Rep. Allen West’s Weekly Wrap Up and District Highlights of the Week

Dear Patriots,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans. I pray you had a wonderful weekend and are getting a great start to your Monday.

I pray that my fellow Americans in the Jewish community in South Florida, and all across the world, enjoyed very blessed High Holy Days concluding with Yom Kippur. May your name be written in the Book of Life.

This segues into the topic of the United Nations General Assembly speeches of this week. It can be no more evident that we must identify and confront the clear and present danger and evil of our time. We cannot retract from this challenge and believe that rhetoric without resolve and vigilance is the answer.

If we go down the path of Sir Neville Chamberlain and accept the premise that dictators, despots, autocrats, and theocrats can be handled with a policy of appeasement then we threaten the future security for our children and grandchildren. Furthermore, if we fail to recognize the terror and the attacks perpetrated by radical, barbarian  Islamists, we embolden our enemy.

We can no longer refer to terrorist attacks as “man-caused disasters.” We cannot refer to this current global conflagration as an “overseas contingency operation.” We can no longer believe that you simply end a war by leaving and declaring that you have “kept a promise.”

As a former Combat Commander, I can attest to the fact that no warrior seeks to promote war, but all warriors answer the call of their country.

We no longer speak in terms of victory and certain defeat of our enemy. We seek to placate and even use taxpayer funds to issue apologies. It is simple: weakness is provocative in every way.

A week ago this past Friday, I addressed the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County Round table and carefully laid out the situation in the Middle East and the Maghreb (North Africa). Our disengagement has left our best ally, Israel, isolated in the dark sea of terror at a critical time for her existence.

The Taliban has a saying, “Americans have watches, but we have the time.”

There must be a credible military threat that is viable and poses a serious concern to the Ahmadinejads, Morsis, and Zawahiris of the world. Unfortunately, with sequestration looming, we are telegraphing our recalcitrance to honor Ronald Reagan’s principle of “peace through strength.”

The story behind the terrorist attacks on the 11th anniversary of 9-11 in Libya just keeps getting worse. It comes down to purposeful deceit or unmitigated incompetence — either is unacceptable.

In closing, the downward revision of the Second Quarter Gross Domestic Produce growth number to 1.3 percent reiterates the horrible position in which we find the economic security of America.

Americans must ask themselves: What is more important? Like ability or leadership?

Steadfast and Loyal,

Highlights of the Week:

–  Sunday, 23 Sept; addressed the Sunday morning service at the Orange Avenue Baptist Church in Ft. Pierce, special thanks to Reverends Hart and Bullington for their kindness and invite and special thanks to the congregation, especially for the after church pot luck meal.

–  Monday, 24 Sept; keynote speaker at the Christian Family Coalition Pastor’s Appreciation breakfast; visited the Treasure Coast Hospice in Stuart and discussed services and coming effects from Affordable Care Act cuts to hospice; visited the Treasure Coast Urgent and Family Care in Stuart to address concerns about Affordable Care Act and effects upon small business growth; visited the Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute in Ft. Pierce for a tour and spoke to hospital staff and medical professionals- pictures here.

– Tuesday, 25 Sept; kicked off the “Hiring our Heroes” veterans job fair held at the West Palm Beach Convention Center. The event was an incredible success- pictures here– with many receiving on-the-spot hiring; visited the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center with House Veterans’ Committee Chairman Jeff Miller to discuss services, policies, procedures, and vision for the VA Hospital, hat tip to Director Charlene Szabo; visited local adventure clothing manufacturer Native Outfitters, highly recommend the active wear apparel from this local small business- pictures here ; visited the Louis Dreyfus Citrus Plant in Indiantown hosting United States House of Representatives Agriculture Appropriations Chairman, Representative Jack Kingston. The discussion focused on funding for citrus greening research, regulatory constraints, welfare reform as part of immigration reform, H2A Visas, and production costs in the juice industry which is reflected in a rise in commodity price and drop in consumption.

Wednesday, 26 Sept; took the morning to enjoy a couple of nice dives with the Jupiter Dive center. Saw lots of Goliath Groupers and enjoyed our beautiful reef diving experience while cleaning up some fishing line.

Thursday, 27 Sept; met with US Army JROTC C/LTC Logan Gallo and his Dad, Ron, to discuss charting a successful career in the US military. It seems not too long ago I was wearing the same uniform as a Cadet at Henry Grady High School in Atlanta GA. Please support our High School JROTC programs; visited the South Florida Wildlife Center in Ft. Lauderdale which is the nation’s largest trauma treatment center for wildlife. Was able to witness x-ray procedure on a falcon that had been recovered from a rooftop, as well as a checkup on an osprey and owl- great pictures here; visited Capitol Supply Company in Sunrise who provide unaccompanied housing furnishings for our military installations. We have assisted them in resolving a contract issue which allowed them to stay in business-  more info here and pictures here ; addressed the 52d Annual South Florida Manufacturers Association trade meeting, spoke on tax, regulatory, and monetary policy that works adversely to restoring our economy and support to private sector production and manufacturing growth.

– Friday, 28 Sept; addressed the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach Leadership Round table.

Saturday, 29 September; welcomed everyone at the Opening Ceremony of the Third Annual Palm Beach Touch Rugby Tournament benefiting our Wounded Warriors; addressed the Community Outreach Youth Program Leadership Seminar in Ft. Pierce sponsored by the Miracle Life Temple Church.

Rep. Allen West Brings Small Businesses Together with Defense Industry Experts

(West Palm Beach)— A total of 19 businesses attended Congressman Allen West’s (R-FL) roundtable discussion today to listen and speak directly to Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO).  The discussion focused on breaking down the bureaucracy and red tape that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for small and medium-sized companies to successfully navigate the Defense Department’s acquisition system and obtain contracts.

Congressman West is a Member of both the Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee in the United States House of Representatives.  As a Member of the HASC Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry, he has a unique opportunity to address these concerns.

“Our small businesses are hurting and anxious to get to work where they are needed, and National Security can benefit from the innovative and competitive spirit that only small businesses can bring,” West said. “In order to do this successfully, we need predictability, certainty and stability in the Defense industry ”

Topics discussed today included: contract bundling, removing barriers to the Federal procurement process, and optimizing Department of Defense use of taxpayer dollars to help small businesses compete.

“We need to look at ways to make the Small Business Administration Office within the Department of Defense work more efficiently,” Shuster said.  “It is essential to find ways to make it easier for small businesses to obtain work with the federal government.”

More than 1,000 South Florida businesses are currently seeking opportunities to offer their services to the federal government.  The federal government spends half a trillion dollars on contracted goods and services and owes it to hardworking taxpayers to make sure their money is used wisely and efficiently.  Government contracting offers a unique opportunity to invest in small businesses while also stimulating the economy. Small businesses created the majority of jobs, about 65 percent, over the last 17 years.

“I’ve been struggling for years trying to figure out a way to break in the world of defense contracts, knowing that I have a product the United States military may find useful,” a small business owner who attended the event said.  “After getting the opportunity to talk with both Chairman Shuster and Graves, I am confident I can now get the ball rolling to securing a federal contract, which is essential for my business.  I appreciate Congressman West’s willingness to hold such an event.”

During the event,  Representative Graves and Representative West discussed their cosponsored legislation, the Contractor Opportunity Protection (COP) Act.  The Contractor Opportunity Protection Act provides more transparency in the contracting process, a stronger opportunity to appeal unjustified bundling, and the creation of a third party arbiter.  See more on the legislation here.

For pictures of the event, click here.


Rep Allen West “I’m very happy with the type of district that I have here in District 22,”

BOCA RATON — With the Republican-controlled Florida legislature proposing redistricting maps that would throw him into a more Democrat-leaning district, U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, told a homeowners group this morning that he’d like his District 22 to remain the way it is.

West, whose home in Plantation is outside the boundaries of the current District 22, also told the group that his wife was recently looking at houses in Boca Raton.

“I’m very happy with the type of district that I have here in District 22,” West told a crowd of about 50 at a Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations meeting.

West’s Palm Beach-Broward district is nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. But proposals released by state House and Senate redistricting committees would make his district roughly 41 percent Democratic and 33 percent Republican by registration.

The close partisan balance of his current district, West said, means “I’ve got to go out and I’ve got to present myself to people.”

In districts that heavily favor one party or another, West said, “people can just go right down the line and say ‘This is how I’m going to be’ because they don’t have to worry about ever not being reelected. So I think that we’ve got to look at how do we make these congressional districts competitive so that people have to get out there and present their ideas.”



Rep Allen West – Weekly E-Newsletter, Legislative Update and more

Dear Patriot,

Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans, it is just amazing to me how fast the year has gone by. It seems like only  yesterday the 112th Congress was sworn in on January 5th.

I am recovering this morning from Sunday when I ran in the Palm Beach half-marathon- see story here– in West Palm Beach.  I dedicated my run to young Max Bello of Jupiter who suffers from juvenile diabetes. Max and I ran the first 3.5 miles together. What an incredible day!

In other news,  the new unemployment numbers were released this past Friday and there are those who are taking credit and celebrating. The “new” unemployment rate is 8.6% but that number does not tell the entire story. We also witnessed some 315,000 Americans who have completely given up searching for employment and therefore dropped from the workforce. We also remain concerned about the large number of underemployed Americans. In addition, with the upcoming holidays there is seasonal employment. There are conservative estimates the actual national unemployment rate is closer to 10.2%.

Forty two percent of  Americans have been unemployed for at least six months. Jobless claims were up at 402,000 and yes, there was an anemic 120,000 jobs added — which mainly seem to be in retail.  Which makes one wonder why the President would delay the Keystone XL pipeline project until after the election in November 2012? Based upon testimony at a congressional hearing this week, seems even the President’s union pals are not happy.

And a funny thing happened as well this week: the Department of Labor went back and “revised” the jobs created numbers for two previous months.

There are now 23 pieces of policy legislation passed in the House of Representatives relating to job creation sitting on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk. If we do not develop policies that promote confidence and certainty for our private sector, small businesses and corporations, then we shall not truly move the needle.

The current debate on Capitol Hill centers on another manipulative “fix” for our abysmal economic situation in America. The sad truth is there are those on both sides of the aisle who believe the American people are not competent enough to understand their political gimmicks aimed at personal electoral gain.

The temporary payroll tax cut has done nothing to stimulate our economy in this past year. We have seen Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in America over the past three quarters at only 0.4%, 1.0%, and 2.0%. Social Security, which is the primary recipient of payroll taxes, ran a deficit this year because of this payroll tax cut. For the third straight year we had a federal deficit of more than $1 trillion.

However, the political messaging wants to focus the American people on short-term “candy” which is in truth, long-term “poison.” We are in essence brokering our fiscal future for the insidious masquerade of immediate gratification for the American people.   Listen carefully, for this is nothing more than a simple attempt to buy votes.

Do we want to do something substantial?  Why not take the 2% that we are cutting off the payroll tax and apply it to income tax rates and make it retroactive to January 1, 2011? That is a viable solution, not a temporary fix, which means we would not have to come back and debate the same issue a year later.

As well, how has extending unemployment insurance, not “paid for” I might add, helped our jobs situation in America? It has not. What it has done is create and expand a victim class, totally dependent on subsistence from the Federal Government. Some on the other side of the aisle talk as if they are really concerned about Americans, but they seem not to be. It seems they only want economic slaves wedded to them for their “perceived” political survival.

So no, I will not vote to extend these gimmicks of political and economic enslavement of my fellow countrymen. I shall continue to fight for all Americans to restore our economic security and strength through fiscal policies and reform that are rooted in principle, not politics.   The America I know and love, for which I was willing to sacrifice my life, is worth this fight. This is not about class. America is not about class. America is about the individual freedom that enables an entrepreneurial spirit to flourish for ALL Americans to achieve their dreams and ambitions.

Our economy has a gunshot wound to the chest… no more band-aids!

Lastly, thanks President Barack Obama- looks like radical Islamists will have a 60-65% control of the Egyptian government. You are now right there with President Jimmy Carter for being a total failure in Middle East foreign policy. Is this what you meant by an Arab Spring?  More like Arab winter.

Steadfast and Loyal,


Legislative Update:

– Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act — On Wednesday, the House approved H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, by a vote of 235-188, I VOTED YES. The bill would pre-empt National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed rulemaking that will significantly change procedures that govern union elections by providing employers just seven days to find legal counsel and prepare their entire case to be presented at a NLRB pre-election hearing.

– Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Elections and the Election Assistance Commission — On Thursday, the House approved H.R. 3463 by a vote of 235-190, I VOTED YES. The bill would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF), terminate public financing of presidential campaigns, and return PECF funds to the general treasury for deficit reduction.

– Regulatory Flexibility — Also on Thursday, the House approved H.R. 527, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011, by a vote of 263-159, I VOTED YES. The bill would close loopholes that the federal government agencies are exploiting to avoid the requirement that they analyze the effect new regulations would have on small businesses.

– APA Reform — On Friday, the House approved H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, by a vote of 253-167, I VOTED YES. The bill would define “major rule,” “high-impact rule,” “guidance,” and “major guidance” to broaden the definitions of rules that would be impacted by the bill. 

This Week:

– REINS — The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011. The bill would restore Congressional accountability for the regulatory process requiring Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign off on all new major rules—those with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more—before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or state and local governments.

– Farm Dust — The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1633, The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011. The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing any new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for coarse particulate matter for at least one year from the date of enactment of the legislation. The bill would also limit federal regulation of nuisance dust by EPA to areas in which it is not regulated under State, tribal, or local law, where the nuisance dust causes substantial adverse effects, and the benefits of federal regulation outweigh the costs.

DC/District Highlights: 

– Tuesday, 29 November, Recorded a short video address for the Hebron (Israel) fund annual dinner. I recommend we become more aware of what is occurring in Hebron, which I visited in December 2009. Met with Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer on the Keystone XL pipeline project and other issues facing Canadians “snow-birding” in South Florida. Ambassador Doer has my full support in moving the Keystone project along. Met with Mr. Robert Johnson, creator of Black Entertainment Television, on policies to stimulate urban area and minority business growth.

– Wednesday, 30 November, Participated in a Small Business Committee hearing on how the SBA is meeting the recovery needs of disaster victims. Participated in the 18th Annual DC’s Funniest Celebrity Contest for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer Fund- see photo here.  Out of the nine contestants, finished 3rd and took home a trophy. see story here.

– Thursday, 1 December, Taped a Holiday Season message for our troops deployed with the Pentagon Channel.

– Saturday, 2 December, Attended the Latin American Motorcycle Association pig roast at the American Legion Post in Riviera Beach. Attended the final game in the distinguished career of FAU Coach Howard Schnellenberger, and bid him “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”

– Sunday, 3 December, Ran the Palm Beaches half-marathon, took lots of extra strength pain reliever, and then attended the Annual Palm Beach Chapter of the 82d Airborne Division Association Holiday banquet.

U.S. Rep. Allen West finishes half-marathon at Palm Beaches Marathon

By Scott Eyman for The Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH — The sturdy man with tattoos on both arms and his back crossed the finish line breathing heavily, but not really panting. Pretty good for a 50-year-old Congressman who’d just finished the half-marathon at the eighth running of the Palm Beaches Marathon.

U.S. Rep. Allen West wasn’t concerned about his time.

“I don’t know. I finished,” said West, R-Plantation. “As long as you finish, it’s good.”

Originally, West was planning to push a boy in a wheelchair for the half-Marathon, on behalf of a local charity, but that fell through. Instead, he ran for the pleasure of the exercise, and for the chance to meet his constituents where they live.

West also ran the half-marathon at the West Palm Beach event in 2007, but has never run the full length.

“Twenty-two years in the military wears on the knees,” said West, who spent more than 20 years in the Army and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

To stay in shape, West ignores the Congressional gym in Washington.

“I get up at 5:30 in the morning, do five or six miles, then push ups and crunches. I eat pretty good, lots of fruit, try to eat healthy. I did the Army 10-miler in October at 1 hour 28 minutes, 13 seconds. ”



Congressman Allen West and US Rep John Boehner in West Palm Beach, FL 10/11/11

I apologize for the recording, but you can still hear Allen West. Video by