis will be crisscrossing Florida seeking the support of voters in the Republican gubernatorial primary, he failed to vote in primaries from 1998 to 2008.
  • In 2017, DeSantis, an outspoken supporter of term limits, refused to say if he would comply with his own bill to limit members of Congress to three terms in office.
  • Florida records indicate that a couple has taken up residence at a DeSantis-owned home in Ponte Vedra Beach. However, DeSantis has not reported any rental income in his personal financial disclosures.
  • In 2016, DeSantis gave away copies of his poorly selling book at campaign events and failed to report it to the FEC until after he was caught by a reporter.
  • In 2016, fellow Republicans voiced concerns about DeSantis’ attempt to raise campaign donations off a government investigation.

TIES TO THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT

  • While DeSantis has sought to portray himself as an outsider and an anti-establishment candidate, he cast speaker votes for John Boehner and Paul Ryan, turned to Boehner for fundraising help, and he has voted for the establishment’s agenda 96 to 98 percent of the time.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

  • In September 2015, the Tampa Bay Times reported DeSantis sounded like a Marco Rubio supporter, but he remained neutral throughout the Republican presidential primary.
  • In 2016, DeSantis offered a lukewarm endorsement of Donald Trump for president, and he stated that he would not run as a team with Trump.
  • In 2017, DeSantis ducked a question about whether Trump was “unstable.”

GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT

  • During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional bid, he was criticized for making “veiled attacks” at Scott.

BEHOLDEN TO SPECIAL INTERERSTS

  • DeSantis portrays himself as an outsider, but he has received $1.2 million in PAC donations, $1.1 million from Wall Street (his largest source of donations), and $258,705 from lawyers and lobbyists.
  • In 2016, DeSantis took up residence at an oceanside condo he rented from two of his top campaign donors. The two donors serve as top executives for a defense contractor (Total Military Management) that has spent $700,000 lobbying members of Congress to preserve a key source of funding. It is unclear if DeSantis still rents the condo in question.
  • From 2009 to 2011, DeSantis worked for a law/lobbying firm (Holland & Knight) that has repeatedly made $20 million/yr. in lobbying income and is considered one of the most influential lobbying firms in D.C. Since DeSantis, was elected to Congress, the firm has ranked among his top campaign donors.

POCKETBOOK ISSUES

  • DeSantis does not practice what he preaches when it comes to fiscal conservatism. While DeSantis has called on Congress to tackle the national debt and believes its “time to put away the credit card,” he has a personal net worth of negative $220,000. Currently, he has $350,000 to $750,000 in home loan debt.
  • DeSantis backed a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling hike (“Cut, Cap and Balance”), and he crossed conservatives when he voted to give President Barack Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling by any amount.
  • DeSantis sided against Florida families, farmers and drivers when he voted against bipartisan legislation to fund flood insurance relief, farm programs, and highway work. He also voted against imposing a one-year ban on skyrocketing flood insurance premiums that were hammering Florida homeowners.
  • In 2013, DeSantis refused to say if he would support a hurricane relief bill if such a disaster struck his own district, and, in 2017, he skipped the House vote to approve $15 billion for Hurricane Irma relief.
  • DeSantis campaigned to repeal ObamaCare, but he later voted in Congress for a bill that left ObamaCare intact. He also refused to state if he signed up to join an ObamaCare exchange.
  • In Congress, DeSantis co-sponsored a bill to impose a 23 percent national sales tax (Fair Tax).

NATIONAL SECURITY AND VETERANS ISSUES

  • DeSantis voted to curb terrorist surveillance activities credited with thwarting more than fifty terrorist plots, and he voted to defund other programs that helped disrupt terrorist plots.
  • DeSantis has voted to cut funding for veterans, the military, the DEA, NATO and fossil energy research.
  • In 2014 and 2015, DeSantis balked at calling for resignations in the wake of state and national veterans affairs scandals. The national scandal was started by reports of veterans dying due to excessive wait times.

IMMIGRATION ISSUES

  • In 2014, DeSantis voted against a farm bill that included provisions to ban food stamps for illegal immigrants, convicted murderers, and violent sex offenders.
  • In 2014, DeSantis flip-flopped on Speaker John Boehner’s immigration principles, which were panned as amnesty for illegal immigrants by conservatives like Sen. Jeff Sessions. DeSantis supported Boehner’s principles before he opposed them.
  • An anti-illegal immigration group docked DeSantis for voting to allow President Barack Obama to “expand immigration levels without Congress’ consent,” in addition to voting to add tens of thousands of H-1B visas and green cards.

SOCIAL ISSUES

  • In 2015, DeSantis refused to sign a letter to pledge his opposition to any bill that funded Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the United States.
  • In 2015, DeSantis voted for a bill that a leading conservative group (Heritage Action) opposed because it failed to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • In 2013, DeSantis voted against a Republican-sponsored bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act.

TIMELINE

September 14, 1978 – Ronald Dion DeSantis born in Jacksonville, Florida.

1997 – Graduated from Dunedin High School, where he was a standout baseball player.

2001 – Graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in history; also a member of the baseball team.

2005 – Graduated from Harvard Law School.

2005 – Admitted to practice law in the state of Florida.

2005-2010 – Served as a JAG in the U.S. Navy; awarded the Bronze Star.

2008-2009 – Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida.

2009 – Married his wife, Casey (Black); the couple has one child.

2009-2011 – Associate at Holland & Knight’s office in Jacksonville, where he represented large businesses and financial institutions in complex commercial disputes.

2010-Present – Member of the U.S. Navy Reserve.

2011 – Authored the book, “Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles In The Age Of Obama.”

2012, 2014, 2016 – Successful U.S. House bids.

2013-Present – Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

2016 – Aborted U.S. Senate bid.

2018 – Florida gubernatorial candidate.

 

 

 

PERSONAL ISSUES

RUN-INS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

In 1993, A Pinellas County Detective Reportedly “Seized” DeSantis And Arrested Three Other Male Juveniles After A Concerned CitizenSaw Them Looking Into Parked Cars

In March 1993, A Pinellas County Detective “Seized” DeSantis And Arrested Three Other Male Juveniles After A Concerned Citizen Saw Them Looking Into Parked Cars.


(Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Report 93-47829, Filed 3/6/93)

The Male Juveniles Included Two Of DeSantis’ Baseball Teammates, Peter Nystrom And Jeremy Kurella.“A Little League World Series veteran from Dunedin is starting at shortstop for Northwestern University for the third consecutive year. Jeremy Kurella, who went on to lead coach Greg Nichols’ Dunedin High Falcons to the state finals in 1997, is the Wildcats’ switch-hitting leadoff batter. …Yale rightfielder R.D. DeSantis also was a member of the 1991 Dunedin Little League team that went to Williamsport, Pa. … Peter Nystrom at Florida is another member of that same Little League team who is swinging a potent bat.”(Dave Theall, “Kurella Is Manning Short, Leading Way At Northwestern Again,”St. Petersburg Times, 4/9/00)

  • NOTE: It does not appear that charges were filed against DeSantis.

Following A Clearwater Nightclub Brawl In 2000, DeSantis Denied Seeing His Friend Throw Punches At An Asian Male, Who Was Bleeding And Wanted To Press Charges

In January 2000, A Pinellas County Sheriff Deputy Filed A Report Following An Incident Of Battery At A Clearwater Nightclub Known As Storman’s Palace.


(Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Report 00-1582, Filed 1/3/00)

The Deputy Reported That ABleeding Male Named Joseph LallamantWantedTo Press Charges After He Was Punched Several Times By A White Male During A Brawl On The Dance Floor. Lallamant Identified Three White Males – DeSantis, Peter Nystrom And Brady Williams – And Told The Deputy That Williams Punched Him Several Times. DeSantis Denied That He Saw Anything, And Nystrom Claimed Williams Acted In Self-Defense. The Incident Was Referred To The State Attorney’s Office, But It Does Not Appear That It Was Prosecuted.


(Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Report 00-1582, Filed 1/3/00)

The Nightclub Incident Marked The Second Time DeSantis, Who Was Then A Baseball Player At Yale, And Nystrom, A University Of Florida Baseball Player, Had A Run-In With Law Enforcement. The Suspect, Brady Williams, Was Another Former Baseball Teammate Of DeSantis’ Who Was A Prospect For The Boston Red Sox And The Son Of Red Sox Manager Jimy Williams. “Yale rightfielder R.D. DeSantis also was a member of the 1991 Dunedin Little League team that went to Williamsport, Pa. … Peter Nystrom at Florida is another member of that same Little League team who is swinging a potent bat. A transfer from Clemson, he’s batting .395 for the 22-14 Gators with 21 runs, 34 hits, 25 RBI, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers and a lofty .628 slugging percentage. … Brady Williams, a third baseman on the Little League team and at Dunedin High, is in the Boston Red Sox farm system. He played collegiately at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce and at Pasco-Hernando CC. He is the son of Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams.”(Dave Theall, “Kurella Is Manning Short, Leading Way At Northwestern Again,”St. Petersburg Times, 4/9/00)

MILITARY SERVICE

Navy JAG Officer

From 2005 To 2010, DeSantis ServedIn Active Duty As A Navy JAG Officer

According To Navy Records, DeSantis Served From September 2005 To February 2010In Active Duty As A JAG Officer. During That Time, He WorkedAs A Trial Counsel, A Defense Counsel, And An International Law Attorney.

(U.S. Navy, Ron DeSantis – Certificate Of Release Or Discharge From Active Duty, Accessed 11/6/17)

  • NOTE: The military redacted the narrative reason given for DeSantis’ resignation.

DeSantis Spent Much Of His Time As A JAG Officer Stationed At Offices In Florida

According To DeSantis’ Fitness Reports And Counseling Records, He Spent Much Of His Time As A JAG Officer Stationed At The Mayport-Based Trial Service Office And The Jacksonville-Based Southeast Law Service Office.

DeSantis’ military timeline:

  • August 13, 2005 to September 16, 2005: DeSantis attended Officer Indoctrination School in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • December 17, 2005 to February 28, 2006: DeSantis worked as a trial counsel at the Trial Service Office in Mayport, Florida.
  • March 1, 2006 to January 31, 2007: DeSantis worked as a trial counsel at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • March 9, 2007 to September 12, 2007: DeSantis worked as a trial counsel at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • August 1, 2007 to April 21, 2008: DeSantis worked as a staff JAG advocate for SEAL Team One.
  • September 13, 2007 to January 31, 2008: DeSantis worked as a trial counsel at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. He also provided temporary additional duties related to Iraq.
  • February 1, 2008 to August 6, 2008: DeSantis worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. He also assisted on Iraq-related issues.
  • August 7, 2008 to December 31, 2008: DeSantis worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • January 1, 2009 to January 31, 2009: DeSantis worked as a defense attorney at the Legal Service Office in Mayport, Florida.
  • February 1, 2009 to May 28, 2009: DeSantis worked as a defense attorney at the Legal Service Office in Mayport, Florida.
  • May 29, 2009 to January 31, 2010: DeSantis worked as Region Defense Counsel at a Legal Service Office in Florida.
  • March 27, 2010 to October 31, 2010: DeSantis worked as a general attorney at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was located in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • June 1, 2012 to November 30, 2012: DeSantis worked as a general attorney at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was located in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • December 1, 2012 to January 10, 2013: DeSantis worked as a general attorney at the Southeast Region Legal Service Office, which was located in Jacksonville, Florida. (U.S. Navy, Ron DeSantis Service Assignments, Accessed 1/10/18)

WORK AS A U.S. ATTORNEY

DeSantis Has Campaigned OnHis Record As A U.S. Attorney Who Aggressively Prosecuted A Wide Range Of Offenses

Since 2012, DeSantis Has Campaigned On His Record As A U.S. Attorney Who Aggressively Prosecuted A Wide Range Of Offenses

Since DeSantis First Ran For Congress In 2012, He Has Touted His Work As A U.S. Attorney. HeClaimed He Aggressively Prosecuted A Wide RangeOf Offenses That Involved Corruption, Fraud, Child Exploitation, And Theft Of Military Property.

Excerpt from DeSantis’ 2012 campaign website: “He also served as a federal prosecutor, aggressively seeking justice in cases ranging from theft of sensitive military property to child exploitation.”(Ron DeSantis 2012 Campaign Website – VoteRon2012.com, “About Ron DeSantis,” Accessed 1/20/18 Via TheWayback Machine, Time Stamped 8/14/12)

Excerpt from DeSantis’ 2014 campaign website: “He has also served as a federal prosecutor and as a military prosecutor, prosecuting a wide range of cases involving offenses such as theft of sensitive military property, corruption, child abuse, child exploitation, and fraud.”(Ron DeSantis 2014 Campaign Website – RonDesantisFL.com, “About” Page, Accessed 1/20/18 Via The Wayback Machine, Time Stamped 10/17/14)

Excerpt from DeSantis’ current Congressional biography: “Ron has also served as both a federal and military prosecutor, prosecuting a wide range of cases including child exploitation, theft of sensitive military property, corruption and child abuse.”(Rep. Ron DeSantis, Congressional Biography, Accessed 1/20/18)

DeSantis Worked On 32 Cases During His Time As A U.S. Attorney

(PACER Federal Court Database, Accessed 1/18/18)

A Review Of PACER, The Federal Court Database, Found That DeSantis Prosecuted 32 Cases As A U.S. Attorney From 2008 To 2009. A Review Of The Cases Listed In The Preceding Chart Produced The Following Findings:

  • It does not appear DeSantis took any cases to trial.
  • DeSantis spent approximately one month or less assigned to 8 of the 32 cases (25 percent).
  • Plea deals were reached in 17 of the 32 (53 percent) cases DeSantis worked on.
  • Defendants pleaded guilty in 13 of the 32 (40 percent) cases DeSantis worked on.

DeSantis Cut A Plea Deal With A Service Member Facing Child Pornography Charges That Resulted In A 6-Year Prison Sentence Rather Than A Maximum 30-Year Prison Sentence

In 2008, DeSantis Cut A Plea Deal With A Service Member WhoFaced Child Pornography Charges And A Maximum 30-Year Prison Sentence. The Plea Deal Resulted In The Service Member Receiving A 6-Year Prison Sentence.

In September 2008, Two Mayport Service Members, Matthew Orth And Chase Keefover, Were Indicted For Possessing Or Transmitting Child Pornography While On Navy Ships. DeSantis Was Assigned ToProsecute Both Cases. “Two Mayport sailors were in court Monday answering to federal indictments charging that they possessed or transmitted child pornography while on their Navy ships.Matthew S. Orth, a sailor on the USS Roosevelt, was ordered held without bail on charges he used a computer to transmit from the ship six images depicting minors as young as 9 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Orth was indicted last week on one count of transporting child pornography and two counts of possession.Chase E. Keefover was arraigned on one count of possessing nine images of child pornography on his laptop computer aboard the USS Halyburton. He is free on unsecured bail.”(“Sailors Face Charges Of Child Pornography,”Florida Times-Union, 9/3/08)

In October 2008, DeSantis Cut A Plea DealWith Orth That Resulted In Orth Pleading Guilty To Two Counts Of Child Pornography.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00314, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/20/08, Page 1)

In Exchange, DeSantis Dropped A Third Child Pornography Count Against Orth And Agreed To Not Press Additional Charges. DeSantis Also Sought To Reward Orth For Accepting Responsibility For His Crimes.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00314, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/20/08, Page 3)


(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00314, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/20/08, Pgs. 4-5)

DeSantis Disclosed That Orth Could Have Faced Up To 30 Years In Prison And A $500,000 Fine For His Crimes.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00314, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/20/08, Page 2)

DeSantis Signed Orth’s Plea Deal.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00314, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/20/08, Page 14)

In January 2009, Orth Was Sentenced To Six Years In Prison And Fifteen Years Probation For The Child Pornography Crimes. A Review Of The Federal Sex Offender Registry Found That Orth Has Taken Up Residence In California.“A Mayport Naval Station sailor was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for transmitting child pornography from the USS Roosevelt.Matthew S. Orth also must register as a sex offender and serve 15 years probation after his prison sentence for transporting child pornography and possession of obscene materials, U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard ordered.Orth has been in custody since his arrest in August when members of the Roosevelt’s information technology staff conducting routine maintenance found an obscene cartoon on the ship’s server under a file protected by the sailor’s password. That led to seizure of Orth’s laptop computer and other electronic equipment and the discovery of hundreds of images of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.The images, including several videos, depicted children as young as 9 engaging in sexually explicit misconduct, prosecutors said.”(“Police: Baby Thrown From Car Seat In Chase,”Florida Times-Union, 1/29/09; U.S. Department Of Justice Website, Sex Offender Registry, Accessed 1/20/18)

DeSantis Cut A Plea Deal With A Service Member Facing A Child Pornography Charge That Resulted In A 6-Month Prison Sentence Rather Than A Maximum 10-Year Sentence

In 2008, DeSantis Cut A Plea Deal With A Service MemberWho Faced A Child Pornography Charge And A Maximum 10-Year Prison Sentence. The Plea Deal Resulted In The Service Member Receiving A 6-Month Prison Sentence.

In September 2008, Two Mayport Service Members, Matthew Orth And Chase Keefover, Were Indicted For Possessing Or Transmitting Child Pornography While On Navy Ships. DeSantis Was Assigned ToProsecute Both Cases. “Two Mayport sailors were in court Monday answering to federal indictments charging that they possessed or transmitted child pornography while on their Navy ships. Matthew S. Orth, a sailor on the USS Roosevelt, was ordered held without bail on charges he used a computer to transmit from the ship six images depicting minors as young as 9 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Orth was indicted last week on one count of transporting child pornography and two counts of possession. Chase E. Keefover was arraigned on one count of possessing nine images of child pornography on his laptop computer aboard the USS Halyburton. He is free on unsecured bail.”(“Sailors Face Charges Of Child Pornography,”Florida Times-Union, 9/3/08)

In October 2008, DeSantis Cut A Plea Deal WithKeefover That Resulted In Keefover Pleading Guilty To One Count Of Child Pornography.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00315, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/22/08, Page 1)

In Exchange, DeSantis Sought To Reward Keefover For Taking Responsibility For His Crime, And He Agreed To Not Press Additional Charges.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00315, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/22/08, Page 3)


(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00315, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/22/08, Pgs. 3-4)

DeSantis Disclosed That Keefover Could Have Faced A Maximum 10-Year Prison Sentence And A $250,000 Fine For His Crime.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00315, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/22/08, Page 2)

DeSantis Signed Keefover’s Plea Deal.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00315, Plea Agreement, Filed 10/22/08, Page 12)

In January 2009, Keefover Was Sentenced To Six Months In Prison And Six Months Of House Arrest. A Review Of The Federal Sex Offender Registry Found That Keefover Recently Lived In Arkansas. “Another Mayport sailor, Chase E. Keefover, also was sentenced Wednesday to six months behind bars followed by six months of house arrest for possession of child pornography on his laptop aboard the USS Halyburton. He was arrested at the same time as Orth, but the cases are unrelated, attorneys said.”(“Police: Baby Thrown From Car Seat In Chase,”Florida Times-Union, 1/29/09; U.S. Department Of Justice Website, Sex Offender Registry, Accessed 1/20/18)

DeSantis Sought LeniencyFor A Man Who Faced A 10-Year Maximum Prison Sentence For Possession Of Child Pornography

In 2008, DeSantis Sought Leniency For A Man Who Faced A Maximum 10-Year Prison Sentence On A Child Pornography Charge. The Defendant, Gregory M. Baker, Was Later Sentenced To One Year And A Day In Prison.

In June 2008, DeSantis Was Assigned To Prosecute Baker.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00198, Notice Of Substitution Of Government Counsel, Filed 6/19/08)

DeSantis Was Tasked With Prosecuting Baker For Possessing Child Pornography – A Crime That Carried A Maximum Sentence Of 10 Years In Prison And A $250,000 Fine.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00198, Government’s Notice Of Maximum Penalties, Filed 7/15/08, Page 1)

In October 2008, DeSantis Requested That A Judge Grant A One-Level Reduction In Baker’s Offense Level, Because Baker Entered A Guilty Plea In A Timely Fashion.

(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00198, U.S. Motion Pursuant To USSG E1.1(b), Filed 10/30/08, Page 1)

In November 2008, Baker Was Sentenced To One Year And A Day In Prison And Five Years Of Supervised Release. A Review Of The National Sex Offender Registry Found That Baker Recently Lived In Nevada.


(U.S. District Court – Middle District Of Florida, Case 3:08-cr-00198, Judgment In A Criminal Case, Filed 11/14/08, Pgs. 1-3; U.S. Department Of Justice Website, Sex Offender Registry, Accessed 1/20/18)

PERSONAL RESIDENCES

Ponte Vedra Beach Residence

Since 2009, DeSantis Has Owned The Residence At 6009 Bridge Water Circle In Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

In 2009, DeSantis Bought The 2,241-Square-Foot Residence At 6009 Bridge Water Circle In Ponte Vedra Beach For $307,500. In 2016, DeSantis Moved To Palm Coast,But HeHas Retained Ownership Of The Residence. “Herold said the DeSantises, who are expecting their first child, have not yet decided what to do with their Ponte Vedra Beach home, which was purchased in 2009 for $307,500. Selling and renting it are options, he said.”(Mark Harper, “Congressman Ron DeSantis Moves To Flagler County,”The St. Augustine Record, 7/30/16)

In 2013, DeSantis Received A $293,000 Mortgage From Westar Mortgage For His Ponte Vedra Beach Residence.

(St. John’s County Clerk’s Office, Instrument #2013050704, Filed 7/30/13)

  • NOTE: DeSantis has no history of making delinquent property tax payments on the residence.

Although DeSantis Has Not Reported Rental Income In His Personal Financial Disclosures, It Appears A Couple May Be Residing And Running A Business Out Of His Ponte Vedra Beach Residence

In May 2017, Erica And Shawn Brinson Filed An Annual Business Report With The State Of Florida In Which They Listed DeSantis’ Residence As Their Address And The Location Of Their Business, Harmonized Consulting LLC.

(Florida Secretary Of State Website, Business Database, Accessed 1/22/18)

NOTE: A review of DeSantis’ annual personal financial disclosures found that he has never reported rental income. (U.S. House, Ron DeSantis Personal Financial Disclosures, Filed 2012-2017)

Palm Coast Residence

In October 2016, DeSantis And His Wife, Casey, Bought The Residence At 12 San Pablo Court In Palm Coast, Florida

In October 2016, DeSantis And His Wife, Casey, Bought The 1,532-Square-Foot Residence At 12 San Pablo Court In Palm Coast For $242,000. “Margit Latzo, of Oceanside, California, sold 12 San Pablo Court to Ronald and Jill DeSantis, of Palm Coast, for $242,000. Built in 1994, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,532 square feet. It sold in 2004 for $277,500.”(Wayne Grant, “A House In Ocean Hammock Was The Top Seller For The Week,”Palm Coast Observer, 12/5/16; Flagler County Clerk’s Office, Warranty Deed – DeSantis, Dated 10/31/16)

In November 2016, DeSantis Received A $209,813 MortgageFor The Palm Coast Residence From North American Savings Bank.


(Flagler County Clerk’s Office, Instrument No. 206035887, Filed 11/4/16, Pgs. 1-2)

  • NOTE: DeSantis has no history of making delinquent property tax payments on the residence.

In January 2018, FlaglerLive.com Reported DeSantis’ Neighbors Rarely Saw Him At The Unkempt Residence, Which He Recently Put On The Market For $324,000

In January 2018, FlaglerLive.com Reported DeSantis’ Neighbors Rarely Saw Him At The Unkempt Residence, Which He Recently Put On The Market For $324,000. “Rep. Ron DeSantis’s neighbors in the Lakeside By the Sea gated community on A1A knew something was up when they saw a few cosmetic changes at the residence he’d hardly used since buying it barely a year earlier—or maintained. ‘It was all overgrown and never kept up, ever,’ said one close neighbor, who asked not to be identified. ‘Then they did some trimming and some planting, and there was the moving truck two weeks ago.’ The neighbor was referring to the 1,500-square-foot house at 12 San Pablo Court DeSantis bought for $242,000 at the end of October 2016, just before winning his third term for Florida’s 6th congressional district, which includes all of Flagler, portions of Volusia and portions of St. Johns counties. He claimed a homestead exemption on the house for 2017, though neighbors said they rarely saw him there. On Jan. 1 the property went up for sale with an asking price of $324,000, a further sign that DeSantis was divesting himself of district-related connections as he prepared for a run for governor.”(“Putting His Palm Coast House Up For Sale, DeSantis Makes Run For Governor Official,” FlaglerLive.com, 1/5/18)

Two Of DeSantis’ Neighbors, One Whom Described DeSantis As “Unfriendly,” Were Glad To See Him Leave. “Two DeSantis neighbors interviewed at Lakeside Thursday said they were glad to see him leave. ‘He used to jog, always kept his head down, he was very unfriendly,’ one of the two neighbors said. ‘He didn’t even recognize the neighbors.’ The neighbor said she saw him jog around the subdivision perhaps a half dozen times in the past 15 months. They had kinder words to say about DeSantis’s father, who helped maintain the house on occasion. DeSantis himself, however, was observed on rare occasions driving in with his truck, parking in the front of the house, then turning on a large TV in the living room, leaving it on, then getting picked up by an aide in a different car. ‘It was a huge TV that reflected in the lake,’ a neighbor from a small distance across the lake said. ‘And I’d go, there’s that big-ass TV again. It was on all the time.’ Elizabeth Fusick, DeSantis’s communications director, did not respond to a call and an email since Wednesday.”(“Putting His Palm Coast House Up For Sale, DeSantis Makes Run For Governor Official,” FlaglerLive.com, 1/5/18)

Palm Coast Condo Owned By Top Campaign Donors

In July 2016, DeSantis Responded To Changes In His District’s Boundaries By  Moving To Flagler County And Renting An Oceanside Condo In Palm Coast

In July 2016, DeSantis Moved To Flagler County Following Changes To His District’s Boundaries. He And His Wife, Casey, Rented An Oceanside Condo In Palm Coast. “U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis has moved to Flagler County, following changing Congressional district boundaries, his campaign manager confirmed this week. DeSantis, who represents Florida’s 6th District, last week moved with his wife, Casey, to a rented oceanside condominium, said Brad Herold. DeSantis lists his home as Marineland, a tiny town of 17 in northeast Flagler County, but the address where he is registered to vote is technically in Palm Coast, said Kaiti Lenhart, the Flagler County elections supervisor. This year, a judge gave final approval to new congressional district boundaries that meant DeSantis’ Ponte Vedra Beach home is no longer in the 6th, but now the 4th Congressional District. The boundaries eliminated chunks of St. Johns and Putnam counties, and added southern Volusia and eastern Lake counties. … Herold said the DeSantises, who are expecting their first child, have not yet decided what to do with their Ponte Vedra Beach home, which was purchased in 2009 for $307,500. Selling and renting it are options, he said.”(Mark Harper, “Congressman Ron DeSantis Moves To Flagler County,”The St. Augustine Record, 7/30/16)

 

Voter Registration Records Show That DeSantis Took Up Residence At 80 Surfview Drive, Apartment 802 In Palm Coast. Following The November 2016 Election, DeSantis Changed His Voter Registration To His Current Residence At 12 San Pablo Court In Palm Coast.

Florida Voter Registration

Registrant Information

Name:                                                DESANTIS, RONALD DION

Residential Address:           80 SURFVIEW DR APT 802

PALM COAST, FL 32137-2376

FLAGLER COUNTY

Date of Birth:                       9/1978

Age:                                        35-44

Gender:                                 Male

Race:                                      WHITE

Voter Information

Registration Date:               10/9/1996

Last Vote Date:                    11/8/2016

Party Affiliation:                  REPUBLICAN

Active Status:                       ACTIVE

(Lexis-Nexis, Florida Voter Registration Database, Accessed 1/18/18)

DeSantis Rented The Oceanside Condo From Top Executives With Total Military Management (TMM) -A Jacksonville-Based Defense Contractor

According To Flagler County Records, The Oceanside Condo DeSantis Rented In 2016 WasOwned By TMM CEO William Connell And COO Kent Stermon. They Have Owned The Condo Since 2005.

(Flagler County Appraiser’s Office, Property Database, Accessed 1/22/18)

Since 2012, Connell, Stermon And Their Spouses Have Donated $36,900 To DeSantis’ Federal Campaigns

From 2012 To 2015, TMM CEO William Connell And His Wife, Shannon, Donated A Total Of $21,000 To DeSantis’ Campaigns.

(CQ Money Line, Donor Database, Accessed 1/2/18)

From 2012 To 2015, TMM COO Kent Stermon And His Wife, Christie, Donated A Total Of $15,900 To DeSantis’ Campaigns.

(CQ Money Line, Donor Database, Accessed 1/2/18)

The Center For Responsive Politics Ranked TMM As DeSantis’ 8th Largest Campaign Donor. However, The Donation Figures Do Not Appear To Include $17,600 In Donations From TMM’s PAC To DeSantis’ Campaigns.

According To The Center For Responsive Politics, TMM Is The 8th Largest Donor To DeSantis’ Federal Campaigns.

(The Center For Responsive Politics, Ron DeSantis Campaign Finance Profile, Accessed 1/1/18)

  • NOTE: It does not appear The Center For Responsive Politics included $17,600 in donations made by TMM’s PAC to DeSantis’ campaigns during the 2014 and 2016 cycles. (The Center For Responsive Politics, TMM PAC Profile, Accessed 1/1/18)

TMM Serves The Department Of Defense As The Agency’s Largest Coordinator Of Military Household Relocations

For More Than A Decade, TMM Has Served The Department Of Defense By Managing The Relocation Of Military Households. TMM Works With Transportation FirmsTo Coordinate “More DoD Moves Than Any Other Single Entity.”“TMM, located in Jacksonville, Florida, was founded in 2003 to enable Department of Defense qualified transportation service providers to better serve the military marketplace. TMM is a non-asset based logistics company. The business maintains a network of affiliated trusted transportation companies to service contracted shipments. The success of the business relies on high-quality customer service and efficient move operations ensuring continued growth. The company currently employs over 200 people led by a highly skilled and experienced management team. Currently TMM coordinates more DoD moves than any other single entity. This growth is linked to our ability to manage actions to outcomes, as measured by customer feedback.”(TMM Website, “About TMM Inc.” Page, Accessed 1/1/18)

TMM Works Through The Department Of Defense’s Personal Property Program

TMM Works Through The Department Of Defense’s Personal Property Program.

“Partnership with TMM provides

  • Move Management and supporting administrative functions for shipments awarded to you through the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3).
  • Management of improved communications between military customers and transportation service providers using an expert staff with proven experience in both managing and executing DoD regulatory requirements.
  • Customer service support second to none; integrated software platform provides military customers with a single touch point for the entire move and helps facilitate the collection of Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
  • Management of DoD and contractor services using an integrated software platform.
  • Claims services handled with an average settlement period 35{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} faster than DP3 requirements.
  • Elimination of approximately 75{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} of overhead related to personnel and resource costs associated with a traditional TSP. TMM estimates that TSPs utilizing its management services as part of DP3 saves taxpayers roughly $15 million a year.”(TMM Website, “Moving Companies – Partnership” Page, Accessed 1/1/18)

Since DeSantis First Ran For Congress In 2012, TMM Has Spent $700,000 To Lobby Members Of Congress And The Department Of Defense. TMM Lobbyists Primarily Monitor Funding For The Department Of Defense’s Personal Property Program.

Since DeSantis’ First Congressional Bid In 2012, TMM Has Spent $700,000 On Its Federal Lobbying Efforts. In 2017, TMM Paid Three Lobbyists With Van Scoyoc Associates To Lobby House Members And The Department Of Defense On Its Behalf.

(The Center For Responsive Politics, TMM Lobbying Profile, Accessed 1/1/18)

TMM’s Lobbying Records Indicate The Firm And Its Lobbyists Have Primarily Focused On Monitoring Funding For The Department Of Defense’s Personal Property Program.

(The Center For Responsive Politics, TMM Lobbying Profile, Accessed 1/1/18)

NEGATIVE NET WORTH

DeSantis Currently Has A Negative Net Worth Of $220,000

Although DeSantis Has DecriedTheDebt Spending Habits Of Congress, He Has Posted A Net Worth Of Negative $220,000

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, He Ripped Congress For Burning Through Money Without Regard For The Government’s Growing Debt Burden.  Q: “What would you do to balance the budget?” DeSantis: “Well first, I don’t think you can balance the budget by raising taxes, for a couple reasons. One is there’s just not enough taxable income that you can really get. Obama will talk about the top 1{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} or whatever, but if you confiscated everything they earned you’re still running huge deficits. So what I’ve understood is that Congress is not a rational actor. If you or I were in deep debt, got a new source of revenue, maybe a job or something like that, and we would probably apply that to pay off our debts. Congress doesn’t necessarily do that; if they see new streams of revenue that tells them that they can start spending more money.”(“Candidate Q&A,”Palm Coast Observer, 8/1/12)

Although DeSantis Has Criticized Debt Spending, He Disclosed A Net Worth Of Negative $220,000 In 2017. He Could Be Pressed To Explain How It Is Possible To Have A Negative Net Worth While Making $174,000/Yr. As A Member Of Congress. Roll Call magazine has published its annual report on the finances of Congress. … Most eye-opening, at least for us, is that 123 Congressmen are upside down, showing more debt than income. For the record, congressmen are paid $174,000 annually, plus expenses. Included in that group is Rep. Ron DeSantis who showed a minus $220,000 net worth.”(Editorial, “Rich Get Richer In Washington, D.C.?”The St. Augustine Record, 1/12/17)

According ToRoll Call’s “Wealth Of Congress Index,” DeSantis’ Negative $220,000 Net Worth Places Him Among The Poorest Members Of Congress.

(Roll Call, Wealth Of Congress Index, Updated 12/4/17)

A Review Of DeSantis’ Personal Financial Disclosures Found His Debt Is Rooted In Student Loans And Mortgages. In His Most Recent Disclosure, DeSantis Reported A Second Mortgage That Will Likely Result In An Even More Lopsided Negative Net Worth When Roll Call Updates Its Rankings In 2018.

DeSantis’ current disclosed liabilities:

  • Sallie Mae student loan #1: $10,000 to $15,000
  • Sallie Mae student loan #2: $15,001 to $50,000
  • JG Wentworth mortgage #1: $250,001 to $500,000
  • North American Savings Bank mortgage #2: $100,001 to $250,000 (incurred in Oct.-16)

(U.S. House, Ron DeSantis Personal Financial Disclosure, Filed 5/15/17)

WORK FOR INFLUENTIAL LAW/LOBBYING FIRM

From 2009 To 2011, DeSantis Worked As A Lawyer For Holland & Knight, An Influential Lobbying Firm That Now Ranks Among His Top Donors

From 2009 To 2011, DeSantis Worked As An Associate For Holland & Knight

From 2009 To 2011, DeSantis Worked As An Associate At The Jacksonville Office Of Holland & Knight, Where He Represented Large Companies And Financial Institutions In Complex Commercial Disputes.

(Holland & Knight Website, Ron DeSantis Biography, Time Stamped 1/17/11; Accessed Via TheWayback Machine)

In 2012, DeSantis Reported That He Was Paid $128,321 In 2011 During His Final Year Of Work For Holland & Knight.

(U.S. House, Ron DeSantis Personal Financial Disclosure, Filed 5/17/12)

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, A Committee Funded By Republican Donors Attempted To Tie Him To Holland & Knight’s Lobbying Work

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, A Committee Funded By Republican Donors Attempted To Tie Him To Holland & Knight’s Lobbying Work. “The ominous mailer that included the shark implied that Ron DeSantis was a high-powered lobbyist because he worked for the law firm Holland & Knight. The firm employs lobbyists, but DeSantis was never one of them. He won the GOP primary for the 6th Congressional District. The piece was sent by the group Coastal Florida’s Future, which was funded by people like insurance executive Tom Petway and former Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. They were supporting DeSantis opponent Richard Clark.”(Matt Dixon, “Outright Lies Stain Primary,”Florida Times-Union, 8/19/12)

Although DeSantis Did Not Work As A Lobbyist For Holland & Knight, The Firm Ranks Among The Most Influential D.C. Lobbying Firms

Since 2009, Holland & Knight Has Consistently Topped $20 Million In Annual Lobbying Income.

(The Center For Responsive Politics, Holland & Knight Lobbying Profile, Accessed 1/10/18)

Holland & Knight Has Lobbied On Behalf Of Controversial Clients That Squandered Tax Dollars, Became Embroiled In An Immigration Scandal, And Backed ObamaCare.

Notable past and present Holland & Knight lobbying clients:

  • Solyndra (Obama-era solar boondoggle)
  • S. Immigration Fund (Involved in controversial EB-5 Visa program – cash for green cards)
  • Freedom To Marry (pro-LGBTQ rights)
  • Alliance for Community Health Plans (pro-ObamaCare)
  • American Hospital Association (pro-ObamaCare)

(The Center For Responsive Politics, Holland & Knight Lobbying Profile, Accessed 1/10/18)

Holland & Knight Ranks Among DeSantis’ Largest Campaign Donors

Although DeSantis Did Not Lobby On Behalf Of Holland & Knight, The Firm Ranks Among His Top Campaign Donors. To Date, The Firm Has Accounted For $44,300 In Donations To DeSantis’ Campaigns.

(The Center For Responsive Politics, Ron DeSantis Campaign Finance Profile, Accessed 12/22/17)

BOOK ISSUES

DeSantis Authored A Book That He Promoted At Campaign Events

In 2011, DeSantis Authored A Book Before He Announced His 2012 Congressional Bid

In 2011, DeSantis Authored The Book, “Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles In The Age Of Obama.” Judging By DeSantis’ Personal Financial Disclosures, The Book Was Not A Best Seller.

2011 income:                        $5,812 in book sales

2012 income:                        $7,834 in book sales and royalties

2013 income:                        $2,355 in book and e-book royalties

2014 income:                        $2,738 in book royalties

(U.S. House, Ron DeSantis Personal Financial Disclosures, Filed 5/14/12, 5/15/13, 5/12/14 And 5/14/15)

In 2013, DeSantis Conceded The Book Bombed And Became A Political Liability When People Speculated That He Was Using His Campaign To Sell Copies. However, The Book Did Get The Attention Of Some Notable Conservatives. “DeSantis admitted the book has not proven financially lucrative for him. He released it with a small publishing firm, in a process he described as ‘one rung above’ self-publishing. It even became a liability on the campaign trail as some speculated that he was using the campaign as a way to sell more books. ‘We kind of stopped promoting the book, because that wasn’t why I was running,’ he said. But what it lacked in financial reward, it made up for in the conservative backing that it garnered. The book won him endorsements from the Club for Growth and Ed Meese, the former attorney general under Ronald Reagan, among others.”(Mario Trujillo, “Freshman Rep. Ron DeSantis Looking To Write A New Chapter,”The Hill, 4/15/13)

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, Politico Reported He Gave Copies Of His Book To Supporters At Campaign Events But Failed To Report It To The FEC

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, Politico Reported He Gave Copies Of His Book To Supporters At Campaign Events But Failed To Report It To The FEC. “DeSantis has been handing out his book, Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama, to supporters at events for his campaign to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by Marco Rubio.  At the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit in Orlando over the weekend, stacks of his books sat on a table for his campaign behind a brochure that reads ‘Veteran. Principled Leader. Taxpayer Hero.’ But the books DeSantis’ campaign is giving away are not accounted for in finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The FEC’s website states that ‘anything of value given to influence a Federal election is considered a contribution’ that an official would have to report. ‘Congressman DeSantis personally purchased a number of royalty-free books that the Senate campaign is giving away to supporters in a manner consistent with FEC regulations,’ wrote Barney Keller, a Desantis consultant, in a text message response to a question from POLITICO Florida about how the books were purchased. Keller did not respond to questions about DeSantis’ FEC filings lacking any mention of the books, or to requests for further explanation about why he believed the arrangement is in compliance with FEC regulations. … He used the publishing company High-Pitched Hum, which helps authors prepare their manuscripts while the author pays the cost of publication and printing, according to its website. The contract lasts one year, at which point the author pays the company an agreed upon price per book and the rights go back to the author. It’s unclear how many of his own books DeSantis purchased, or how many he has given to the campaign. There is no record of the campaign receiving the books in the more than $1.8 million in individual contributions to his campaign.”(Daniel Ducassi, “DeSantis Books Used As Promotional Giveaway Not In Campaign Filings,”Politico, 11/18/15)

A Democrat Activist Filed A Complaint Against The DeSantis Campaign One Month After His Campaign Amended An FEC Report That Showed He Had Given $2,500 In Books As An In-Kind Donation. “DeSantis has been generous in giving voters and GOP activists copies of his self-published book, ‘Dreams from our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the age of Obama,’ which spells out the northeast Florida congressman’s faith in the founding fathers and lack thereof in President Obama. … Well, this week a Democratic activist from Pinellas Park has filed a complaint against the DeSantis campaign, accusing it of failing to properly account for the books on his campaign finance reports. ‘As these books are items of value that are being used by the campaign in the process of influencing a federal election, I respectfully ask that the Commission investigate this violation,’ said Nicolas Carper, a supporter of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy and leader of the Pinellas County Young Democrats. But it seems Carper’s complaint may be tardy. Last month, the DeSantis campaign filed an amended report with the FEC, reporting that DeSantis had given his campaign $2,500 worth of books as an in-kind contribution.”(Adam Smith, “A Month Late, Democratic Activist Files FEC Complaint About Ron DeSantis’ Book,”Tampa Bay Times, 1/15/16)

IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES

TIES TO THE REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT

Contrary To DeSantis’ Anti-Establishment Rhetoric, He Cast Speaker Votes For John Boehner And Paul Ryan And Rubberstamped The House Republican Agenda

(Human Events, 1/25/13)

Although DeSantis CampaignsAs A D.C. Outsider, He Has Cast Speaker Votes For John Boehner And Paul Ryan, And He Has Voted The Party Line 96 To 98 Percent Of The Time

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, He Ran As An Outsider But Benefited From Fundraisers Hosted By Boehner And Then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor. In 2013, DeSantis Voted To Re-Elect Boehner As Speaker Shortly After Boehner Took Heat From Conservatives For The “Fiscal Cliff” Deal. “Northeast Florida’s freshmen members of Congress, who ran as outsiders willing to buck party leadership, split their votes for House speaker Thursday as the chamber gaveled in its 113th session. Ron DeSantis, whose seat includes St. Johns County, sided with 220 Republicans in voting to re-elect Speaker John Boehner. … Boehner faced heat from the right after allowing the House to vote on a deal that helped temporarily avert the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ Crafted by the White House and Senate leaders, the deal increases the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade and made no large spending cuts, which drew the ire of many House Republicans. More than 150, including Cantor, voted against it. … Cantor and Boehner each held fundraisers for DeSantis in October.”(“First Coast Freshmen Split Speaker Votes,”Florida Times-Union, 1/4/13)

Since DeSantis Was First Elected To Congress In 2012, He Has Cast Two Speaker Votes For Boehner And Two For Paul Ryan. (Election Of The Speaker Votes: Roll Call Vote 2, 1/3/13, DeSantis Voted For Boehner; Roll Call Vote 2, 1/6/15, DeSantis Voted For Boehner; Roll Call Vote 581, 10/29/15, DeSantis Voted For Ryan; Roll Call Vote 2, 1/3/17, DeSantis Voted For Ryan)

In January 2015, DeSantis Stated His Opposition To Boehner’s Policies But Criticized A Failed Attempt By Some Republicans To Defeat Him As “Ill-Conceived, Ill-Executed And Designed To Fail.”DeSantis: “A lot of folks dislike John Boehner. People see the country chafing under the thumb of an aggressively left-wing president, yet view Boehner as someone more concerned with his tan and placating K St. interests than in advancing a conservative agenda and stopping Barack Obama. I get it. After all, from the CRomnibus to various bailouts and spending bills, I have consistently opposed Boehner’s policies on the floor of the House — often times placing myself in a lonely minority within my own party. This hasn’t exactly earned me a warm place in the hearts of the GOP leadership. Nevertheless, I declined to participate in a coup plot against Boehner that failed today by 11 votes. The plot was ill-conceived, ill-executed and designed to fail.”(Ron DeSantis’ Facebook Page, Post Published on 1/6/15)

In September 2015, DeSantis Floated Ben Carson’s Name For Speaker Before He Voted For Ryan. “DeSantis, the Florida Republican who is one of nine founding members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, said at a campaign event Sunday he’d be open to supporting an outsider for speaker when the House meets to vote for a new leader Oct. 8. ‘I would go bold, you don’t have to be a member of Congress to be the speaker of the House. I would support someone like Dr. Carson or somebody like that, I think that would be good,’ DeSantis said, referring to Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon and presidential candidate who has seen a boost in polls in recent weeks. DeSantis’ office said the two-term Republican was spit-balling ideas in his comments, made just two days after Speaker John A. Boehner announced he’d be resigning as speaker at the end of October.”(Emily Cahn, “DeSantis: Forget President, How ‘Bout Ben Carson For Speaker?”CQ News, 9/30/15)

According ToCongressional Quarterly, DeSantis Has Voted With Boehner And Ryan 96 To 98 Percent Of The Time During His Time In Congress.

(Congressional Quarterly Vote Studies, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Accessed 12/20/17)

DeSantis Has Received $27,000 In Campaign Donations From The Committees Of Top House Republicans, Including Boehner, Cantor And Kevin McCarthy

According To FEC Records, DeSantis’ Campaigns Have Received $7,000 From Boehner’s Committees, $15,000 From Eric Cantor’s Leadership PAC, And $5,000 From Kevin McCarthy’s Leadership PAC. (Congressional Quarterly MoneyLine, Ron DeSantis Campaign Finance Profile, Accessed 12/20/17)

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, Republican Primary Rival Carlos Beruff Called HisOutsider Rhetoric Into Question When He Released An Email In Which DeSantis Touted His Ties To Top D.C. Republicans, Including Karl Rove And Steve Law

In February 2016, Beruff Called DeSantis’Outsider Rhetoric Into Question When He Released An Email In Which DeSantis Touted His Ties To Top D.C. Republicans, Including Karl Rove And Steve Law. “Carlos Beruff … wasted little time firing at his Republican rivals. Among his first moves? To mock U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’ claims to be the outsider in the race, by releasing an email DeSantis sent to him in January touting all of his GOP establishment support. ‘I have earned the support of casino-magnate Steve Wynn, who is a major donor to groups affiliated with American Crossroads. Wynn has told Steve Law and Karl Rove that Crossroads needs to support me in the primary and, while Law told me Crossroads has not made any final commitments it is clear that no other Republican will earn support from Crossroads in the primary,’ DeSantis said in his email to Beruff. Said the Beruff campaign: ‘DeSantis claims to be an outsider who hasn’t been changed by Washington, his actions speak louder than his words. If it looks like a Washington insider and it quacks like a Washington insider, you better believe it’s a Washington insider. There is only one candidate in this race who’s a true conservative outsider, and that’s Carlos Beruff.’ Brad Herold, a spokesman for DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra, said the purpose of the email was to warn Beruff he would have a tough time against DeSantis.”(Adam Smith, “Beruff Mocks Rival’s GOP Outsider Claim,”Tampa Bay Times, 2/28/16)

BEHAVING LIKE A CAREER POLITICIAN

Climbing The Political Ladder

In 2015, DeSantis Launched A U.S. Senate Bid Two Years After He Claimed To Have No Higher Plan Than To Serve As A Member Of The House

In 2015, DeSantis Launched A U.S. Senate Bid Two Years After He Claimed To Have No Higher Plan Than To Serve As A Member Of The House. “Two years ago, just a couple months into his rookie term, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said had no higher plan. ‘Guys who come here and try to plan how they are going to, kind of, advance up the ladder that is not really me,’ the Republican from Ponte Vedra Beach told the Hill newspaper. ‘That is not saying that I would never do anything or that I could not do something. But when you start doing that, you start making decision based on these hypothetical things in the future.’ Now because of the planning by Sen. Marco Rubio, DeSantis has his chance.”(Alex Leary, “Ron DeSantis Has The Resume But Can He Win?”Tampa Bay Times, 5/6/15)

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, His Republican Primary Opponents Called Him A Career Politician And A D.C. Insider

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, His Republican Primary Opponents Called Him A Career Politician And A D.C. Insider. “Wilcox, an Army and CIA combat veteran and defense contractor, called Lopez-Cantera, Jolly and DeSantis ‘career politicians’ and said Beruff, a GOP donor, is a ‘political insider.’ … Lopez-Cantera didn’t mention DeSantis or Jolly by name, but took several jabs at the two members of Congress. Voters are fed up with Washington and its ‘empty promises,’ Lopez-Cantera said. He said the two House members are effectively asking voters to ‘promote me to the Senate so I can be ineffective there.’”(George Bennett, “Four Republican Senate Hopefuls Make Pitches At Boca Forum,”Palm Beach Post, 6/3/16)

Absenteeism

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, Fellow Republicans Took Him To Task For Not Voting In Primaries Over A Ten-Year Period

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, Fellow Republicans Took Him To Task For Not Voting In Primaries From 1998 To 2008. “In a new mailer going to voters in St. Johns County, GOP congressional candidate Craig Miller is taking aim at the voting history of opponent Ron DeSantis. The mailer points to the fact that DeSantis had not voted in Republican primaries between 1998 and 2008. ‘Where was DeSantis when Florida Republicans were deciding the future of the party and choosing the Republican leaders to fight for our principles here at home and in Washington?’ the mailer asks. While the first public shot at DeSantis in the race is technically correct, there are some caveats. The mailer relies on St. Johns County voting records, where DeSantis currently lives, but he was registered to vote in Pinellas County until September 2008. Records in that county, though, also show he did not vote in any of the primaries in question. DeSantis did vote in five of the six general elections during that time and has voted in almost every race – including a Republican primary – since November 2008. He did not vote in the 2009 special election to replace the late state Sen. Jim King. In a news release, Miller’s campaign says the general election DeSantis missed – 2006 – was a big one. ‘The same election that saw Nancy Pelosi elevated to the speaker of the House,’ the release read. That election and Pelosi also have been used by DeSantis to attack Miller because the National Restaurant Association gave $150,000 to Democratic candidates that cycle, which allowed ‘Nancy Pelosi to become speaker of the House.’ Miller was the group’s chairman at the time. … DeSantis, 33, was out of state attending college between 1997 and 2004, and overseas serving in the Navy from 2007 to the spring of 2008. During that time, he remained a Florida resident and was eligible to vote in the state.”(Matt Dixon, “Opponent Takes On DeSantis’ Voting,”Florida Times-Union, 8/9/12)

DeSantis Admitted He Was Wrong To Not Vote In The Primaries. “On a Daytona Beach radio program Thursday … DeSantis said he was wrong to not vote in six consecutive Republican primaries from 1998 to 2008. In a Times-Union story this week, DeSantis would not address the matter but took a shot at opponent Craig Miller, whose campaign raised the issue in a mailer. ‘Look, Marc, I was wrong,’ he told radio host Marc Bernier. ‘I said primaries don’t matter. … That was a huge mistake.’”(“Politjax,”Florida Times-Union, 8/11/12)

NOTE: A review of DeSantis’ voting records found that he has consistently voted in elections since the 2012 controversy.

During DeSantis’ 2016 U.S. Senate Bid, He Skipped Ten House Votes To Campaign In Las Vegas

In December 2015, DeSantis Skipped Ten House Votes In Order To Campaign In Las Vegas. “… DeSantis says he got the politics bug in 2010, inspired by Marco Rubio’s campaign against Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate. Now DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra, is running for the Republican nomination to succeed Rubio in the U.S. Senate, and appears he’s emulating Rubio in another way – skipping votes to campaign. Rubio leads the Senate in missed votes, and DeSantis is starting to mimic that trend. This week, DeSantis missed 10 votes – from the Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Act to the First Responders Passport Act to reauthorizing the National Cord Blood Inventory program and the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation program. DeSantis’ congressional office and campaign team did not respond to questions, but on Facebook today the congressman touted his vote against the omnibus spending bill. … DeSantis may have had a little more time had he skipped a trip to Las Vegas Tuesday, where he attended the presidential debate. He also skipped a special GOP Conference meeting to discuss the year-end spending bill.”(Adam Smith, “Ron DeSantis Follows Rubio Model On Missed Votes,”Tampa Bay Times, 12/18/15)

A Republican Primary Opponent Blasted DeSantis For Prioritizing The Campaign Trip To Las Vegas Above Votes To Fund Veterans, Law Enforcement And 9/11 First Responders. “And the David Jolly campaign responded too, even tossing in an attack video for good measure: ‘Ron DeSantis is bragging about how much money he raised during the same period ISIS was terrorizing Paris and San Bernardino,’ said Max Goodman, Jolly’s Political Director. ‘Sadly, it’s the only part of his political career he attends to, as evidenced by his recent missed votes to hang out with mega donors and college kids in Vegas, while Rep. Jolly and his House colleagues were attending to legislation to fund our veterans, law enforcement, and 9/11 first responders. Clearly votes aren’t the only thing DeSantis has missed – he’s also missed the biggest news of the last week that 84{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} of Florida voters think members of Congress spend too much time raising money, and he’s missed that 10 editorial boards across the state have now come out in support of David Jolly’s STOP Act to prohibit members of Congress from cheating taxpayers by fundraising on official time.”(Adam Smith, “Ron DeSantis Scoffs At Rivals’ Money-Raising, David Jolly Calls Him A Liar,”Tampa Bay Times, 1/31/16)

According To Federal Records, DeSantis Has Skipped 29 Percent Of House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Hearings And 20 Percent Of House Judiciary Committee Hearings

According To Federal Records, The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Has Held 156 Hearings Since DeSantis Joined In 2013. He Has Skipped 45 (29 Percent) Of Those Hearings. (GPO Website, House Government & Oversight Committee Hearings, 2013-2017)

According To Federal Records, The House Judiciary Committee Has Held 54 Hearings Since DeSantis Joined In 2013. He Has Skipped 11 (20 Percent) Of Those Hearings. (GPO Website, House Judiciary Committee Hearings, 2013-2017)

According ToGovTrack, DeSantis’ Skipped More House Floor Votes In 2017 Than In All Of His Prior Years Combined

According ToGovTrack, DeSantis’ Skipped More House Floor Votes In 2017 Than In All Of His Prior Years Combined. He Will Likely Attribute Some Of The Missed Votes To The Aftermath Of Hurricane Irma.

(GovTrack, Ron DeSantis Profile, Accessed 1/18/18)

Ineffective Member Of Congress

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, Just One Of His Bills Has Passed The House, And He Has Been Ranked 214th Out 250 House Republicans In Terms Of Effectiveness

According To The Center For Effective Lawmaking, DeSantis Sponsored A Total Of 21 Bills From 2013 To 2016, Of Which Just 1 Passed The House. In 2016, He Was Ranked 214th Out Of 250 House Republicans In Terms Of Effectiveness.

  • 2013-14: Sponsored 9 bills, 1 passed the House; ranked 109 out of 240 House Republicans.
  • 2015-16: Sponsored 12 bills, 0 passed the House; ranked 214 out of 250 House Republicans.

(The Center For Effective Lawmaking, House Rankings, 2013 To 2016)

Backpedaling On Term Limits

In 2017, DeSantis Refused To State If He Would Comply With His Own Legislation To Limit Members Of Congress To Three Terms In Office

In March 2017, DeSantis Refused To State If He Would Comply With His Own Legislation To Limit Members Of Congress To Three Terms In Office. “However, when asked later whether he would personally limit himself to his current third term, particularly if a proposed bill he supports to do just that were to fall through, DeSantis said he hasn’t made up his mind about his future political plans. He said he had concerns about senior members further consolidating their power if younger members with two or three terms volunteered to leave. He said in the event the bill does pass, he would abide by it, even if his term was grandfathered in.”(Jake Martin, “DeSantis Town Hall: Rep Reiterates Support For Repealing ACA But Still Seeks Cost Savings,”The St. Augustine Record, 3/12/17)

Support From Special Interests

According To The Center For Responsive Politics, DeSantis’ Campaigns Have Received $1.2 Million From PACs, $1.1 Million From Wall Street, And $258,705 From “Lawyers & Lobbyists”

According To The Center For Responsive Politics, DeSantis’ Campaign Committee Has Received $1.2 Million From PACs, $1.1 Million From Wall Street, And $258,705 From “Lawyers & Lobbyists.”

(The Center For Responsive Politics, Ron DeSantis Profile, 2011-2018, Accessed 12/20/17)

In 2016, A Pro-DeSantis Super PAC Was Bankrolled By Wall Street Donors

In 2016, A Pro-DeSantis Super PAC Was Bankrolled By Wall Street Donors. “Large financial industry donors continued to pump big money into a super PAC backing the US Senate bid of Republican Ron DeSantis, according to campaign finance reports filed Friday. During the first three months of 2016, the Fight for Florida Fund, a super PAC backing DeSantis, received another $150,000 from John Childes, a Vero Beach resident and founder of J.S. Childs Associates, a Massachusetts public equity firm. That’s on top of $200,000 he gave the committee shortly after it was formed in late 2015. Of the $1.1 million the committee has raised so far, 91 percent has come from three donors in the finance industry. The biggest overall donor to the committee was $500,000 from the Spring Bay Capital, LLC, a Ponte Vedra Beach private equity firm. The committee also received $200,000 from Robert Mercer, a co-CEO of hedge fund giant Renaissance Technologies, bringing the total from the three donors up to just over $1 million.”(Matt Dixon, “Finance Industry Floating Super PAC Backing DeSantis’ Senate Bid,”Politico, 4/18/16)

During A 2016 Campaign Donor Pitch, DeSantis Said He Had All The Money He Needed To Win A U.S. Senate Seat, But It Was In The Pockets Of Attendees

During A 2016 Campaign Donor Pitch, DeSantis Said He Had All The Money He Needed To Win A U.S. Senate Seat, But It Was In The Pockets Of Attendees. DeSantis: “The good news is I have all the money I need to win this race. The bad news is, is some of it is still in your pockets.”(“2016 David Jolly Campaign Ad – The Stop Act,” YouTube, Published By “This Week In Immigration” On 4/8/16)

To Date, DeSantis Has Accepted Eight Special Interest-Funded Trips Valued At $38,929

To Date, DeSantis Has Accepted Eight Special Interest-Funded Trips To San Diego, Israel (2), Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, Palm Beach, And West Palm Beach. The Trips, Which Were Covered By Conservative And Pro-Israel Groups, Had An Aggregate Value Of $38,929. (Legistorm, Rep. Ron DeSantis Staff Salaries By Year, Accessed 12/20/17)

Raising Campaign Money Off A Government Investigation

In 2016, Fellow Republicans Expressed Concern When DeSantis Tried To Raise Campaign Money Off His Failed Push To Impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

In May 2016, Fellow Republicans Expressed Concern When DeSantis Tried To Raise Campaign Money Off His Failed Push To Impeach Koskinen.“DeSantis, the Florida Republican recently tapped to lead the IRS impeachment hearings, has been raising campaign money off the high-stakes inquiry into the tax chief’s alleged misconduct — a move that’s prompting bipartisan condemnation on the Hill. The Sunshine State lawmaker, who’s making a play for retiring Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat, has both run and done fundraising off his calls to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, playing up the red-meat issue as he faces down primary challengers for the nomination. One link on his 2016 campaign website offers a handful of reasons why Koskinen ‘needs to go’ — next to a ‘contribute’ button for donors. The home page on the website reads: ‘He must be impeached.’ And on Tuesday, as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the merits of impeachment, his 2016 campaign Twitter account touted his work to voters: ‘Tune in to CSPAN3, I’m testifying against John Koskinen who destroyed key evidence & stonewalled Congress regarding the IRS scandal.’ Although many congressional investigators at least try to give the impression that their probes are not politically motivated, DeSantis seems to have little reservation about mixing his Senate run with a politically explosive action like impeaching the head of a major federal agency. Privately, a number of Republicans said it’s cause for concern. ‘You don’t fundraise off investigations,’ quipped one member who declined to go on-record criticizing a colleague. ‘The criminality of this administration and their hubris of defying fiduciary law is broadly something that drives voters and, by definition, drives their participation … but it’s not what my committee was about,’ said former Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who spearheaded the last Congress’ GOP investigation into the IRS, when asked about the matter. ‘We weren’t about looking for fundraising. We never fundraised on our investigations.’ Democrats were more direct with their criticism. ‘If you’re going to be a phony, at least try to act sincere about it,’ snapped Rep. Gerry Connolly, who defended the IRS as a member of Issa’s panel during the two-year Oversight investigation of the way conservative nonprofits were treated. ‘He’s not even pretending to be sincere about the substance of this process.’”(Rachel Bade, “IRS Impeachment Leader Under Fire Over Fundraising,”Politico, 5/24/16)

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

While DeSantis Has Called ForCongressional Spending Restraint, His Taxpayer-Funded Staff Salaries Have Ballooned By 39 Percent

According ToLegistorm, DeSantis’ Taxpayer-Funded Staff Salaries Increased From $811,191 In 2013 To $1,124,675 In 2016 (39 Percent).

  • 2013: $811,191
  • 2014: $930,459
  • 2015: $994,252
  • 2016: $1,124,675

(Legistorm, Rep. Ron DeSantis Staff Salaries By Year, Accessed 12/20/17)

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Also Spent $148,762 On Taxpayer-Funded Franked Mail. (Legistorm, Rep. Ron DeSantis Congressional Expenses – Aggregate, Accessed 12/20/17)

DeSantis Announced His Last Two Campaigns From D.C. And New York, And He Has Relied On The Aid Of Beltway Groups And A Blacklisted Firm

During Desantis’ Campaigns, He Has Hired A Blacklisted Consulting Firm With A Reputation For Stirring Intra-Party Turmoil.

DeSantis’ Beltway Supporters Believed He Could Break The Mold Of Failed Tea Party Candidates. “Ron DeSantis’ conservative backers believe his Senate campaign can break the mold of past tea-party candidates. Even better for them, he could help build momentum for the movement’s ‘2.0’ phase electing allies to higher office. DeSantis has backing from the same conservative outside groups that have often warred with the ‘establishment’ in recent Republican primaries. … When DeSantis declared his Senate ambitions in April, his core campaign team came from Jamestown Associates, a consulting firm that drew ire from fellow Republicans in 2014 for working against now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his primary, among other incumbents. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and other establishment players said they would blackball Jamestown.” (Andrea Drusch, “The Tea Party’s Plan To Succeed Marco Rubio,”The National Journal, 8/11/15)

In 2016, DeSantis Took Heat For Announcing His U.S. Senate Bid From D.C., And Assembling A Team Of Beltway Groups And Consultants. “DeSantis, the first and so far only Republican candidate to announce for Florida’s 2016 U.S. Senate race, announced his candidacy from Washington. He has pulled together a campaign team mainly from outside the state, and several Beltway-based conservative political groups have lined up behind him. But as other potential Republican senate candidates mingled with hundreds of Florida GOP activists in Orlando Saturday, it seemed the little-known congressman from northeast Florida might be in danger of looking too much like a political outsider for his own good. ‘We want to elect someone who’s focused on Florida, not just Washington,’ Nassau County Republican State Committeeman Doug Adkins, noting that DeSantis skipped the state GOP executive committee meeting, while U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Jeff Miller, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and former Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum – each considering running for Senate – made a point of attending.”(Adam Smith, “Is Ron DeSantis The Beltway Candidate?”Tampa Bay Times, 5/16/15)

In 2018, DeSantis Announced His Gubernatorial Bid From New York, Not Florida. “Putnam’s campaign immediately hit DeSantis for announcing on Fox, attempting to drive a distinction between DeSantis as a ‘Washington, D.C., insider’ and Putnam as a ‘Florida First conservative.’ Spokeswoman Amanda Bevis hammered the point home by chiding DeSantis for announcing ‘his latest campaign from an empty TV studio to broadcasters in New York,’ contrasting it to Putnam’s May announcement at a rally in Florida.”(Ben Kamisar, “Trump Endorsement Boosts Republican In Fla. Gov Race,”The Hill, 1/11/18)

NOTABLE REPUBLICAN FIGURES

President Donald Trump

In September 2015, The Tampa Bay Times Reported DeSantis Sounded Like A Rubio Supporter But Was Remaining Neutral In The Republican Presidential Primary

In September 2015, The Tampa Bay Times Reported DeSantis Sounded Like A Rubio Supporter But Was Remaining Neutral In The Republican Presidential Primary. “The vast majority of Florida’s GOP establishment may be backing Jeb Bush for the Republican presidential nomination, but there’s no consensus among the Republican running for U.S. Senate. Here’s where things stand on the presidential endorsement/preference front: … U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach tells The Buzz is staying out of it, but in a recent 20-minute conversation he mentioned Rubio at least three times. When we suggested that he sounded like a Rubio guy DeSantis acknowledged he likes the idea of Rubio facing Hillary Clinton: ‘He would be a good contrast, There’s no doubt about it.’”(Adam Smith, “Among Fla. Senate Candidates No Consensus OnPrez Preferences,”Tampa Bay Times, 9/4/15)

In December 2015, DeSantis Refused To Comment On Trump’s Call For A Muslim Ban

In December 2015, DeSantis RefusedTo Comment On Trump’s Call For A Muslim Ban. “That a Pinellas County congressman, David Jolly, would call on Donald Trump to quit the presidential race after calling for America to stop allowing Muslims into the country is surely irrelevant and/or laughable to Trump and many of his supporters. But when that congressman is also a leading Republican running in a completive U.S. Senate primary for a toss-up open seat, that move by Jolly to go after the Republican presidential frontrunner is bold, risky and a the latest sign of how much heartburn Trump’s candidacy is causing fellow Republicans. They are worried that as the GOP nominee he could drag down Republicans up and down the ballot in the general election. Of course, blasting Trump could also damage the blasters among many GOP primary voters. We’ve reached out to prominent Florida Republicans and candidates. Here’s a compilation of reactions to Trump, which we will update throughout the day. Those who choose not to react, pro or con, tell us as much about them as those who do. … DeSantis: No response so far to multiple requests for comment.”(Adam Smith, “What Florida Pols Are Saying About Donald Trump’s Plan To Bar Muslims From USA,”Tampa Bay Times, 12/8/15)

The Tampa Bay Times’Adam Smith Deemed DeSantis The“Loser Of The Week” For Lacking The Courage To Comment On Trump’s Call For A Muslim Ban. “It’s entirely unclear whether Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly helped his campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination by blasting Donald Trump and calling on him to quit the race. He is, after all, running in a wide open Republican primary and recent national polls show that a majority of Republicans favor Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. The Republican whom Jolly’s team views as his main rival, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, has been conspicuously silent on the proposal, while Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has been cautious about expressing disagreement. … Loser of the week Ron DeSantis. The northeast Florida congressman campaigning for U.S. Senate as a bold, tea party conservative couldn’t muster enough courage to utter any opinion on Trump’s proposed policy on Muslims. He seemed more like another timid, finger-in-the-wind pol than a gutsy outsider.”(Adam Smith, “Jolly Refuses To Play It Safe, Criticizes Trump,”Tampa Bay Times, 12/13/15)

In February And March 2016, DeSantis Reiterated His Neutrality In The Republican Presidential Primary

During A February 2016 Appearance On Fox News, DeSantis Reiterated His Neutrality In The Republican Presidential Primary. VAN SUSTEREN: “Sir, you haven’t endorsed anyone?” DESANTIS: “No.”(“On The Record With Greta Van Susteren,” Fox News Network, 2/25/16)

In March 2016, DeSantis’Spokesperson Stated That DeSantis Had “Long Decided To Remain Neutral In The Presidential Primary.”“[Said] DeSantis campaign spokesman Brad Herold: ‘Congressman DeSantis has long decided to remain neutral in the presidential primary and is focused on building a broad coalition for his Senate campaign.’”(Adam Smith, “Little Faith In Rubio From Florida Politicos,”Tampa Bay Times, 3/6/16)

In March 2016, DeSantis Refused To Say If He Could Support Trump As The Republican Presidential Nominee

In March 2016, DeSantis Refused To Say If He Could Support Trump As The Republican Presidential Nominee. “Asked if he could support Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said Saturday night, ‘I don’t think I could.’ Rep. Ron DeSantis, ‘refused to answer the question altogether,’ saying, ‘I just don’t want to. … You can either run your own race or you can make comments about other races.’”(Andrea Drusch, “Lopez-Cantera Doesn’t Think He Can Vote Trump,”The Hotline, 3/14/16)

Also In March 2016, DeSantis Refused To Comment On What Effect Trump Could Have On Down-Ballot Republicans. “If Donald Trump is on the November ballot, he could affect other federal and state races, stimulating independents and Democrats who might not otherwise vote to come to the polls. Or he could be such a noxious force within the Republican Party that he would attract only the demographic he has attracted in the primaries so far, and other Republican candidates could suffer. That’s what insiders who pondered Trump at the top of the ticket said about his potential impact on candidates seeking election in November. … DeSantis, R-St. Augustine, is running for the Republican nomination to seek the Rubio Senate seat this year. His spokesman, Brad Herold, said the congressman wouldn’t comment, but added: ‘All I can tell you is that it’s not going to affect us one way or another. We will campaign on what we believe no matter who the presidential nominee is.’”(Bartholomew Sullivan, “Would Trump Effect Trickle Down?”The Stuart News, 3/21/16)

In May 2016, DeSantis Offered A Tepid Endorsement Of Trump That Focused On The Need To Defeat Hillary Clinton

In May 2016, DeSantis’Spokesperson Said DeSantis “Will Support The Republican Nominee (Trump).”“… DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, plans to vote for Trump. ‘The congressman has been clear that he will support the Republican nominee,’ campaign manager Brad Herold said. As recently as March, DeSantis would not endorse.”(Michael Auslen, “One Of Florida’s GOP Senate Candidates Isn’t Ready To Embrace Trump,”The Miami Herald, 5/4/16)

The News-Journal Reported DeSantis Only Mentioned Trump Once In His Statement Of Support, And, Instead, Focused On The Need To Defeat Hillary Clinton. “While the G.O.P. is not rallying in full support of Trump-for-president, it’s more unified in a sentiment stuck to Rice’s door: STOP HILLARY. That’s how a statement from U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis reads. ‘Electing Hillary Clinton will continue America’s journey down the wrong track,’ said DeSantis, who represents Flagler and most of Volusia County in Congress. His only mention of Trump: ‘It is now clear that Donald Trump will accumulate the delegates necessary to be nominated by the Republican Party. If we want to defeat Hillary Clinton and have a chance to change the trajectory of our country, we need to unite behind the Republican ticket this November.’”(Mark Harper, “Ron Rice, Other Volusia Trump Backers Set Sights On November,”News-Journal, 5/6/16)

Later In May 2016, DeSantis Said He Would Run His U.S. Senate Campaign Separate From Trump. “Now that Donald Trump is the likely GOP presidential nominee, the five Republican Senate candidates hoping to share the ballot with him are expressing mixed feelings about the brash billionaire businessman and reality television star. … ‘How it’s going to affect the race? I don’t think I know, I don’t think you know, I don’t think anybody knows. It’s unprecedented for somebody to go from the private sector straight to president,’ said U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis during a state Republican Party meeting last weekend. ‘When you add in somebody who has a celebrity status, too, I just think it’s going to be a very different campaign than what we’ve seen. People are just going to have to buckle their seatbelts.’ DeSantis said early in the campaign that he wasn’t going to endorse a presidential candidate and that he would support the nominee. His feeling now is that he will run his campaign, and Trump will run his own.”(Brendan Farrington, “Florida GOP Senate Hopefuls Have Mixed Feelings About Trump,”The Associated Press, 5/16/16)

In May 2016, Trump Joined The Chorus Of Republicans Who Wanted Marco Rubio, Not DeSantis, To Be The Republican U.S. Senate Nominee

In May 2016, Trump Joined The Chorus Of Republicans Who Wanted Rubio, Not DeSantis, To Be The Republican U.S. Senate Nominee. “Donald Trump has endorsed … Marco Rubio? Just after 10 p.m. on Thursday, Trump joined the chorus of Republican senators and party leaders who want Rubio to run for reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in Florida, which he pledged to leave after his presidential campaign this year. Trump was pulled into the effort by allies and consultants connected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who earlier Thursday asked GOP caucus members to hold up their hands if they wanted Rubio to stay. Every hand went up. … Rounding out the GOP field: businessman Todd Wilcox and U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly.”(“Trump: Run, Marco!”Politico, 5/26/16)

During The Closing Days Of The 2016 Election, DeSantis All But Avoided Mentioning Trump – Even At A Trump Rally In St. Augustine

During The Closing Days Of The 2016 Election, DeSantis All But Avoided Mentioning Trump – Even At A Trump Rally In St. Augustine. However, He Did State His Intention To Vote For Trump. “During that debate, DeSantis was asked whether he supports the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. ‘I’ll support the nominee,’ he said, coolly launching into an attack on Obama and Clinton. DeSantis spoke this week at the Trump rally in St. Augustine, again attacking Clinton without so much as using the word ‘Trump’ once. ‘Here’s the cold, hard fact,’ he said. ‘If we allow Hillary Clinton to replace Justice Antonin Scalia with a liberal Supreme Court justice, we will have a majority of five lockstep, liberal justices. And they will run roughshod over our Second Amendment rights.’”(Mark Harper, “DeSantis Hopes To Hold Off Congressional Challenger,”News-Journal, 10/26/16)

 

POCKETBOOK ISSUES

OBAMACARE

Although DeSantis Campaigned To Repeal And Not Replace ObamaCare, He Voted In Congress For A Bill That Left ObamaCare Intact

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, He Called For Repealing And Not Replacing ObamaCare

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, He Campaigned To Repeal ObamaCare. He Did Not Believe A Replacement Was Needed. Q: “What actions would you favor to modify this law [ObamaCare]?” DeSantis: “I disagree that repeal is unlikely. In fact, I believe the defeat of Barack Obama in November combined with the election of a GOP-majority in the Senate will mean the end of ObamaCare. We must repeal ObamaCare — the law is a 2,500-page monstrosity that not a single member of Congress read in its entirety. It will make reigning in our runaway debt virtually impossible; it delegates an unprecedented amount of authority to unelected bureaucrats such as Kathleen Sebelius, to the detriment of religious freedom and constitutional accountability; it will lead to millions of Americans losing their employer-provided health care plans; and it will decrease the quality of medical care in the United States. I have no desire to ‘improve’ or ‘reform’ObamaCare. I intend to repeal it.”(“Ron DeSantis,”The St. Augustine Record, 8/4/12)

In 2015, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That Heritage Action Opposed Because It Left ObamaCare Intact And Failed To Defund Planned Parenthood

In October 2015, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That Heritage Action Opposed Because It Left ObamaCare Intact And Failed To Defund Planned Parenthood. “The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762) would not restore Americans’ health care freedom because it leaves the main pillars of Obamacare in place, nor would it actually defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood. This bill violates an explicit promise made in the budget, which ‘affirm[ed] the use of reconciliation for the sole purpose of repealing the President’s job-killing health care law.’ HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Reconciliation is a powerful tool to get legislation through Congress, but it has no value as a law-making exercise with President Obama in the White House (i.e. any Republican bill will be vetoed; any bill he would sign would get Democrat support and 60 Senate votes and not need the reconciliation process). Therefore, reconciliation should be used on a unifying effort to create a contrast with President Obama and send a winning message to the American people. And nothing unifies Republicans and provides a better messaging opportunity than repealing Obamacare.”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 3762, Roll Call Vote 568, 10/23/15, Overall Vote: 240-189, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2013, DeSantis Refused To Say If He Planned To Join An ObamaCare Exchange Or Take A Federal Contribution

In 2013, DeSantis Refused To State If He Planned to Join An ObamaCare Exchange Or Take A Federal Contribution

In November 2013, DeSantis Refused To State If He Planned To Join An ObamaCare Exchange Or Take A Federal Contribution. “This week, members of Congress can begin signing up for the state or federal health care exchanges offered under the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. Here is an ongoing list, updated daily, of which members of Congress have decided to enroll. … District Name Party Going on an exchange? Taking federal contribution? Florida 6 DeSantis, Ron R No response No response.”(“Congress: Who Has Signed Up ForObamaCare,” CNN Political Ticker, 11/13/13)

In 2017, DeSantis Was Criticized For Saying A Cancer Patient Who Lost Coverage Via ObamaCare RepealCould Get Help At An Emergency Room

In 2017, DeSantis Tried To Downplay His Controversial Appearance On CNN, During Which He Said A Cancer Patient Who Lost Coverage Via The Repeal Of ObamaCare Could Get Help At An Emergency Room

During A 2017 Appearance On CNN, DeSantis Said A Republican Voter With Cancer Who Lost Coverage Via The Repeal Of ObamaCare Could Get Help At An Emergency Room. “… DeSantis, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, talked to CNN’s Erin Burnett this week about health care, and his intention to kill the Affordable Care Act. The host pointed to a Republican voter, featured on an earlier segment, who’d be dead if it weren’t for ‘Obamacare.’ She asked for his reaction. DeSantis proceeded to complain about the reform law anyway, before turning to a familiar GOP refrain: ‘I would say though … there really is no lack of health care. If people really need it, if they show up to the emergency room, they do get care, it just gets passed on to other folks.’ The host pointed to the fact that woman in question had $1 million in cancer treatments, adding, ‘You’re not going to get that by showing up in an emergency room.’ DeSantis then changed the subject.”(Steve Benen, “Freedom Caucus Member Points To Emergency Rooms For Uninsured,” MSNBC, 3/10/17)

DeSantis Tried To Downplay The Flap By Claiming He Was Misinterpreted. “DeSantis was booed when he praised the idea of expanding health savings accounts, a part of the GOP’s plans; he also said that a viral moment from a CNN interview he did, where he appeared to be saying that cancer patients could get coverage at emergency rooms, was misinterpreted.”(The Washington Post Blogs, 3/11/17)

SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE

DeSantis Voted For Budget Resolutions That Sought To Raise The Retirement Age For Social Security And The Eligibility Age For Medicare

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Voted For Republican Study Committee Budget Resolutions That Sought To Raise The Social Security Retirement Age And The Medicare Eligibility Age

From 2013 To 2015, DeSantis Voted For Republican Study Committee Budget Resolutions That Sought To Raise The Social Security Retirement Age. “He is a more polished politician than some past, flameout Senate candidates, but multiple GOP strategists said DeSantis’s conservative House voting record could become a toxic asset in a Florida general election. Specifically, DeSantis supported the 2013 government shutdown over Obamacare funding and the Republican Study Committee’s conservative budget proposals, which liberals dubbed ‘the Ryan budget on steroids.’ Among the proposals: raising the Social Security retirement age. This particular budget goes much further than the official House Republican proposal in its changes to Medicare and Social Security, and some in the GOP fear that Democrats could use it to draw Florida’s large senior population back toward them after years of Republican progress. That bloc is one of the most important in Florida politics. ‘Voting for Social Security cuts in Florida is like starting the campaign from the 1-yard line,’ Florida Republican strategist Mike Hanna said earlier this year.”(Andrea Drusch, “The Tea Party’s Plan To Succeed Marco Rubio,”The National Journal, 8/11/15)

DeSantis-Backed Republican Study Committee Budget Resolutions Also Sought To Implement A Chained CPI Adjustment For Social Security Benefits And Increase The Medicare Eligibility Age To 70.

Details of the 2013 vote:“The Republican Study Committee, which represents the conservative wing of the House Republican caucus, has released its own budget, that would reach balance in 4 years. It takes the Ryan plan and builds upon it, by implementing the Medicare reforms for those younger than 59; raising the Medicare and Social Security retirement age to 70 over time; implementing the ‘chained CPI’ adjustment for Social Security benefits; and other measures.”(Avik Roy, “Paul Ryan’s Plan To Balance The Budget In Ten Years Relies On…ObamaCare?”Forbes, 3/16/13; CQ Votes; H Con Res 25, Roll Call Vote 86, 3/20/13, Overall Vote: 104-132, DeSantis Voted Yea)

Details of the 2014 vote:“Some conservative Republicans argue that the Ryan plan does not cut spending deeply enough and takes too long to reach balance. Earlier Thursday, members rejected 133-291 the conservative Republican Study Committee’s alternative that would reduce discretionary spending to fiscal 2008 levels and balance the budget by fiscal 2018. Offered by Rob Woodall of Georgia and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the RSC plan would reduce spending by $7.4 trillion over 10 years and freeze federal revenue at the current level through fiscal 2024. … Like the Ryan budget, the RSC plan would repeal the 2010 health care overhaul. It also would convert Medicaid and CHIP into a single block grant program funded at fiscal 2015 levels, as well as transform Medicare into a premium support program that would compete against private plans. Beginning in 2024, it would increase Medicare eligibility to age 67 for those born in 1959 or later and would gradually increase eligibility to age 70 for Social Security.”(“Ryan Budget Adopted,”CQ News, 4/10/14; CQ Votes; H Con Res 96, Roll Call Vote 175, 4/10/14, Overall Vote: 133-291, DeSantis Voted Yea)

Details of the 2015 vote:“The House voted 132-294 to reject a more extreme budget that had been proposed by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group. It would have slashed domestic spending by $7.1 trillion over 10 years, including cuts to the Social Security pension program for seniors, which was largely untouched in the Budget Committee’s versions.”(David Lawder, “House Republican Budget Crosses Finish Line, Barely,”Reuters, 3/25/15; H Con Res 27, Roll Call Vote 138, 3/25/15, Overall Vote: 132-294, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2012 And 2014, DeSantis Was Open To Increasing The Retirement Age To Collect Social Security And To Adjusting The COLA Formula

In 2012 And 2014, DeSantis Said He Was Open To Increasing The Retirement Age To Collect Social Security And To Adjusting The COLA Formula

In 2012, DeSantis Said He Was Open To Increasing The Retirement Age To Collect Social Security And To Adjusting The COLA Formula. Q. “Do you favor increasing the age of eligibility for Social Security eventually to age 70 or older, and do you favor changing the cost-of-living formula to lower annual raises as a way of making the program more financially sound? Why or why not?” … DeSantis: “We need to keep Social Security as is for seniors who depend on the program and for those who are near retirement. A promise made is a promise kept. Since the 1960s, Congress has used surpluses in the Social Security system to finance deficit-spending on programs other than Social Security. This has allowed Congress to mask the true extent of the budget deficit. Because Congress has spent money dedicated to Social Security, it will be necessary to make reforms to ensure the program’s viability for future generations. For those in my generation, I am open to reforms which take into account changes in life expectancy and which accurately measure changes in the cost of living.”(Beaven, DeSantis Vie For District 6 Seat,”The St. Augustine Record, 10/7/12)

In 2014, DeSantis Reiterated His Openness To Increasing The Retirement Age To Collect Social Security And To Adjusting The COLA Formula. Q: “What reforms, if any, would you propose to Social Security?” DeSantis: “This program needs to be reformed to safeguard against a potential 25 percent reduction which would affect all recipients. Second, Social Security must reflect the nation’s demographics and life expectancy, which means there needs to be a sustainable worker-to-recipient ratio. Finally, for high-income seniors the benefit formula should be indexed to prices rather than wages, which will keep benefits in line with inflation but do so in a way that shores up Social Security’s finances.”(“U.S. House District 6 Q&A,”News-Journal, 10/22/14)

In 2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Social Security Benefits For People In Their 30’s And Suggested Privatization

In 2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Social Security Benefits For People In Their 30’s, And Suggested Privatization

In2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Social Security Benefits For People In Their 30’s, And Suggested Privatization. “Q: ‘Social Security is in trouble. Let’s talk about changes in Social Security for those who are now under age 50. What changes, if any, to Social Security would you favor for those who are now under age 50 as a way to make the program financially solvent?’ … DeSantis: ‘It’s important to tell our senior citizens that a promise made is a promise kept. We’re not going to take it out on the current recipients.’ He said we need to alter Social Security for the people in his generation (he’s 33). He said he would like young people to be able to take their Social Security taxes and put that money into something they could control.’”(“House Candidates On The Issues,”The St. Augustine Record, 8/5/12)

In 2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Medicare Benefits For People In Their 30’s

In 2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Medicare Benefits For People In Their 30’s, And He Supported Turning Medicaid Into A Block Grant Program

In 2012, DeSantis Called For Altering Medicare Benefits For People In Their 30’s, And He Supported Turning Medicaid Into A Block Grant Program.  Q: “What are you willing to do to reform Medicaid and Medicare?” DeSantis: “You should block-grant Medicaid to the states and allow governors and state legislatures the flexibility to experiment with ways to deal with the program. A lot of these programs tend to trap people in them and they tend to be on them for a long time. I think initially the design is to be more of a safety net so that if people fall into that, they can have that care. But then the expectation is that that’s not something they’re going to use as a way of life and they’re going to move on with it. We’ve not been successful I don’t think, since the ‘60s, in getting people who use the programs to then go and be independent and standing on their own. I think it tends to create a culture of dependency. Now when those programs are administered closer to home, I think you’re in a much better situation to be able to structure them in a way that people are going to be able to get what they need and then hopefully stand on their own two feet. For Medicare, as I said, I would not do any changes for people who are on Medicare or close to retirement. But for guys like me, we need to look at the structure of the program, look at how the finances are, and see what the obligations will be 40 years in the future. It simply cannot stand the way it is.”(“Candidate Q&A,” 8/5/12)

In 2015, DeSantis Voted Against A Bipartisan Medicare Reform Bill That Fixed A Broken Doctor Payment Formula

In 2015, DeSantis Was One Of 37 House Members Who Voted Against A Medicare Reform Bill That Fixed A Doctor Payment Formula

In 2015, DeSantis Was One Of 37 House Members Who Voted Against A Medicare Reform Bill That Fixed A Doctor Payment Formula. “The sweeping Medicare bill the U.S. House approved last week accomplished two big things: It would put the program on more solid ground, and it demonstrated what Congress can achieve when it works in a bipartisan fashion. … The bill would create a permanent fix to the repayment formula for Medicare providers, replacing an unworkable cap on the program that Congress has overridden 17 times since 2003. Ending these short-term fixes will give doctors the stability they need to remain in the system and provide their patients with continuing care. The measure also would provide two years of additional funding to the children’s health program, known as CHIP, which covers 8 million children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. In Florida, CHIP helps fund Florida KidCare, which covers medical expenses including doctor visits, prescriptions, dental care and mental health care. More than 415,000 Florida children benefit from CHIP’s annual contribution, which topped $380 million in 2014. … The deal also sets the stage for healthier outcomes by moving away from the traditional fee-for-service approach and rewarding physicians who focus instead on quality care. The bill provides $7 billion over the next two years to the 1,300 federally funded community health centers across the nation, which serve 23 million patients. It funds an outreach program through 2017 so that uninsured children who are eligible for CHIP can be enrolled in care they deserve. And it includes tougher antifraud provisions against rogue providers. One-third of the cost of the $214 billion measure would be offset by cuts to providers and higher premiums to some high-income beneficiaries, which is reasonable. This was a classic example of compromise, as both Republicans and Democrats saw the big picture, approving the bill by a vote of 392-37. The entire Florida delegation supported the bill, except Republican Reps. David Jolly of Indian Shores and Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach. These reforms will bring a level of certainty to doctors and patients, and they create a better path to preventive health care. They also will focus the health care industry on quality instead of volume, which is important for Medicare as the nation’s population ages. The bill’s overwhelming support is a signal to the Senate to act. And the bipartisan vote should be a model for how Congress can approach other major issues, from the budget to immigration, that need the same show of statesmanship.”(Editorial, “Medicare Bill Finds Common Ground,”Tampa Bay Times, 3/29/15)

FEDERAL DEBT ISSUES

“The Most Critical Crisis” Facing The U.S.

Since DeSantis First Ran For Congress In 2012, He Has Voiced Concern That The U.S. Was “Heading In A Greece-Like Direction,” And He Called The National Debt“The Most Critical Crisis” Facing The Nation

In October 2012, DeSantis Voiced Concern That The U.S. Was “Heading In A Greece-Like Direction” Due To Its Debt Burden, And He Said It Was “Time To Put Away The Credit Card.”DeSantis: “The U.S. Government has amassed a $16 trillion debt, has been running deficits of more than $1 trillion for the past three years and has no plan to deal with this fiscal hemorrhaging. To say that the political debate over the debt ceiling rather than the nation’s budgetary realities is the source of our nation’s credit problems might explain the actions of a particular ratings agency but it misses the forest for the trees. Indeed, America’s debt to GDP ratio has skyrocketed from 66{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} to 104{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} over the past six years. We are heading in a Greece-like direction. The consequences of America going broke would be catastrophic: taxes would skyrocket, savings would evaporate, individuals on government programs such as Social Security and Medicare could see massive disruptions to the services they depend on, and the nation’s standard of living would decline. This much is clear: the days of willy-nilly increases in the debt ceiling are over. We need to enact a spending reduction plan that will reduce the unsustainable level of federal spending and get the nation on a path to economic growth, financial solvency and job creation. The plan should cut current federal spending, cap future federal spending and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states. It is time to put away the credit card.”(Beaven, DeSantis Vie For District 6 Seat,”St. Augustine Record, 10/7/12)

In April 2016, DeSantis Claimed The National Debt Was “The Most Critical Crisis” Facing The U.S.“DeSantis cited the national debt, saying the country’s debt ‘has boiled over. We’re in a debt crisis. It’s the most critical crisis we face, devastating to millions and millions of Americans.’”(Bill Jones, “Campaign Presentations Highlight Lincoln-Reagan Day Celebration,”Charlotte Sun, 4/24/16)

Mixed Signals On Debt Ceiling Votes

During DeSantis’ 2012 Congressional Bid, He Sent Mixed Signals On How He Would Address Debt Ceiling Votes

In August 2012, DeSantis Pledged He Would Not Vote To Raise The Debt Ceiling. “Q: ‘The Government Accountability Office reported last week that the protracted debate last year over how to raise the federal borrowing limit forced the government to pay at least $1.3 billion in additional interest costs. Also, that debate led Standard & Poor’s to strip the U.S. government of its top-notch debt rating. In light of what happened last year, if elected, will you vote to raise the debt ceiling? Please explain your vote.’ … DeSantis: ‘I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling. We need to force Congress to make tough choices.’”(“House Candidates On The Issues,”The St. Augustine Record, 8/5/12)

However, That Same Month, DeSantis Said He Would Have Supported The 2011 “Cut, Cap And Balance” Plan, Which Would Have Increased The Debt Ceiling By $2.4 Trillion. Q: “If you were asked to raise the national debt ceiling, how would you vote? What would you do to reduce the national debt?” DeSantis: “I would not be supportive of a unilateral debt ceiling raise. I mean, I would have supported … Cut, Cap, and Balance in exchange for a temporary debt ceiling increase, simply because there’s a lot of spending that’s already been committed. … I’ll be somebody who wants to hold Congress’ feet to the fire.”(“Candidate Q&A,” 8/5/12)

  • NOTE: “Cut, Cap And Balance” Details: “[The House] approved the GOP’s ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ plan with a vote of 234 to 190. The bill imposes caps on federal spending as a percentage of GDP. It also allows for an increase in the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in exchange for both the Senate and House approving a balanced budget amendment.”(Fox News Channel, 7/19/11)

At Odds WithFreedomWorks

In 2013, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That FreedomWorks Opposed Because It Sought To Raise The Debt Ceiling By Any Amount Deemed Necessary

In January 2013, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That FreedomWorks Opposed Because It Would Raise The Debt Ceiling By Any Amount Deemed Necessary. “This bill raises the statutory limit on the public debt (the ‘debt ceiling’) by whatever amount is necessary to reach May 19th, 2013. Although the bill theoretically contains a ‘no budget, no pay’ provision conditional upon the Senate passing a budget resolution, in reality the provision has no teeth. FreedomWorks insists that further increases in the debt ceiling by accompanied by proportional decreases in federal spending in order to address the ever-increasing federal debt, which at the time of this bill stood at $16.4 trillion. Instead, this bill amounts to a ‘clean’ debt ceiling hike, accompanied by the unenforceable promise of spending reforms at a later date.”(FreedomWorks Scorecard; HR 325, Roll Call Vote 30, 1/23/13, Overall Vote: 285-144, Desantis Voted Yea)

FLAGGED SPENDING ISSUES

Cuts To Veterans, Defense, DEA, NATO And Energy Research

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Voted To Cut Funding For Veterans, The Pentagon, The DEA And NATO

In 2013, DeSantis Voted To Cut $38 Million For The New Headquarters Of NATO – A Key Ally In The Effort To Combat Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Paul Broun, cutting $38 million for NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels and using the money for deficit reduction. Failed 151-269.”(Pete Kasperowicz, “Expansion Of Prisons To House Gitmo Detainees Rejected In House,”The Hill, 6/4/13; HR 2216, Roll Call Vote 188, 6/4/13, Overall Vote: 151-269, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2013, DeSantis Voted To Offset $17 Billion For Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief By Imposing Across-The-Board Spending Cuts That Would Have Impacted The Pentagon And The Department Of Veterans Affairs. “The House approved nearly $50.6 billion in long-sought emergency aid to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, after Northeast lawmakers successfully added tens of billions to bring the package more in line with the White House’s initial request last month. 38 Republicans joined 190 Democrats on the pivotal 228-192 vote, which effectively tripled the underlying $17 billion bill first recommended by the House Appropriations Committee leadership. … Conservatives mounted an attempt to offset the $17 billion by imposing a 1.63{1c408a9a205e4bddc869fc8bb81b076968a4b90375009efcdd857e56f14225c2} across-the-board cut from current spending. But this failed 258 to 162 with 71 Republicans objecting, chiefly because of threatened cuts to the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs.(David Rogers, “House Passes $50B Sandy Aid Bill,” Politico, 1/15/13; HR 152, Roll Call Vote 14, 1/15/13, Overall Vote: 162-258, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2013, DeSantis Voted Against A Bill To Fund The Pentagon And Veterans Programs. “Passage of the bill that would provide continuing appropriations through fiscal 2013 for government operations, including $1.043 trillion in discretionary funds. The bill also would provide that the across-the-board cuts required by the March 1 sequestration order be made, reducing discretionary spending to $984 billion. The bill would provide $517.6 billion in base funding for the Defense Department and $146.4 billion for veterans programs and military construction. It also would fund all other departments and agencies at their fiscal 2012 enacted levels. Outcome Passed by a vote of 267 – 151: Republicans 214-14 Democrats 53-137.”(CQ Votes; HR 933, Roll Call Vote 62, 3/6/13, Overall Vote: 267-151, DeSantis Voted Nay)

In 2013, DeSantis Voted Against Providing $44 Million To Help The Veterans Benefits Administration With Its Backlog Of Disability Claims. “Amodei, R-Nev., amendment that would reduce funding for operating expenses of the Veterans Benefits Administration by $44 million and increase it by the same amount with the aim of dedicating such funds to Veterans Benefits Administration offices that have disability claims backlogs greater than one year. Outcome Adopted in Committee of the Whole by a vote of 248 – 172: Republicans 181-47 Democrats 67-125.”(CQ Votes; HR 2216, Roll Call Vote 189, 6/4/13, Overall Vote: 248-172, DeSantis Voted Nay)

In 2014, DeSantis Voted To Cut $35 Million In DEA Funding. “Polis, D-Colo., amendment that would reduce by $35 million the amount provided for the Drug Enforcement Agency, and transfer the savings to the bill’s spending reduction account. Outcome Rejected in Committee of the Whole by a vote of 66 – 339: Republicans 25-193 Democrats 41-146.”(CQ Votes; HR 4660, Roll Call Vote 250, 5/29/14, Overall Vote: 66-339, DeSantis Voted Yea)

During Desantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Voted To Cut Funding For Fossil Energy Research

From 2014 To 2016, DeSantis Voted To Cut Funding For Fossil Energy Research.

2014 vote details: “Speier, D-Calif., amendment that would decrease by $30.9 million the amount provided by the bill for fossil energy research and development and transfer the savings to the bill’s spending reduction account. Outcome Rejected in Committee of the Whole by a vote of 184 – 235: Republicans 67-160 Democrats 117-75.”(CQ Votes; HR 4923, Roll Call Vote 381, 7/10/14, Overall Vote: 184-235, DeSantis Voted Yea)

2015 vote details: “Ellison, D-Minn., amendment that would reduce funding for fossil energy research and development by $45 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account. Outcome Rejected by a vote of 175 – 246: Republicans 42-197 Democrats 133-49.”(CQ Votes; HR 2028, Roll Call Vote 201, 4/30/15, Overall Vote: 175-246, DeSantis Voted Yea)

2016 vote details: “Polis, D-Colo., amendment that would reduce funding for Energy Department fossil energy research and development by $285 million and transfer the amount to the spending reduction account. Outcome Rejected in Committee of the Whole by a vote of 144 – 275: Republicans 47-194 Democrats 97-81.”(CQ Votes; HR 5055, Roll Call Vote 246, 5/25/16, Overall Vote: 144-275, DeSantis Voted Yea)

Disaster Relief, Highway And Farm Bills

In 2013, DeSantis Voted Against A Bipartisan Bill To Provide $9.7 Billion In Flood Insurance Relief For The Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

In January 2013, DeSantis Voted Against A Bipartisan Bill To Provide $9.7 Billion In Flood Insurance Relief For The Victims Of Hurricane Sandy. “The House today overwhelmingly passed a bill providing $9.7 billion in flood insurance aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. All 67 votes against the aid came from Republicans, including Florida Reps. Ron DeSantis and Ted Yoho, both whom were sworn in yesterday. All other Florida reps. joined the majority. ‘I sympathize with the victims of Hurricane Sandy and believe that those who purchased flood insurance should have their claims paid. At the same time, allowing the program to increase its debt by another $9.7 billion with no plan to offset the spending with cuts elsewhere is not fiscally responsible,’ DeSantis said in a statement. ‘Congress should not authorize billions in new borrowing without offsetting expenditures in other areas. If a family maxes out its credit cards and faces the need for new spending, it is forced to prioritize by reducing its spending in other areas. Here, Congress has failed even to attempt to identify reductions in nonessential spending. This ‘put it on the credit card mentality’ is part of the reason we find ourselves nearly $17 trillion in debt. Indeed, the Senate passed legislation that went in the opposite direction by stuffing a bill designed to aid storm victims on the northeast corridor with money for such extraneous matters as fisheries in Alaska. The storm occurred more than two months ago and it is sad that Congress has not used that time to find room in the budget for needed disaster relief.’ The Club for Growth was urging members to vote no.”(Alex Leary, “New Reps. Ron DeSantis, Ted Yoho Vote Against Hurricane Sandy Aid,”Tampa Bay Times, 1/4/13)

In June 2013, DeSantis Refused To State If He Would Support A Hurricane Relief Bill If Such A Disaster Struck His District. “In one of his first official acts, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, voted against a bill to provide $9.7 billion in flood insurance aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. ‘The problem with the Sandy package was, if you look at it, only 30 percent of it was going to be spent in the first two years,’ DeSantis said in an interview recently at his St. Augustine office. ‘It actually appropriated money out to 2020 and 2021, things that could not in any way be said to be emergency spending. It just was so much extraneous stuff.’ Would he vote against disaster relief if a hurricane hit his district? ‘If a hurricane came here, I would want any relief plan to be fiscally responsible,’ he said. ‘(I) would not want to add extra things and say that because this is a vehicle that’s moving, let’s try to Christmas tree it out.’ Asked if he would vote against hurricane relief that affected his own district, DeSantis was less specific, but said he would support the right plan. ‘The average person — if you had a situation that hit your family and you needed to do something, you would not just go and take a vacation, or you would not do something that’s not related to the task at hand. But in Washington, that just seems to be par for the course. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the reality in that place. We’re trying to stop that behavior. To a man, the people I’ve talked to here (in my district) say we should have done something, but that was excessive. You don’t want to spend money on other things.’ Would he support a disaster aid bill for his district if it was loaded with extraneous items, as was the Hurricane Sandy relief package? Through an aide, he said he would have to see the bill before deciding because there are so many variables, including spending offsets, if any, and other items not related to relief in the bill.”(“Sandy Aid Vote Dogs DeSantis,”The St. Augustine Record, 6/16/13)

In 2017, DeSantis Was Absent During A House Floor Vote To Approve A $15 Billion Hurricane Irma Relief Bill

In September 2017, DeSantis Was Absent During A House Floor Vote To Approve A $15 Billion Hurricane Irma Relief Bill. He And 10 Other Florida House Republicans Were Absent, Because They Chose To Go Home And Prepare For The Hurricane. “As Irma churned toward the Florida coast, two Republican lawmakers from the state voted against a $15 billion hurricane relief bill, saying that although they want aid to storm victims, they have concerns about other provisions of the measure. The relief package, which sailed through the Senate and the House and was signed by President Trump on Friday, boosts funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will also raise the debt ceiling for three months and includes a short-term budget that would keep the government running until December — part of a deal struck between Trump and Democratic leaders Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. That latter was a problem for GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Ted Yoho, who stuck to their principles of fiscal conservatism despite calls from fellow Florida lawmakers to support the bill. … The bill passed 316-90, with 133 Republican votes. Twenty-seven lawmakers, including 11 House Republicans from Florida, did not vote, as many were in their home state preparing for the hurricane. Among them are Reps. Ron DeSantis, Neal Dunn, Bill Posey and Dennis A. Ross — hard-liners who might have voted against the package in other circumstances.”(Kristine Phillips, “As Irma Churned Toward Their State, Two Florida Republicans Voted Against Hurricane Relief Bill,”The Washington Post, 9/9/17)

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Voted Against Highway Bills That Passed With Bipartisan Support

In July 2014, DeSantis Voted Against A Highway Bill That Passed By A Bipartisan Margin. “Passage of the bill that would reauthorize the federal-aid highway and transit programs for eight months, through May 31, 2015, and transfer $10.8 billion in other federal funds to the Highway Trust Fund to cover projected trust fund shortfalls. The bill includes provisions that would effectively offset the cost of the transfer from the general fund of the Treasury, through an extension of customs fees and “pension smoothing” provisions. It would authorize $26.8 billion in highway and highway safety obligations; $293 million in contract authority for administrative expenses of the federal-aid highway program; $454 million for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration programs and $415 million for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and $5.7 billion for mass transit formula grants, $1.3 billion for capital investment grants and $44 million for bus and bus facilities grants. Outcome Passed by a vote of 367 – 55: Republicans 181-45 Democrats 186-10.”(CQ Votes; HR 5021, Roll Call Vote 414, 7/15/14, Overall Vote: 367-55, DeSantis Voted Nay)

In July 2015, DeSantis Voted Against Another Highway Bill That Passed By A Bipartisan Margin. “Passage of a bill that would reauthorize federal-aid highway and transit programs through Dec. 18, 2015 and would transfer $8.1 billion in funding from the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to cover projected trust fund shortfalls over that time. The measure completely offsets the cost of the proposed funding transfer by extending for two years the current budgetary treatment of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fees as mandatory savings and through several tax compliance provisions. Outcome Passed by a vote of 312 – 119: Republicans 180-65 Democrats 132-54.”(CQ Votes; HR 3038, Roll Call Vote 441, 7/15/15, Overall Vote: 312-119, DeSantis Voted Nay)

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Voted Against Republican-Backed Farm Bills

In June 2013, DeSantis Voted Against A Republican-Backed $939 Billion Farm Bill That Included Provisions To Crack Down On The Burgeoning Food Stamp Program. “Passage of the bill that would authorize roughly $939 billion through fiscal 2018 for federal farm, nutrition assistance, rural development and agricultural trade programs. It would repeal direct and countercyclical payments to agriculture commodity producers, replacing them with two new risk-management programs to protect farmers when they suffer significant losses. It would consolidate conservation programs and repeal several major dairy programs and replace them with a new program to manage the supply of milk. It would restrict ‘categorical eligibility’ for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, under which individuals become eligible based on their participation in other low-income assistance programs. Under the bill, households that receive more than $20 in utility assistance would be eligible for SNAP benefits. As amended it would allow states to conduct drug testing on SNAP applicants as a condition for receiving benefits and impose work requirements on SNAP recipients, mandating employment or job training. Outcome Rejected by a vote of 195 – 234: Republicans 171-62 Democrats 24-172.”(CQ Votes; HR 1947, Roll Call Vote 286, 6/20/13, Overall Vote: 195-234, DeSantis Voted Nay)

  • NOTE: In June 2013, DeSantis Voted To Repeal The Price-Support Program For Milk, Which Would Have LikelyHammered Florida’s Large Dairy Industry. “258/HR1947 Repeal the price-support program for milk. June 19. (112-309)” (“Key Votes Used To Calculate The Ratings,” The National Journal, 2/6/14; HR 1947, Roll Call Vote 258, 6/19/13, Overall Vote: 112-309, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In July 2013, DeSantis Was One Of 12 House Republicans Who Voted Against The Farm Bill Even After Leaders Removed Its Food Stamp Provisions. “House GOP leaders took a big gamble Thursday in bringing a farm bill without food stamps to the floor, and it paid off just barely. The House passed the bill 216-208, inching across a 213-vote threshold without a single Democrat supporting the measure. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure: Justin Amash of Michigan, Paul Cook of California, Ron DeSantis of Florida, John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Trent Franks of Arizona, Phil Gingrey of Georgia, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey, Tom McClintock of California, Matt Salmon of Arizona and Mark Sanford of South Carolina. … Republicans did have the votes, but the bill initially looked like it could suffer yet another surprise defeat, similar to when the first farm bill which included food stamp provisions that cut more than $20 billion from the program fell 195-234 a month ago. Conservative groups Club for Growth and Heritage Action both key voted against the bill, joining other major farm groups in pushing for its demise. Heritage Action said that while the bill does not contain the projected $743.9 billion in food stamps over the next 10 years, which they disparaged in the last farm bill, it does nothing to make meaningful reforms to America s farm policy. Club for Growth, which also vilified the inclusion of food stamps in the earlier measure and advocated for a split approach, said the bill was still loaded down with market-distorting giveaways to special interests with no path established to remove the government s involvement in the agriculture industry. Both groups characterized the split as a legislative ruse to get to conference with the Senate.”(Emma Dumain, “Farm Bill Squeaks By In Win For GOP Leaders,”CQ News, 7/11/13)

In January 2014, DeSantis Voted Against An Obama-Signed $1 Trillion Farm Bill That Was Supported By The Farm Bureau. House Conservatives Opposed The Bill Due To A Lack Of Food Stamp And Subsidy Reforms. “[Obama] signed the 2014 farm bill today on the campus of Michigan State University. After more than two years of dedicated work toward passage, farmers and ranchers from across the nation now have answers about how they can manage the many and varied risks they face in producing food and fiber, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. ‘It’s been a bumpy road for the farm bill over the past several years, with many twists and turns, but farmers never gave up nor lost momentum in working toward its passage,’ Stallman said. ‘Farm Bureau believes this farm bill will give farmers and ranchers a measure of business certainty for this and coming years, allowing them to better manage risk while carrying out the important business of providing food and jobs for America.’” (American Farm Bureau Federation, Press Release, 2/7/14; HR 2642, Roll Call Vote 31, 1/29/14, Overall vote: 251-166, DeSantis Voted Nay)

Lack Of Leadership On Zika Virus Funding

In 2016, News-Journal Editors Noted That DeSantis Had Been “Hanging Back” From Addressing The Need For Funding To Address Zika Virus Infections In Florida

In 2016, News-Journal Editors Noted That DeSantis Had Been “Hanging Back” From Addressing The Need For Funding To Address Zika Virus Infections In Florida. When He Did Take A Position, Editors Criticized Him For Supporting A “Cruel Plan” That Required Diverting FundsFrom The Battle Against Ebola. “It was only a matter of time before the Zika virus showed up in Volusia or Flagler counties. And this week, it arrived – public health officials identified two Volusia County patients with travel – related Zika infections, The News-Journal’s Michael Finch II reported. Florida leads the nation in reported infections with 112, as of Thursday, with most of those cases clustered in South Florida. Ominously, seven of those infected in Florida are pregnant. That lends urgency to demands by Florida leaders that Congress stop its foot-dragging and approve the $1.9 billion requested by President Barack Obama in February to fight the disease. Gov. Rick Scott declared a public health emergency in February and traveled to Washington this week to plead with fellow Republicans for action. Also this week, Florida’s senators – Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson – chided Senate leaders for a ‘compromise’ that would whittle the allocation for Zika down to $1.1 billion. U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, held hearings in February over the Zika response. Among local representatives, only U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, has been hanging back. He finally weighed in on Thursday, supporting a cruel plan that would divert money from American efforts to fight the Ebola virus — a proposal that actually fallsshort of the Senate compromise that Rubio and Nelson have rightfully criticized as inadequate. Give him credit for finding the only option worse than saying nothing. … Congressional leaders have wasted months in this fight, with no good reason beyond an apparent desire to spite the Obama administration. Many experts say it’s probably too late to prevent the virus from crossing over into Florida’s mosquito population — and spreading, first throughout the Gulf region and then up through southern states to the rest of the U.S. That makes it past time for federal leaders to stop playing politics with the health of the nation, and with the futures of thousands of unborn children.”(Editorial, “Don’t Play Politics With Zika Virus,”News-Journal, 5/14/16)

At Odds With Conservative Groups On Spending Issues

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Received High Marks From Conservative Groups. However, He Has Occasionally Broken With Them On Spending Issues.

In 2013, DeSantis Broke WithFreedomWorks When He Voted For A Closed Rule To Allow Over $1 Trillion In Annual Spending To Be Approved Without Any Input From House Members. “This closed rule does allow for any extended debate or amendments to the Continuing Resolution, thus allowing a bill that spends at the rate of over $1 trillion per year to be passed without any input from individual Members of Congress on the floor of the House.”(FreedomWorks Scorecard; H Res 99, Roll Call Vote 60, 3/6/13, Overall Vote: 212-197, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2013, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A $300 Million Medical Education Bill The Group Deemed Excessive. “The Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Support Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 297) would authorize $300 million in spending in 2013 and $1.2 billion from 2013 to 2018. The authorization level represents an increase over current funding, which is inconsistent with getting the nation on a path to fiscal balance. The funds would be directed toward covering the direct and indirect expenses for children’s hospitals such as salaries for medical students and other costs generally incurred by teaching hospitals. HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Even the Department of Health and Human Services was able to identify areas of this program in which spending could be cut in a manner that would better align Graduate Medical Education payments with patient care costs. Indeed, even President Obama’s FY2013 budget proposal called for a significant cut in this program. … As we try to get our country on a path to balance, this bill is ill-advised as it would impose over a billion dollars of un-offset costs to taxpayers, and the level of spending is not empirically justifiable, which even the White House acknowledges. In addition, the bill should not be on the suspension calendar, which is meant for noncontroversial pieces of legislation that deserve expedited consideration. (Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 297, Roll Call Vote 32, 2/3/13, Overall vote: 352-50, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2014, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A Water Resources Reform And Development Bill That The Group Opposed Due To Increased Spending And A Lack Of Bureaucratic Changes. “The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is a massive piece of legislation crosses five out of six red lines laid out by The Heritage Foundation. Broadly, it hikes spending while doing little to reduce bureaucracy and limit the role of the federal government.”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 3080, Roll Call Vote 220, 5/20/14, Passed: 412-4, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2014, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A Bernie Sanders-Sponsored VA Reform Bill. Heritage Action Claimed The Bill Failed To Address The VA’s Systemic Failures And Created A New Entitlement. “The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3230), agreed to by Rep. Jeff Miller and Sen. Bernard Sanders would increase direct spending by $15 billion over 10 years. Of that cost, $10 billion in emergency mandatory funding would go towards an external care option for vets who face wait times of longer than 30 days or live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. The remaining $5 billion would expand existing VA operations and other miscellaneous veterans-related programs. This $5 billion would be offset over 10 years from reforms within the VA, though the merits of those offsets are highly questionable. HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … The Miller-Sanders Veterans package not only fails to address to the systemic failures at the VA, but it creates an unproven new entitlement that sets taxpayers on a course to spend half a trillion dollars over the next decade.’”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 3230, Roll Call Vote 467, 7/30/14, Passed: 420-5, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2014, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted To Create A Commission To Study Placing A Women’s History Museum On The National Mall. The Group Feared It Would Result In Another Taxpayer-Subsidized Museum. “The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women’s History Museum Act of 2013 (H.R. 863) would create a commission to study placing the NWHM on a location on the national mall. HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … While the idea of honoring the great female leaders of American History is noble and shared by all, the museum itself has been a source of controversy since its founding in 1996 and the current bill is opposed by Susan B. Anthony List and Concerned Women for America. It’s also worth noting that despite claims the museum will be self-financing, it has raised just $14 million over the past 16 years. The museum’s president indicated construction costs could reach half a billion dollars. In that sense, it is modeling itself after the Smithsonian Institution, which receives roughly 65-percent of its funding from the federal government.”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 863, Roll Call Vote 201, 5/7/14, Passed 383-33, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2015, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A $55.3 Billion Transportation/HUD Bill. The Group Deemed The Bill A Bailout And Criticized The Inclusion Of Funding For Amtrak And Other Failed Programs. The House will vote on the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2577). The bill, commonly referred to at T-HUD, provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority, which is a $1.5 billion increase above the current funding. HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Since 2008, the federal Highway Trust Fund has required $54 billion in bailouts. Absent serious change, another $11 billion will be required this year. Put another way, a vote in favor of T-HUD is an explicit endorsement of bailing out our nation’s surface transportation program. In addition to the concerns surrounding transportation, T-HUD contains increasing spending levels for project-based rental assistance ($10.6 billion) and tenant-based rental programs ($19.9 billion) by $1.54 billion above current funding levels. The bill funds more than a dozen programs that deserve elimination, including $1.14 billion in subsidies to Amtrak. Rather than provide ‘tremendous budgetary resources to a bankrupt Highway Trust Fund’ and continue the cycle of taxpayer-funded bailouts, Congress should pursue reforms that empower states and localities while reducing federal control, both in terms of finances and regulations.”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 2577, Roll Call Vote 329, 6/9/15, Overall Vote: 216-210, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In 2016, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A Continuing Resolution That The Group Criticized For Spending Too Much, Funding Bad Programs And Excluding Conservative Policy Riders. “The House will vote on a 10-week continuing resolution (H.R. 5325). HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Throughout the summer and into the fall, conservatives said Congress should ensure the length of any continuing resolution did not require a post-election session of Congress. And throughout the appropriations process, Heritage Action evaluated each individual appropriations measure on the following three criteria: 1) level of spending; 2) funding of bad programs; and 3) exclusion of conservative policy riders. Heritage Action also uses these criteria to evaluate any continuing resolution, as well as factoring in a fourth, additional, and critical criteria: length of time. The substitute amendment to H.R. 5325 fails each of these criteria. (Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 5325, Roll Call Vote 573, 9/28/16, Overall vote: 342-85, DeSantis Voted Yea)

FreedomWorks Also Opposed The DeSantis-Backed Continuing Resolution. “The continuing resolution through December 9, 2016 triggers a lame duck session of Congress, which is designed to bolster the failed Beltway practice of legislating at the expense of the American taxpayers instead of for them. The CR will continue this pattern of irresponsible spending by forcing a new spending measure to be considered in a lame duck when the current session of Congress is wrapping up and members are at their least accountable.”(FreedomWorks Scorecard; HR 5325, Roll Call Vote 573, 9/28/16, Overall Vote: 342-85, DeSantis Vote Yea)

TAXES AND FEES

Elimination Of Tax Breaks

In 2012, DeSantis Deemed The Elimination Of A Tax Break A Tax Hike But Then Called For The Elimination Of “Special Interest” Tax Breaks

During A 2012 Interview, DeSantis Equated The Elimination Of A Tax Break To A Tax Hike. Later In The Interview, He Called For The Elimination Of The “Flurry Of Special Interest Tax Preferences That Have Perverted The Tax Code Beyond Recognition.”Q:“Rep. Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan, is the chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. He favors lower tax rates, but has warned that lowering tax rates would explode the budget deficit unless Congress also prunes back expensive tax deductions. He has not said what they would be, but economists have said that they would have to be big ones — such as home mortgage interest deduction, retirement savings deductions, charitable deductions and employer-provided health insurance — to keep the deficit from exploding. His tax plan is expected to go before the House in 2013. Would you favor eliminating or reducing these four deductions specifically as a way to lower tax rates? And is the elimination of a tax deduction, in essence, a tax hike?” … DeSantis: “To state that a tax deduction codified by law is ‘expensive’ implies that the money belongs to the government in the first place. Taxpayers earn income and then the government taxes the amount that the applicable laws authorize it to take from the taxpayers. Given that money is earned by taxpayers and then taken by the government through taxation, it follows that the elimination of a lawful tax deduction that has the effect of requiring the taxpayer to pay more in taxes constitutes a tax increase. Pro-growth tax reform offers the prospect of robust economic growth. This is because a fairer, flatter, and more simplified tax code will exert a less pervasive influence on economic behavior and will dramatically reduce compliance costs. The tax code is 70,000 pages — I would not focus on the deductions for charitable donations or home mortgage interest but would instead seek to eliminate the flurry of special interest tax preferences that have perverted the tax code beyond recognition. I would also seek to reduce tax preferences that promote bad policy. For example, profligate states such as California and Illinois should not be able to raise taxes with impunity and have taxpayers in other states subsidize ever more confiscatory levies. We should, therefore, not allow future tax increases in these states to be tax deductible for purposes of federal income taxes.” (Beaven, DeSantis Vie For District 6 Seat,”The St. Augustine Record, 10/7/12)

2017 Tax Overhaul Bill

Prior To Voting For The 2017 Tax Overhaul Bill, DeSantis Objected To The Inclusion Of A Border Adjustment Tax, And He Downplayed The Overhaul’s Impact On The Deficit

Prior To Voting For The 2017 Tax Overhaul Bill, DeSantis Objected To The Inclusion Of A Border Adjustment Tax, And He Downplayed The Overhaul’s Impact On The Deficit. HILSENRATH: “Congressman, let’s turn for a second to taxes. What is your line in the sand? What has to happen on tax overhaul to get you onboard? That’s one question. Relatedly, can – would you be on board with a tax overhaul that expanded the deficit that brought in less government revenue than is being brought in right now?” DESANTIS: “Well, expanding the deficit only happens if you continue to spend and so, if you may bring in less revenue, there’s nothing preventing us from paring back spending. And I’d obviously be supportive of that. But I think the biggest issue that I see right now with this is the border adjustment tax. It’s splitting the Republicans in half and I’m very supportive of lowering the business rates, I’m supportive of lowering the individual rates, broadening the base and I think those are consensus things, but I think when you do the border adjustment, it creates problems because it’s effectively going to raise taxes on low and middle-income folks in terms of those of the things that they buy and I don’t know that that’s a winner for us economically.”(Fox Business Network, “Mornings With Maria,” 4/4/17)

As A Replacement For The Border Adjustment Tax, DeSantis Suggested Spending Cuts And An Effort To “Broaden The Base,” Which Arguably Sounds Like A Reference To Tax Hikes

As A Replacement For The Border Adjustment Tax, DeSantis Suggested Spending Cuts And An Effort To “Broaden The Base.”HILSENRATH: “So where are you going to get the trillion dollars that it gets you, that is a trillion-dollar pipeline right there. What do you do without it?” DESANTIS: “Well, I think you should obviously examine ways where you can do that and if you’re going to use reconciliation, you’re going to need to do that either on the tax or the spending side. You can broaden the base, there’s different things that you — that you may be able to do but I just — I just — I’m just warning that the border adjustment has really split us in half and I think it makes tax reform more difficult, so I think we should be investigating other ways, to get there. And if we can do that, then I think we really have a clear path here in the house side at least.”(Fox Business Network, “Mornings With Maria,” 4/4/17)

Flood Insurance Premiums

During DeSantis’ First Term In Congress, He Voted Against Imposing A One-Year Ban On Skyrocketing Flood Insurance Premiums And Was Called Out For Failing To Take Action On Behalf Of Floridians

In June 2013, DeSantis Voted Against Imposing A One-Year Ban On The Implementation Of New Risk-Based Federal Flood Insurance Premiums That Had Hammered Homeowners With Premium Hikes. “[Lawmakers] voted 281-146 to block for one year the implementation of new risk-based federal flood insurance premiums required under a 2012 law overhauling the much-criticized program. Supporters of the delay, including Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is botching implementation of the new reforms and is inappropriately socking homeowners with dramatically higher premiums while relying on faulty flood maps. Opponents said before the recent overhaul that many homeowners paid unfairly low premiums and that the FEMA flood insurance program required repeated taxpayer bailouts.”(Andrew Taylor, “House Passes $45B Homeland Security Bill,”The Associated Press, 6/6/13; HR 2217, Roll Call Vote 203, 6/5/13, Overall Vote: 281-146, DeSantis Voted Nay)

In December 2013, The Tampa Bay Times Called On Floridians To Seek Out DeSantis And Other Republicans And Demand Action On The Flood Insurance Crisis. “Congress appears willing to head home for the holidays without doing a thing to correct the mess it created when it made sweeping changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners now facing skyrocketing rates – or who can’t sell their homes because the potential buyer would pay so much more – should hold their representatives and senators accountable for this manufactured crisis. This is a problem that won’t go away just because Congress doesn’t want to deal with it. In last-ditch efforts before the House adjourned to provide some immediate relief from the rates that went into effect Oct. 1 for older homes, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the Senate and House this week tried to use procedural moves to hit the pause button on the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. They failed. … Yet in Washington, Sen. Marco Rubio (who hails from Miami-Dade, another county with a high portion of the nation’s subsidized policies) has been largely silent on the issue along with eight fellow Republican House members from Florida. … The overwhelming majority of Florida’s delegation, including Sen. Bill Nelson, supports hitting the pause button on Biggert-Waters. But Rubio and Republican Reps. Dennis Ross of Lakeland, Ted Yoho of Gainesville, Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville, Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach, John Mica of Winter Park, Bill Posey of Rockledge, Daniel Webster of Orlando and Trey Radel of Fort Myers apparently remain unconvinced. Floridians should ask them just what they’re going to do in the new year to fix the flood insurance crisis Congress created. (Editorial, “Congress Dithers On Flood Rates,”Tampa Bay Times, 12/13/13)

In January 2014, The Tampa Bay Times Called On DeSantis And Other Republicans To Act On The Flood Insurance Crisis. “The National Flood Insurance Program, buried in $24 billion of debt after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, needs reform. But in addressing one financial crisis, Congress created thousands more for middle-class Americans and their communities. In Pinellas County, for example, the median value of homes affected by the law is just $132,000. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, initially reticent to the Senate plan, came to appreciate that Floridians need relief and joined Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday in voting for the bill. Now seven House Republicans from Florida need to make clear that they support immediate relief for homeowners and join their colleagues in pressuring House Speaker John Boehner to act. Reps. Dennis Ross of Lakeland, Ted Yoho of Gainesville, Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville, Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach, John Mica of Winter Park, Bill Posey of Rockledge and Daniel Webster of Orlando have not signed on as co-sponsors to a similar House plan. They express concerns with various provisions. But they have not offered an alternative that will immediately help Floridians coping with the problem Congress created. They should not let perfect be the enemy of good enough.”(Editorial, “Partial Fix For Flood Insurance,”Tampa Bay Times, 1/31/14)

NATIONAL SECURITY AND VETERANS ISSUES

TERRORIST SURVEILLANCE

In 2013, DeSantis Voted To Curb The NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Activities, Which Had Thwarted More Than Fifty Terrorist Plots

In 2013, DeSantis Voted To Curb the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Activities, Which Had Been Credited With Thwarting More Than Fifty Terrorist Plots

In 2013, DeSantis Voted For A Failed Attempt To Curb The NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Activities.“The House on Wednesday rejected an attempt to curtail the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities after a furious last-minute lobbying campaign by the White House to defeat the measure. The House voted 205-217 against the amendment from Rep. Justin Amash, which would have prevented the National Security Agency from using the Patriot Act to collect phone records of individuals who aren’t under investigation. … The GOP vote was 94-134. … Wednesday’s vote came after the White House and lawmakers who support the NSA’s surveillance activities launched a major offensive against Amash’s measure after it was granted a vote Monday evening. The offensive underlined the significance of Wednesday’s vote, which was the first time that Congress weighed in on the NSA’s spying programs since they were revealed by The Guardian and The Washington Post last month. … The amendment would restrict the NSA from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect data on individuals not under investigation, which would essentially prevent the mass collection of phone records.”(Jeremy Herb, “House Rejects Effort To Curb NSA Spying Powers 205-217, The Hill, 7/25/13; HR 2397, Roll Call Vote 412, 7/24/13, Overall Vote: 205-217, DeSantis Voted Yea)

One Month Before DeSantis Voted To Curb The NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Activities, Intelligence Officials Credited Such Activities For Thwarting More Than Fifty Terrorist Plots. “Intelligence officials said Tuesday that the government’s sweeping surveillance efforts have helped thwart ‘potential terrorist events’ more than 50 times since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the officials detailed two new examples to illustrate the utility of the programs.”(Sean Sullivan, “NSA Head: Surveillance Helped Thwart More Than 50 Terror Plots,”The Washington Post, 6/18/13)

In 2014 And 2015, DeSantis Voted To Defund Backdoor Spying Programs That Had Helped Disrupt Terrorist Plots

In 2014 And 2015, DeSantis Voted To Defund Backdoor Spying Programs That A Top Republican Defended As A “A Significant Tool For Identifying And Disrupting Terrorist Plots At Home And Abroad”

In June 2014, DeSantis Voted To Defund Backdoor Spying Programs Overseen By The Intelligence Community. “Massie, R-Ky., amendment that would bar funds in the bill from being used to query metadata collected by the U.S. intelligence community with the personally identifiable information of a U.S. citizen or person legally residing in the country. It also would prohibit funds from being used by the National Security Agency for the practice of ‘backdoor’ surveillance – requiring or requesting the redesign of a product to facilitate the electronic surveillance of a person who uses it. Outcome Adopted in Committee of the Whole by a vote of 293 – 123: Republicans 135-94 Democrats 158-29.”(CQ Votes; HR 4870, Roll Call Vote 327, 6/19/14, Overall Vote: 293-123, DeSantis Voted Yea)

In June 2015, DeSantis Voted Again To Defund Backdoor Spying Programs, Which House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes Called “A Significant Tool For Identifying And Disrupting Terrorist Plots At Home And Abroad.”“[The] House approved a measure Thursday to defund two ‘backdoor’ spying programs. Lawmakers attached the provision to a Defense appropriations bill in a 255-174 vote. … The NSA has acknowledged that it sometimes spies on Americans’ communications under a legal authority intended to apply only to foreigners. The NSA scoops up vast batches of emails, text messages, and other data from foreigners and then searches through that database, specifically looking for Americans’ communications. The amendment would require that the NSA obtain a warrant before reading Americans’ private messages. The measure would also close another controversial NSA backdoor by cutting off funds for projects to build vulnerabilities into security products. The NSA exploits those vulnerabilities to hack into and spy on communications. … But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican who opposed the amendment, warned that lawmakers are ‘putting Americans in unnecessary danger in order to protect them from threats to their civil liberties that do not actually exist.’ The NSA programs are, he said, a ‘significant tool for identifying and disrupting terrorist plots at home and abroad.’”(Brendan Sasso, “NSA Fight Isn’t Over Yet,”National Journal Daily Extra AM, 6/11/15; CQ Votes; HR 2685, Roll Call Vote 356, 6/11/15, Overall Vote: 255-174, DeSantis Voted Yea)

NUCLEAR READINESS

In 2015, DeSantis Voted Against Providing A $3.5 Billion Funding Stream For The Navy’s Next Fleet Of Ballistic Missile Submarines

In June 2015, DeSantis Voted Against Providing A $3.5 Billion Funding Stream For The Navy’s Next Fleet Of Ballistic Missile Submarines. “House Armed Services Committee members scored a major victory late Wednesday night in their ongoing clash with appropriators over paying for the Navy’s next fleet of ballistic missile submarines when the chamber approved an amendment that opens up a $3.5 billion funding stream for the pricey program. The amendment, offered by Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee Chairman J. Randy Forbes and approved on a voice vote, would allow the Pentagon to transfer $3.5 billion in unobligated funds to the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, a separate account created to pay the estimated $139 billion bill for 12 submarines. Earlier Wednesday night, the Virginia Republican won a decisive victory over appropriators when the chamber voted 321-111 in favor of his amendment striking language in the spending bill (HR 2685) that would bar the transfer of money to the submarine fund. … Supporters of the fund have argued that the hefty bill for the new submarines, one leg of the nuclear triad that will serve as the replacement for the aging Ohio-class submarines, would force the Navy to sacrifice other shipbuilding programs if it has to pay for it out of hide. Speaking on the House floor, Forbes and other supporters argued that the submarines are a national security asset and a priority – not just a Navy program – and, as such, deserve the separate account. But appropriators have fought back, arguing that the submarines should not receive special treatment.”(“Submarine Boosters Score Another Victory in Defense Spending Bill,”CQ News, 6/11/15; HR 2685, Roll Call Vote 339, 6/10/15, Overall Vote: 321-111, DeSantis Voted Nay)

RESPONSE TO VA SCANDALS

In 2014 And 2015, DeSantis Balked At Calls For Resignations Following State And National VA Scandals

In 2014, DeSantis Did Not Join The American Legion In Calling For The Resignation OfThen-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki Following News Of Veteran Deaths Due To Fatal Wait Times. “DeSantis blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday for recent veteran deaths linked to fatal wait times. DeSantis criticism came at nearly the same time as the American Legion called for the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. … Unlike the American Legion and some other legislators, DeSantis is not calling for Shinseki’s termination. ‘I have not gone to that step, partially because the bill that I’ve been advocating along with other folks in the House is really designed to give that VA secretary more authority to hold people accountable,’ he said. ‘So if we’re saying he doesn’t have the authority to hold people accountable, then that call may be premature.’ However, he said that future developments may change his mind.”(Clifford Davis, “Rep. Ron DeSantis Pushes For VA Reform In St. Augustine,”The St. Augustine Record, 5/6/14)

In 2015, DeSantis Balked At Calls For The Dismissal Of Gainesville VA Officials Who Were Blamed For The Failure To Complete A Clinic With Nearly A Four-Year Notice. “To some, including the St. Johns County Veterans Council, the failure to complete a permanent clinic with nearly four-years’ notice was grounds for dismissing Gainesville VA leadership who oversee all clinics in the North Florida/South Georgia area. DeSantis took a more measured approach Thursday. ‘We wanted to focus it on the people in Washington,’ he said. ‘There’s been a lot of frustration — understandably — with some of the local folks. … I think a lot of people have discussed that and in the papers and wherever. ‘I think there should be accountability there, too.’ However, he said major problems lie in Washington. ‘We wanted to keep the bridges up and running and not burn bridges if we think we can move the ball forward,’ DeSantis said. ‘But obviously, we’ve come to this point, and if we were satisfied we wouldn’t be having this hearing right now.’”(Clifford Davis, “No Headline,”The St. Augustine Record, 6/25/15)

IMMIGRATION ISSUES

FLIP-FLOP ON BOEHNER’S IMMIGRATION PRINCIPLES

In 2014, DeSantis Flip-Flopped On Then-Speaker John Boehner’s Immigration Principles

In January 2014, Boehner Tried To Sell Members Of His Caucus On A Series Of Immigration Principles That Included A Path To Citizenship For Illegal Immigrants. “The House Republican leadership is trying to sell their colleagues on a series of broad immigration principles, including a path to legal status for those here illegally. Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team introduced the principles at their annual policy retreat here. Top Republicans circulated a tightly held one-page memo titled ‘standards for immigration reform’ toward the tail-end of a day that include strategy conversations about Obamacare, the economy and the national debt. In the private meeting where the language was introduced, Boehner told Republicans that the standards are ‘as far as we are willing to go.’ … The strategy marks a shift for House Republicans. In 2013, Boehner’s chamber ignored the bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. But toward the end of last year and early this year, Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Paul Ryan began hashing out this approach to rally Republicans toward reform. … Embracing legalization is a modest change for Republican leaders — some of them signaled openness to the idea last year. For a Republican Party that advocated ‘self-deportation’ as recently as 2012, it’s a massive shift. … The principles stress that undocumented immigrants will have to go through the current immigration system and complete several prerequisites. Criminals will not be eligible for legalization. ‘These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits),’ according to a draft of the document. A broad swath of pro-reform groups — from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the liberal-leaning America’s Voice — welcomed the principles. … The leadership’s principles do treat young undocumented immigrants differently, however. House Republican leaders declared that lawmakers should give a pathway to legal residence and citizenship for young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. ‘For those who meet certain eligibilitystandards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that,’ the document says.” (Seung Min Kim, “House Leaders Sell Immigration Plan,”Politico, 1/30/14)

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions Criticized Boehner’s Principles For Providing Amnesty To Illegal Immigrants. “Still, skeptics of a broad immigration reform push were already critical of the House Republican leadership’s principles. ‘In three fundamental respects, the House leaders’ emerging immigration proposal appears to resemble the Senate plan,’ said Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been talking with House Republicans on the immigration issue. ‘It provides the initial grant of amnesty before enforcement; it would surge the already unprecedented level of legal lesser-skilled immigration to the U.S. that is reducing wages and increasing unemployment; and it would offer eventual citizenship to a large number of illegal immigrants and visa overstays.’”(Seung Min Kim, “House Leaders Sell Immigration Plan,”Politico, 1/30/14)

In February 2014, CQ News Reported DeSantis Initially Supported Boehner’s Immigration Principles, But He Later Flip-Flopped And Opposed Them. “Where do House Republicans stand on the set of immigration principles released by GOP leadership in January? Journalists at CQ Roll Call spent two weeks asking each House Republican’s office and combing through their public statements to answer that simple question. We have recorded the answers, which suggest weak support within Speaker John A. Boehner’s conference for overhauling the nation’s immigration system. … Ron DeSantis, Fla. (Asked 2/25 to be moved from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’).”(Christina Bellantoni, “Where Do House Republicans Stand On Immigration Principles?”CQ News, 2/25/14)

Although Sessions And Other Critics Of The Principles Were Outspoken In Their Opposition, DeSantis Initially Believed The Principles Were “Vague Enough” To Support. CQ Roll Call published a list of where House Republicans stand on the immigration principles released by GOP leadership, and initial responses make clear the issue is still one that allows for nuance and creates stress for the party. … The most significant change was Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who asked to be moved from a ‘yes’ to a ‘no.’ As CQ Roll Call conducted the survey, DeSantis initially told our reporter that the principles were ‘vague enough’ to support, though he did qualify that by saying his overall support for an immigration overhaul depended on the actual legislative text. That sounded good enough for us to count him as supporting the immigration principles. But on Tuesday, DeSantis’ office asked us to move him to the ‘no’ category.”(Matt Fuller, “218: Republican Tally On Immigration Principles An Evolving Project,”CQ News, 2/26/14)

AT ODDS WITH NUMBERS USA

Although DeSantis Has Received High Marks From Numbers USA, The Anti-Illegal Immigration Group Has Docked Him Twice

In June 2015, DeSantis Voted For A Trade Promotion Authority Measure That Numbers USA Claimed Would “Expand Immigration Levels Without Congress’ Consent.”2015: Voted to grant the President authority to expand immigration levels without Congress’ consent via Trade Promotion Authority. … 0 out of 7 points bad. (Numbers USA, Ron DeSantis Report Card, Accessed 12/28/17; HR 1314, Roll Call Vote 362, 6/12/15, Overall Vote: 219-211, DeSantis Voted Yea)

Numbers USA Also Docked DeSantis For A 2013 Committee Vote For A Bill To “Add 95,000 New Employment-Based Green Cards And 90,000 New H-1B Visas.”2013: Voted in Judiciary Committee in favor of H.R. 2131 to increase high-tech foreign worker importation. … Rep. DeSantis voted as part of the Judiciary Committee in favor of H.R. 2131, the SKILLS Visa Act. This legislation would add 95,000 new employment-based green cards and 90,000 new H-1B visas. The bill’s main sponsor is Rep. Darrell Issa.” (Numbers USA, Ron DeSantis Report Card, Accessed 12/28/17)

FOOD STAMPS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

In 2014, DeSantis Voted Against A Farm Bill That Included Provisions To Ban Food Stamps For Illegal Immigrants, Convicted Murderers, And Violent Sex Offenders

In 2014, DeSantis Voted Against A Farm Bill That Included Provisions To Ban Food Stamps For Illegal Immigrants, Convicted Murderers, And Violent Sex Offenders. “Adoption of the conference report on the bill that would reauthorize most federal farm and nutrition programs through fiscal 2018, including crop subsidies, conservation, rural development and agricultural trade programs and food stamps. It would modify SNAP to prohibit undocumented immigrants, major lottery winners, traditional college students, convicted murderers and violent sex offenders from receiving SNAP benefits. It also would reduce funding for nutrition programs by $8 billion over 10 years and would reauthorize the federal sugar program, through fiscal 2018, without any changes. … It also would eliminate $5 billion in direct payments to farmers and replace it with two new subsidy programs to cover, in certain circumstances, a portion of a farmer’s revenue losses. Subsidy caps would be set at $125,000 per person or $250,000 per couple. It also would establish a new crop insurance program for producers to purchase additional insurance to cover a portion of losses not covered by individual crop insurance policies when losses exceed 14 percent. Outcome Adopted by a vote of 251 – 166:Republicans 162-63Democrats 89-103.”(CQ Votes; HR 2642, Roll Call Vote 31, 1/29/14, Overall Vote: 251-166, DeSantis Voted Nay)

REGULATORY ISSUES

TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY

In 2015, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A Measure To Grant President Barack Obama Trade Promotion Authority

In June 2015, DeSantis Broke With Heritage Action When He Voted For A Measure To Grant Obama Trade Promotion Authority. Heritage Action Deemed The Measure A “Special Interest Boondoggle That Deserves Defeat.”“H.R. 1314 combines President Obama’s request for fast track authority or Trade Promotion Authority with a stimulus-level extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. … HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Free trade benefits the economy and all Americans. Congress should not shy away from promoting free trade at every opportunity. However, The Heritage Foundation’s Ambassador Terry Miller says this particular ‘TPA has gotten bogged down in the politics of protectionism and welfare spending.’ Traditionally, TPA has been instituted at the front end of trade negotiations so that Congress can engage in and steer those negotiations. Also, TPA has traditionally been useful for pro-free trade Presidents to push free trade agreements through protectionist Congresses. Neither of these are facts in the current environment, limiting the utility of this TPA. Heritage Action has always been a free trade organization, but free-market conservatives are understandably split on this president’s request for fast track authority. The Trade Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314) is no longer a bill intended to advance free trade — it has become a special interest boondoggle that deserves defeat. (Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 1314, Roll Call Vote 362, 6/12/15, Overall Vote: 219-211, DeSantis Voted Yea)

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

In 2015, DeSantis Refused To State His Position On The Trans-Pacific Partnership

In October 2015, DeSantis Refused To State His Position On The Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Republican candidates for the open U.S. Senate seat including two sitting congressmen aren’t ready to weigh in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial agreement expected to open up trade with Asian countries. But while U.S. Reps. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, and Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera aren’t ready to say yes or no to the deal, they can claim common ground. In short: Trade is good, but the Republican candidates don’t necessarily trust the Obama administration to broker a deal. … DeSantis and Jolly, who will have a vote on the deal, both said they are waiting to read it before coming out publicly in favor or opposition.”(Michael Auslen, “GOP Senate Candidates Aren’t Ready To Support Or Oppose Trade Deal,”Tampa Bay Times, 10/19/15)

EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT

In 2015, DeSantis Voted Against The Bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, Which Replaced NCLB And Shifted Education Regulations To States And Local School Districts

In December 2015, DeSantis Voted Against The Bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, Which Replaced NCLB And Shifted Education Regulations To States And Local School Districts. “Adoption of a conference report to accompany the Every Student Succeeds Act (S 1177) that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for four years, through FY 2020. The bill would replace the No Child Left Behind Act, ending the federal accountability system and shifting academic standards and school accountability authority back to states and local school districts. The measure would continue the requirement for regular testing of students to assess their proficiency in math, reading, and science, with the results of those assessments to be disaggregated by race, income, and other categories to determine whether any subgroup of students is lagging academically. States would be required to develop plans to help the lowest-performing 5 percent of all public schools, high schools that fail to graduate one-third or more of their students, and schools where a subgroup of students consistently underperforms. Outcome Adopted by a vote of 359 – 64.”(CQ Votes; S 1177, Roll Call Vote 665, 12/2/15, Overall Vote: 359-64, DeSantis Voted Nay)

ENERGY ISSUES

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Supported Efforts To Prevent Drilling And Seismic Surveys In The Atlantic Ocean

In December 2015, DeSantis And His House Colleagues From Florida Pressured The Obama Administration To Halt The Permitting Process For Seismic Surveys In The Atlantic Ocean. “More than 30 lawmakers are pressuring the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to halt the permitting process for seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, signaling growing anxiety over how such surveys could affect marine wildlife. Reps. Mark Sanford and Bobby Scott sent a letter to BOEM today with the signatures of 31 colleagues. In all, seven House Republicans and 26 Democrats signed the letter, which calls seismic air gun testing an ‘enormously disruptive activity in the ocean.’ BOEM announced last year that it would allow seismic surveys off the country’s East Coast as part of its plan to open the area to offshore drilling. Such surveys enable oil and gas companies to find untapped mineral deposits by using loud underwater air guns. … Scientists say the surveys affect marine mammals in ways that are still not fully understood, with the potential to mask whale calls and interrupt breeding and feeding. But until now, environmentalists have primarily led the movement against seismic testing. … The Republicans who signed the letter all come from coastal states where towns have passed resolutions against seismic testing. In addition to Sanford, they are Florida Reps. Curt Clawson, Ron DeSantis, Bill Posey and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, as well as New Jersey Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Christopher Smith.”(“Bipartisan Lawmakers Seek To Halt Seismic Surveys In Atlantic,”E&E News PM, 12/10/15)

In June 2017, DeSantis And His House Colleagues From Florida Called On The Trump Administration To Drop Plans For Drilling In The Atlantic Ocean. “A large, bipartisan contingent of the Florida House delegation has a firm message for President Donald Trump: Lay off plans for oil drilling in the Atlantic. ‘Opening the Atlantic to seismic testing and drilling jeopardizes our coastal businesses, fishing communities, tourism, and our national security,’ reads a letter signed by the Florida lawmakers and dozens of others. ‘It harms our coastal economies in the near term and opens the door to even greater risks from offshore oil and gas production down the road. Therefore, we implore you not to issue any permits for seismic airgun surveys for subsea oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean.’ The letter was sent to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and was signed by Florida Reps. John Rutherford, Darren Soto, Bill Posey, Alcee Hastings, Matt Gaetz, Charlie Crist, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Frederica Wilson, Brian Mast, Dennis Ross, Val Demings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Yoho, Kathy Castor, Francis Rooney, Al Lawson, Ted Deutch, Ron DeSantis, Lois Frankel, Vern Buchanan and Stephanie Murphy. The Trump administration announced in April it was exploring opening up the Atlantic for oil and gas exploration.”(Alex Leary, “Florida Members Of Congress Tell Trump To Back Off Atlantic Drilling,”Tampa Bay Times, 6/29/17)

AT ODDS WITH THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

During DeSantis’ Time In Congress, He Has Voted Sixteen Times Against Legislation Supported By The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce. Eight Of The Bills In Question Pertained To Government Spending. 

2013 scorecard flagged votes:

  1. 113-1-H-RC117 H.R. 624-CISPA
  2. 113-1-H-RC374 H.R. 5-Student Success Act
  3. 113-1-H-RC550 H.R. 2775-Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014

2014 scorecard flagged votes:

  1. 113-2-H-RC61 S. 540 – Debt Limit
  2. 113-2-H-RC208 H.R. 2548 – Electrify Africa Act of 2014
  3. 113-2-H-RC414 H.R. 5021 – Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014
  4. 113-2-H-RC509 H.J. Res. 124 (CR)
  5. 113-2-H-RC563 H.R. 83 – CROmnibus

2015 scorecard flagged votes:

  1. 114-1-H-RC388 HR1295 – Trade Preferences Extension Act
  2. 114-1-H-RC528 HR719 – CR
  3. 114-1-H-RC576 HR597 – Export Import Bank
  4. 114-1-H-RC579 HR1314 – Budget
  5. 114-1-H-RC665 S1177 – Education
  6. 114-1-H-RC673 HR22 – FAST Act
  7. 114-1-H-RC705 HR2029 – Omni

2016 scorecard flagged vote:

  1. RC 466 S 764 – GMO Food Labeling

(U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, “How They Voted” Publications, 2013 To 2016)

SOCIAL ISSUES

WOMEN’S ISSUES – ABORTION

Defunding Planned Parenthood

In 2015, The Stridently Pro-Life DeSantis Refused To Sign A Letter To Pledge His Opposition To Any Bill That Funded Planned Parenthood

In August 2015, The Stridently Pro-Life DeSantis Refused To Sign A Letter To Pledge His Opposition To Any Bill That Funded Planned Parenthood. “This time last summer, a letter pledging to oppose any government-funding bill that included money to implement Obamacare was surging through the House GOP. Eventually, more than one-third of the GOP conference signed the letter, including top Senate candidates like Bill Cassidy and Steve Daines. Two years later, a similar recess letter about Planned Parenthood has not gained the same momentum, with just 18 House Republicans signing on. And this time, Senate candidates like Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana and Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida are notable because they have declined to join the signers. Both face competitive, multi-way Republican primaries in their states. Both are taking care to position themselves as the most conservative candidate running for the GOP nomination. But in a signal of how the Planned Parenthood letter has not caught on like Obamacare did two years ago, neither congressman has signed onto the document pledging not to support ‘an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.’ While both DeSantis and Stutzman have spoken out against using tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood after the release of undercover videos highlighting the use of fetal tissue in research, this year’s letter has not become the same litmus test of conservative bona fides that Obamacare was two years prior. … A statement from DeSantis’s office said he does ‘not believe taxpayer dollars should be used to fund an organization that engages in such horrific conduct.’”(Andrea Drusch, “GOP Senate Candidates Steer Clear Of Defund Planned Parenthood Funding Letter,”The National Journal, 8/27/15)

In 2015, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That Heritage Action Opposed Because It Left ObamaCare Intact And Failed To Defund Planned Parenthood

In October 2015, DeSantis Voted For A Bill That Heritage Action Opposed Because It Left ObamaCare Intact And Failed To Defund Planned Parenthood. “The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762) would not restore Americans’ health care freedom because it leaves the main pillars of Obamacare in place, nor would it actually defund abortion giant Planned Parenthood. This bill violates an explicit promise made in the budget, which ‘affirm[ed] the use of reconciliation for the sole purpose of repealing the President’s job-killing health care law.’ HERITAGE ACTION POSITION … Reconciliation is a powerful tool to get legislation through Congress, but it has no value as a law-making exercise with President Obama in the White House (i.e. any Republican bill will be vetoed; any bill he would sign would get Democrat support and 60 Senate votes and not need the reconciliation process). Therefore, reconciliation should be used on a unifying effort to create a contrast with President Obama and send a winning message to the American people. And nothing unifies Republicans and provides a better messaging opportunity than repealing Obamacare.”(Heritage Action Scorecard; HR 3762, Roll Call Vote 568, 10/23/15, Overall Vote: 240-189, DeSantis Voted Yea)

Donation To Pro-Choice Republican

In 2012, DeSantis Donated $1,000 To Pro-Choice Republican Judy Biggert

In November 2012, DeSantis Donated $1,000 To The Campaign Of Congresswoman Judy Biggert – A Pro-Choice Republican. “State Rep. Judy Biggert, 60, has long been a defender of abortion rights in the solidly Republican precincts of DuPage County.”(Ronald Elving, “GOP Has Heated Fight To Pick Challenger For Moseley-Braun,” CNN, 3/10/98; CQ Money Line, Donor Database, Accessed 1/10/18)

The Violence Against Women Act

In 2013, DeSantis Voted Against A Republican-Sponsored Bill To Renew The Violence Against Women Act

In February 2013, DeSantis Sided With The ACLU In Opposition To A Republican-Sponsored Bill To Renew The Violence Against Women Act Without Protections For LGBT Individuals. “On February 28, 2013, the House rejected a substitute amendment offered by Rep. McMorris Rodgers to the Violence Against Women Act (S.47) by a vote of 166-257.  The ACLU opposed the substitute amendment because it omitted protections for LGBT individuals, and Native American and immigrant survivors of domestic violence, housing protections aimed at preventing homelessness, as well as nondiscrimination protections for individuals employed by taxpayer-funded programs.  The amendment would have also expanded existing cyber-stalking laws, threatening First Amendment rights.”(ACLU, 2013 Scorecard, Accessed 12/28/17; S. 47, Roll Call Vote 54, 2/28/13, Overall Vote: 166-257, DeSantis Voted No)