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Mitch Perry Report for 6.2.15 — Senators doing their jobs

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Blame Rand Paul.

The U.S. Senate is in session again today, and will be voting on amendments to the USA Freedom Act, which represents the first significant rollback of NSA surveillance that has been approved. Or at least that’s what the House did. Now the Senate will be working on a bill today, which means Marco Rubio will be in Washington and not Orlando for Rick Scott’s Economic Summit taking place at Disney World.

Rubio will appear via video this morning at 9:20 a.m. But it’s worth noting that there have been other votes in the Senate this year that didn’t stop the Florida senator from appearing at an event highlighting his presidential candidacy. In fact, no one in the Senate has missed more votes this year or last than Rubio.

Ted Cruz has always missed a lot of votes. But according to Roll Call, Rand Paul has only missed a couple of votes. Whether that says anything about how serious these men take their jobs is up for you to decide.

Interestingly, the fourth U.S. senator now in the race, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, has missed more votes than anyone in the Senate other than Cruz and Rubio.

We’d love to write more, but we’ve got to get on I-4 to check out the event.

Marco Rubio has previously said he wouldn’t support any choice for a U.S. ambassador to Cuba. Now he says he could be persuaded to, but only if four specific conditions are met. In other words, he’s going to oppose whomever the Obama administration nominates.

Today is the latest cattle call for GOP presidential candidates, and joining them in Orlando is what NextGen Climate is calling their “Koch Brothers Ark.” 

At Monday’s HART meeting, board members mused about reasons why they’re not getting enough money to fund the transit agency better.

And over the weekend we spent a couple of hours with Dr. Ben Carson supporters, some of whom say he’s the candidate they’ve been waiting for since Ronald Reagan left the political scene more than 25 years ago.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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