Our coastal community has suffered for decades as a result of the massive freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While these discharges reduce the flood risk to communities south of Lake Okeechobee, they also cause considerable economic, environmental, and public health harms through toxic algal blooms.
This week I had the opportunity to question former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on why Florida's application for this issue to be declared a federal emergency was denied. His response was pretty clear: if Congress wants algal blooms to be considered a federal emergency, Congress should amend the Stafford Act.
This week I introduced my first bill, the Federal Do No Harm Act, to do exactly that. I'm committed to not only passing this legislation, but also working together to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.
To learn more about my other work this week (including efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, keep the government open, lower taxes and improve our healthcare system), watch this week's Week In Review video.