Bill's Priorities

Bringing investments and jobs to Florida. Bill Nelson is a leader in the fight to bring good jobs to Florida, including up to 24,000 high-speed rail jobs. This, despite a governor who inexplicably gave Florida's federal rail funding to other states. In the face of political posturing, Nelson continues to work with federal transportation officials to make high-speed rail a reality. Additionally, he’s one of the lawmakers behind the Navy’s decision to move a nuclear-powered carrier from Norfolk, Virginia, to Jacksonville. That’ll mean thousands of local jobs. And here’s just a few other job-creating projects he’s had a hand in: $372 million to complete construction of a new satellite processing facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; $72 million for the new North Florida Beaches International Airport north of Panama City; $22 million to enable the Port of Miami to handle larger ships and cargo expected from the expansion of the Panama Canal; expansion of Embraer’s facilities at Melbourne Airport; and, a federal loan guarantee enabling the construction of five ships and 300 new jobs at Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City.

Reducing the federal deficit. To really get our nation’s deficit under control, Bill Nelson believes we need to look at more than blindly slashing programs. We need to make reforms across the whole budget, like simplifying the tax code, closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, eliminating government duplication and reducing waste and fraud plaguing programs like Medicare. We also need to give the president a line-item budget veto like most governors around the country have. He wants Congress to go back to pay-as-you-go spending rules that were in effect the last time we had a balanced budget and has voted in favor of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As the chair of a Finance subcommittee on fiscal responsibility, Bill is engaged in making real and responsible changes aimed at reducing the deficit. In addition to the spending cuts Congress just made, his subcommittee is examining tax reforms - reforms aimed at closing loopholes and special interest tax breaks.

Cutting federal spending. For years, Congress has taken a piecemeal approach to solving the country’s budget woes. To really get our nation’s debt under control, we need to look at more than blindly slashing programs. Bill is advocating for reforms across the whole budget, like simplifying the tax code, closing tax loopholes for big corporations, eliminating government duplication and reducing fraud plaguing programs like Medicare. He introduced the Taxpayer Receipt Act, believing taxpayers are entitled to see exactly where their money is spent - just like a grocery store receipt. And with his Florida colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, he sponsored a simplified tax return for seniors.

Preserving Social Security and Medicare. Bill knows we have to cut government spending – but not by breaking the contracts we’ve made with everybody who pays into Social Security and Medicare. He strongly opposes current proposals that would end those programs as we know them, specifically by handing Medicare over to an HMO system and putting Social Security at risk in the stock market.

Fixing the health-care reform law. Bill believes we can't afford to sit by and do nothing anymore, that we ought to have health care that is available and affordable for all people. And that’s what the health-care reform law seeks to do. As Bill has said, the law’s not perfect. But he thinks we should focus now on fixing the law and not on repealing it. We don’t want people with health insurance to have to keep paying emergency costs for those who do not have it.

Protecting Florida’s economy and environment. For years, Bill has kept oil drilling far from the vital military training areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and away from Florida's shores and tourism-driven economy. With friends of Big Oil all over Washington and Tallahassee, Bill is about all that stands between oil rigs and Florida's Gulf. In addition, he fought to make sure BP made good on its duty to pay claims to those affected by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. As he has been saying for years: One of the greatest threats to American security may well be our dependence on foreign oil. Do not let the mantra of "drill, baby, drill" sidetrack U.S. research and development of alternative fuels and our efforts to require that car makers increase fuel efficiency to over 40 miles per gallon.

Maintaining a robust space program. Bill is recognized as the leading congressional expert on NASA and has fought to make sure it has the road map and funding it needs to carry out space exploration. He believes the space program is in the country's national security interest and is needed, if America is to remain a leader in the global marketplace of science and technology.

Bringing down gas prices. Bill has demanded that speculators be stopped from running up the price of oil. He has pushed federal regulators to impose limits on speculators' ability to trade in oil futures contracts.

Safeguarding America. As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Bill is working on ways to guard against continuing threats by terrorists including how to counter against a cyber-security attack, which the president has called "one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces."