Written by Lynn Bannister, Director of Outreach, Senator Bill Nelson Wednesday, 27 July 2011 06:54
Saving Social Security from Budget Impasse
Senator Nelson introduced legislation to allow the Treasury Department to continue paying Social Security benefits, notwithstanding a failure by our political system to raise the debt limit by August 2.
The bill would grant the Treasury Department temporary authority to issue new debt to ensure that payments can be made to Social Security beneficiaries, but only to the extent necessary to cover the needs of the Social Security program. Similar legislation was enacted in 1996 to save Social Security beneficiaries when debt ceiling talks faltered.
Nelson wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner apprising him of the legislation; in his response, Secretary Geithner confirmed that Nelson’s legislation would, if enacted, ensure that Social Security benefits would go out even if congressional leaders fail to compromise on a debt ceiling deal and the government is forced to default on other debt payments.
Corps Awards Contract for Indian River Lagoon Project
On Friday July 15, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to build the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area component of the Indian River Lagoon Everglades restoration project. Senator Nelson actively supported this project in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007. Also, in both Fiscal Year 2010 and 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations, Senator Nelson ensured that the critical investments would be made for the C-44 Reservoir project. The creation of the reservoir will allow for more managed control and treatment of harmful water, creating cleaner drinking water and preventing harmful algae blooms in the St. Lucie River. Economists also estimate that the indirect, direct, and induced economic impact will be 490 jobs the first year of the contract and 310 jobs during the second.
10th Anniversary of Sept 11
Senator Nelson cosponsored Senate Resolution 228, which calls on the American people to observe a Moment of Remembrance to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Lead in Soil at Miami’s Olinda Park
Senator Nelson requested that federal assistance be available for people exposed to toxic levels of lead from the soil at Olinda Park in Miami. Miami-Dade County closed the 6.4-acre park after lead levels were found to be more than 200% higher than normal. Officials were conducting free blood tests on children who played in the park, but were set to end those free tests on July 16. Senator Nelson encouraged the county to consider extending the deadline for testing, and wrote to federal health and environmental agencies asking them to monitor the situation and be prepared to assist the county if necessary. So far, none of the 135 children tested have been determined positive for lead poisoning, and today, CBS Miami reported that the Jessie Trice Community Health Center has extended their free testing through July 22.
Honoring the Shuttle Program
Senator Nelson introduced Senate Resolution 233, legislation honoring the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Shuttle Program on reaching the historic milestone of the 135th and final flight of the Space Transportation System. S. Res. 233 passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Director of Outreach: Lynn Bannister
111 North Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
850-942-8415 / 850-942-8450 (fax)
FYI - From time to time, our Senate staff compiles electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you'd like to receive these free "E-Briefs," visit Bill's web site at http://billnelson.senate.gov/ and click on the "E-Briefs" button.
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