Florida Republicans Push Bill Cracking Down on Supporters of Maduro Regime

KEVIN DERBY Sunshine State News

Rick Scott, Mike Waltz and Marco Rubio

Rick Scott, Mike Waltz and Marco Rubio

Florida’s two U.S. senators and a freshman congressman brought out a proposal to ensure the federal government does not work with businesses supporting the Maduro regime in Venezuela. 

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., are championing the “Venezuelan Contracting Restriction Act” which, they insist, will “hold Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro accountable by prohibiting federal agencies from doing business with anyone that supports the oppressive Maduro regime.”

Scott, who introduced the bill, compared it to the proposal to his efforts in Tallahassee. 

“As governor, I strictly prohibited the state of Florida, including all state agencies, from investing in any company that is doing business with Maduro’s oppressive government,” Scott said on Thursday. “Now, I’m filing a bill to prohibit all federal agencies from doing business with anyone that supports Maduro. The United States must do more in the fight for freedom and democracy, and I’m glad to be working with Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Michael Waltz to continue to hold Maduro accountable. We cannot stand by and let this crisis continue.”

“Dictator Nicolás Maduro and his criminal, illegitimate regime are responsible for a humanitarian and economic catastrophe in Venezuela that is destabilizing the region and increasing threats to U.S. national security,” Rubio said. “This bill would ensure that no American taxpayer dollars go to any company that’s doing business with Maduro’s narco-terrorist regime. Now that more than 50 nations recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate Interim President, the United States must do all it can to support the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore democracy, the rule of law, and human dignity.”

 “Companies choosing to do business with Nicolas Maduro and his thugs are subsidizing his chokehold on the Venezuelan people, helping fund violent attacks against the growing opposition, and cracking down on the legitimate, internationally recognized government of Venezuela led by Juan Guaido. This bill sends a clear message that the United States stands with the people of Venezuela, our taxpayer dollars will not trickle down to Maduro, and that we expect accountability with those that do business with the United States. I’m grateful to have Senators Scott and Rubio championing this legislation in the Senate,” Waltz said. 

Last month, Waltz threw his support behind U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho’s, R-Fla., proposal to expedite natural gas exports. Yoho brought out the “Small Scale LNG Access Act” in March which “will expedite the approval of natural gas exports equal to or less than 51.1 billion cubic feet per year.” Waltz is cosponsoring the bill which he insists will hurt the Maduro regime. 

“South and Central American countries have limited alternatives to Maduro’s socialist oil for energy resources,” Waltz said last month.  “This bill makes American liquefied natural gas accessible and cost-effective to regional allies that no longer want to rely on Venezuelan oil.”

Scott and Rubio are backing similar proposals to the Yoho bill in the Senate.