Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Senator LeMieux's Weekly Update - May 25

May 25, 2010
Thank you for subscribing to my weekly update - a brief summary of some of the more notable events during the last seven days. I hope you'll find this useful and informative. You can also follow my regular updates from Florida and Washington via YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your United States Senator and I look forward to hearing from you. If you want to share this newsletter with a friend, sign them up today at

National Debt to Hit $13 Trillion

This week, our U.S. Federal Government will have accumulated more than $13 trillion in debt. This is the first time our nation has been this deep in debt and it threatens the future prosperity of our country. The debt level is also indicative of the out-of-control spending in Washington. Click on the video to hear more about this issue.
I remain committed to sounding the alarm about our government's spending problem and forcing Washington to deal with this issue. The revenues our government takes in only cover entitlement spending like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Click here to learn about legislation I have introduced to create a mechanism to cap federal spending. It is time Washington lawmakers face this issue and reverse course. The future prosperity of our children depends on action.

Job and Business Resources

As part of my effort to help Floridians recover from the effects of the current economic climate, our office is hosting job fairs and business resource seminars. The goal is to assist Floridians find jobs, create jobs, and increase their incomes. Since our office began hosting and promoting job fairs, more than 10,000 people have participated including 500 employers. Through these events, more than 2,000 Floridians have found work.
If you are seeking employment or opportunities to expand your business, please consider attending one of our upcoming events. I also encourage you to take full advantage of the resources on my Web site. There you will find information on existing and newly available resources, and information for both job seekers and employers.
Upcoming job events:
Workforce Connection Job Fair - Citrus & Levy Counties - Wednesday, May 26, 2010
WorkNet Veterans Job Fair - Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Miami Professional and Diversity Career Fair - Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tampa Professional and Diversity Career Fair - Monday, June 28, 2010

Oil Spill Crisis Update

We are now more than a month into the oil spill that is polluting the Gulf, harming our environment and damaging the economies of Gulf Coast states. In addition to meeting their obligation to pay for all clean up efforts, I have asked the CEO of British Petroleum (BP) to create a billion dollar fund to help prevent and mitigate the harm caused by this disaster. Click here to read my letter to BP. Last week, BP officials committed to respond to my request this week.
While holding BP accountable is a critical first step, ensuring Florida gets its fair share in recovery money is equally important. Last Thursday, I stopped a move by Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to refuse Florida millions of dollars of oil spill mitigation money. Senator Landrieu introduced a bill to increase the amount of revenue oil-producing Gulf Coast states receive from oil production, as a way for Gulf Coast states to mitigate the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The bill would not allow Florida to receive mitigation funds from that source.
Florida's economy is based on healthy tourism. At risk are our beaches, our water quality, our wildlife, and our economic lifeblood. It is outrageous that Florida would be refused a share of any spill mitigation funds when our state has the most to lose. I will continue to work with my colleagues to block the Landrieu proposal until Florida receives an equitable share of the mitigation funds in question.

What You Should Do

If you witness oil coming ashore or impacted wildlife, you should immediately contact the Deepwater Horizon Response Line at 866-557-1401. Floridians seeking help with issues related to the incident can call my office directly and toll-free at (866) 630-7106.
A website has been established for citizens to receive up-to-date information on the event at
The following is a link to the State Emergency Operations Center: State officials are actively monitoring the Deepwater Horizon Response as well as providing precautionary tips for residents and visitors.

Federal Ban on Deceptive Online Advertisements

Last Thursday, I helped introduce a bill to end aggressive and deceptive online sales tactics. Consumers have a right to demand action when companies use aggressive sales tactics to enroll online consumers in services without their consent or use a set of deceptive online sales tactics to charge a credit card automatically. The companies behind these practices intentionally confuse and exploit consumers and their actions threaten legitimate online commerce.
The bill I support, known as the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, is the result of a Senate Commerce Committee investigation into the practices of companies involved in online sales. This measure will protect online shoppers by prohibiting companies from using misleading post-transaction advertisements by requiring disclosure of terms of the offers to consumers, and consent to obtain a consumers' billing information, including full credit or debit card numbers.
Click here to read more about this proposal.

Legislation Update: Financial Regulatory Bill Passes Senate

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved a financial regulatory bill. Unfortunately, the overall bill represents a missed opportunity to address many of the root causes of the 2008 financial market meltdown. One positive note is that my amendment to end the financial sector's over-reliance on government-approved credit ratings agencies is part of the bill that passed the Senate.
The federal government has allowed a few ordained ratings agencies to have too much pull in the market place. That needs to be changed to allow a more diverse and accurate approach to proving credit worthiness and further prevent future economic crisis. Click here to read how my amendment will prevent problems like this in the future.

Casework Corner

As your senator, one of my primary goals is to make sure Floridians are well served by Federal agencies. From time to time, I will share accounts of how our office has helped a Floridian.
Recently, a family contacted our office to request assistance regarding an unresolved billing discrepancy with their car insurer. The family's daughter has a handicap preventing her from driving any car except her own, which is specially equipped for her disability. Nonetheless, the family's monthly car insurance premiums incorrectly indicated the daughter as driving the most expensive car the family owned, even though she had no capability to do so.
Our office contacted the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and explained the situation. Subsequently, OIR contacted the insurance company and, as a result, the family's premiums have been reduced to the appropriate amount.
If you are experiencing a problem with a federal agency, please contact our Orlando Regional Office by calling (407) 254-2573 to speak with a member of the Casework Department. The toll-free number for Florida residents is (866) 630-7106. To find out more about how my office can help you, go to my website at or stop by one of our scheduled Community Office Hours in your area.

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