Gus serves as the lead Republican on the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communication Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, a vital post for the state of Florida. In this role he oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and works to enhance emergency preparedness and response across the nation.
Gus strongly opposes illegal immigration and does not believe we should give amnesty or any other reward to those who have broken our nation’s immigration laws because doing so simply encourages continued lawbreaking and greater illegal immigration in the future.
Gus has led efforts to enhance our nation’s visa screening capabilities and has played a key role in efforts to strengthen our nation’s borders; most notably passing legislation to enhance the collection of biometric information from migrants captured at sea who are seeking illegal entry to the United States.
He has also successfully placed legislative initiatives in the 9/11 recommendations bill that was signed into law to increase our nation's rail and public transportation security.
Honoring Our Nation's Heroes
As Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Gus is committed to working on behalf of the brave men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform. When elected to Congress, he fought for a seat on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs so he could be an advocate for veterans and their families and ensure they receive the benefits they have earned. He also chairs the Republican Policy Committee’s Task Force on Veterans’ Affairs.
Since arriving in Washington, Gus has fought to expand the Pasco County VA Outpatient Clinic and establish an outpatient clinic in Brandon to bring additional health care services, such as dental care, to area veterans. Gus introduced legislation to create a test mail-order pharmacy program with no co-payments for prescriptions to save military retirees both time and money.
Aside from protecting and improving their benefits, one of the best ways to remember the sacrifices of past service members is to make certain that we support our current warriors. To that end, Gus has sponsored various bills that would help military families during these tough economic times and help boost morale for those service members stationed abroad.
The Home Front to Heroes Postal Benefits Act would provide free monthly vouchers for charities and military families to ship care packages to our troops stationed abroad. Having traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan in august 2009, Gus knows the positive impact these pieces of home have on our troops engaged in battle.
He has also introduced several pieces of legislation to increase military pay for members of the armed services, further narrowing the “pay gap” that exists between the military and private sector pay.
Protecting Florida's Seniors
Gus is working hard to ensure that Florida's seniors have peace of mind. Gus believes that we must protect Medicare and Social Security for current beneficiaries and future generations and voted to stop scheduled Medicare premium increases. He has sponsored legislation to require Medicare to pay for hearing aids for older Americans to improve their quality of life and increase their safety, as well as introducing legislation that would establish a national grant program to help states establish ‘Silver Alert’ notification systems to locate missing individuals suffering from Alzheimer's and other dementia-related illnesses.
Fiscal Discipline & Job Creation
Gus believes that economic innovation and growth begins with fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C.
As a steward of your tax dollars, Gus believes that Congress must focus on reducing the size of government and is fighting to cut wasteful spending and reduce our national debt. Gus has co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, so Washington's misguided tax and spend policies can be stopped.
Because he believes that the federal government shouldn't be spending money it doesn't have, Gus OPPOSED the following:
- $760 billion for the Wall Street Bailout
- $267 billion for Fannie/Freddie
- $167 billion for Bank of America, AIG and Citigroup
- $14 billion for the Automobile Industry Bailout
- $1.1 trllion 'Economic Stimulus' Package
- $410 billion for the 2009 House Appropriations Bills
- $3 billion for the "Cash for Clunkers" Program
He believes that the best way to encourage economic growth is to allow taxpayers to keep more of their own money. Instead of repeatedly saddling our nation with higher taxes and more debt, he believes that Congress should pass economic solutions that let families and small businesses keep more of what they earn so they can innovate, grow, and create jobs to turn our economy around.
Health Care Reform
Gus opposes a government takeover of our nation's health care system.
He opposed Speaker Pelosi's health care reform bill because it would cost $1.2 trillion, raise taxes by $730 billion and cut Medicare by $500 billion. The plan would also radically grow the size of the federal government and not control rising health care costs.
Gus strongly believes that serious health care reform must begin with reducing premiums and increasing access to care for those without it. He supports sensible solutions that will lower rising health care costs and increase access to insurance while preserving the doctor-patient relationship and keeping you in charge of your care.
Since coming to Congress, Gus has fought for greater flexibility in the use of Health Savings Accounts, to renew the community health center program and stop unwise Medicare cuts that would jeopardize senior's care.
He supports expanding insurance to individuals with pre-existing conditions, preventing insurers from unjustly canceling policies because people get sick and prohibiting insurers from instituting spending caps for people with high health care costs.
These consumer protections, coupled with common sense ideas like medical liability reform, strengthening association health plans, and allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines will make health care more affordable without creating a massive new bureaucracy or raising taxes.
As a father of four young boys who attend Florida's public schools, Gus is a strong proponent of our nation's public education system.
He has introduced legislation to make college more affordable by raising the maximum federal assistance that deserving students are awarded and supported legislation to significantly increase federal education funding.
Gus has also voted to improve the Head Start program to help close the learning gap between children from disadvantaged families and their more well-off peers.
Gus believes that Congress should increase domestic energy production, promote energy efficiency, and encourage private investment in renewable energy technologies as part of a comprehensive plan to address our nation's energy needs.
As part of this plan we must protect the beauty of Florida’s coasts, while developing all of our domestic energy resources – clean coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, and other renewable resources.
Gus opposed the House "Cap & Trade" plan, which he believes is a $90 billion national energy tax that will drive energy costs through the roof for families and hamstring small businesses who are trying to survive and create jobs.
This deeply flawed bill will severely disadvantage American businesses and shift jobs to other nations like China and India who do not cap emissions.