Brian Mast Speaks to Overflow Crowd at Abacoa

On Tuesday morning, well over 100 Tea Party stalwarts assembled for a breakfast buffet and some interaction with our CD18 Congressman Brian Mast.

With a Q&A format that started with written questions and progressed to passing the microphone around, the Congressman answered questions on a wide variety of topics, in many cases expanding on the questions to provide a nuanced look at the opportunities and challenges of this Congress.

Brian gave us a current status of the pictures on the wall at the VA, as the attention he brought to the issue resulted in a Presidential Order to mount the pictures of Donald Trump and VA Secretary David Shulkin in all VA facilities, then spoke of Congressional term limits as a way to help “drain the swamp”. Term limits would stop the “tenured” nature of committee chair positions, part of that swamp infrastructure.

When asked about interactions with lobbyists, he told us he meets with those pushing all sides of issues every day, but also reaches out to stakeholders for bills, like state Governors and other representatives, and finally sorts through the BS and makes up his own mind. Doing the right thing matters more to Brian than pandering for re-election, something he wished would motivate more of his colleagues. This is part of the reason that he has not joined any “voting caucuses” like the Freedom Caucus or the Tuesday Group – he does not want to commit to voting in lockstep with a Caucus consensus if he doesn’t agree with it.

On the budget, Brian was disappointed that there are not 12 individual appropriations bills in process as had been promised by House leadership, and he wished that the continuing resolution that passed had actually reduced spending. He was able to get $60M in that bill to reimburse the county for protecting the President when he comes to Mar-A-Lago though.

He spoke of co-authoring the “Hamas Sanction Bill” (Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act – H.R.2712), introduced a few days ago, his support for NASA and space exploration in general, and supporting the proposal for a water retention reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee as well as dike repairs.

And regarding the VA, he has asked Secretary Shulkin for space within the WPB Veterans Hospital for one of his staff to meet with Veterans regarding problems with care delivery. If Congressman were on-site to observe what transpires at VA facilities and raise the alarm when warranted, problems with the VA could be quickly improved. Since no space is yet forthcoming, Brian is asking his constituents, particularly the veterans, to contact the local VA Administrator and ask them to provide the space.

Following are some pictures provided by Carol Porter:


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