Florida Gov. Rick Scott is seeing some in-state fire over his reported ban on state agencies using the term “climate change.”
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has introduced an amendment to the Senate budget that would prevent any ban on federal agencies and employees from talking about climate change.
In a speech Thursday introducing the amendment, Nelson said it was a pushback about “news reports “¦ that indeed some folks are trying to muzzle scientists from speaking about the science involving the oceans, the atmosphere, the climate, and the weather.”
“Can you imagine if we were going to muzzle researchers at the National Institute of Health and censor them, saying they couldn’t use medical terms like ‘asthma’ [or] ‘cancer’? What if that were off limits?” he asked. “That’s not even a question we would consider.”
The senator from Florida’s amendment and speech are thinly veiled swipes at Scott. Earlier this month, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting reported that employees and contractors had been told by supervisors to not use specific terms related to climate change or global warming.
Scott has denied that such a ban was in place, but allegations from former state employees have snowballed. Last week, an Environmental Protection Department official said he was put on leave and told to get medical clearance for discussing climate change and the Keystone XL pipeline. And a widely shared video shows the state’s chief of emergency management avoiding saying “climate change” in a state Senate hearing.
Nelson’s amendment would specifically block the Senate from adopting any measure that would censor a federal employee or agency from using “terms common in scientific literature describing atmospheric, climate, weather, or oceanic processes.”
What We're Following See More »
"Russia wants to charge former Ambassador Michael McFaul and several U.S. intelligence officials with financial crimes, Russian officials revealed Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin broached the topic during his summit with President Trump, when he offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to attend the questioning of Russian spies accused of conducting cyberattacks against the Democratic Party in 2016. In exchange, Putin’s team wants to question McFaul and at least three National Security Agency officials in connection to a case involving Bill Browder, a hedge fund manager who has led an international effort to impose sanctions on Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses."
With President Trump back from a trip in which he seemed to undermine European alliances while cozying up to Vladimir Putin, the White House has announced that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will visit on July 25. According to a statement, the two "will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership."
"The House Veterans Affairs Committee has launched an investigation into care at the VA’s 133 nursing homes after learning the agency had given almost half of them the lowest possible score in secret, internal rankings. The probe follows an investigation by The Boston Globe and USA TODAY that showed 60 VA nursing homes ... rated only one out of five stars for quality last year in the agency’s own ranking system." Internal documents revealed that "patients in more than two-thirds of VA nursing homes were more likely to suffer pain and serious bedsores than their private sector counterparts, and that "VA nursing homes scored worse than private nursing homes on a majority of key quality indicators, including rates of anti-psychotic drug prescription and decline in daily living skills."