As Gov. Rick Scott (R) contemplates a challenge to Sen. Bill Nelson (D), he “is embroiled in a fierce debate over gun control that has seen the governor split with President Donald Trump and some members of his own party over what should be done to prevent another mass shooting. The escalated sniping between Nelson and Scott may presage a heated campaign in a swing state that twice supported President Barack Obama but then backed Trump.”
“Nelson mocked Scott, saying he lacked ‘guts’ for skipping an emotionally charged town hall forum attended by survivors and family members of those killed at the Parkland school. He also criticized Scott because the state had offered financial incentives to gun manufacturers. Scott snapped back at Nelson, saying he had failed to pass any substantial gun measures during his three terms in office.”
“Right now polls suggest voters in Florida are on Nelson’s side. A poll by Quinnipiac University, which was done more than a week after the shootings in Parkland, said 62 percent support a nationwide ban on ‘assault weapons’ and 96 percent support background checks on all gun buyers.” (AP)
LEGISLATION. Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio (R) are pushing a bill that would “help alert state law enforcement agencies to allow them to enforce existing laws against individuals who attempt to purchase firearms but have no legal right to do so.” The legislation is backed by several other senators, including Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). (Florida Politics)
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"House Budget Chairman Steve Womack’s fiscal 2019 budget resolution charts a path to balancing the budget in nine years through a combination of steep cuts in mandatory spending programs, freezing nondefense discretionary spending and banking on robust economic growth, according to a summary. Under the draft fiscal blueprint, which will be marked up in committee Wednesday and Thursday, the deficit would be reduced by $8.1 trillion over 10 years compared to current law or policy. The budget would produce a surplus of $26 billion in 2027 if all of the assumed policies were enacted, growing to $142 billion in 2028. The plan includes reconciliation instructions requiring $302 billion in savings over 10 years."
Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol chief for the Rio Grande Valley, expressed his desire to CBS News for action to be taken to address family separation at the border. Separations have spiked under the Trump Administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. "We created this situation by not doing anything," Padilla said, arguing that previous immigration policy had created a "vacuum" for other families to attempt to cross the border.