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Congressman Steve Southerland’s Fish and Pony Show

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Congressman Steve Southerland lost his credibility with North Florida families when he shutdown the government, torpedoed the Farm Bill and complained about his taxpayer funded salary – but that’s not stopping Congressman Southerland from hosting an election year press conference this morning to try and distract from his clear record of do-nothing, self-interested Washington politics.

And in yet another example of Congressman Southerland’s Washington hypocrisy, Congressman Southerland previously voted for dramatic cuts to American fisheries like those he’s claiming to protect this morning. 

“No election year press conference can change the fact that Congressman Steve Southerland’s do nothing, self-interested D.C. politics are exactly what North Floridians hate about Congress,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Max Steele. “Congressman Southerland shutdown the government, complained about his taxpayer funded salary and perks, and even slashed support for fishermen like those he’s now claiming to protect. Instead of getting results for North Florida, Congressman Southerland has always looked out for himself – which is exactly why North Florida families cannot afford Congressman Southerland’s dysfunctional politics in Washington.”  

Background

Congressman Southerland Repeatedly Voted to Keep Dramatic Cuts to American Fisheries. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, the sequester cut $1 million in research and development of fishery projects. During FY 2014, these projects are slated to lose $10 million in funding. Southerland has repeatedly voted to protect cuts imposed by sequestration and against replacing it with a balanced approach. [OMB FY 2013 Sequester Report, 3/01/13; OMB FY 2014 Sequester Report, 5/20/13; HR 115, Vote #82, 3/19/13; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; H Con Res 25, Vote #87, 3/20/13]

Steve Southerland Said $174,000 Congressional Salary was “Not so Much.” “During a town hall meeting in Florida on Wednesday, when asked about his pay, the congressman told his constituents that his yearly salary of $174,000 was ‘not so much’- especially once you account for the number of hours he works, the fact that he had to sever ties with his family’s funeral home business upon assuming office, and the heightened danger he faces as a public official.” [Huffington Post, 10/26/11

After shutting down government, Congressman Southerland defends keeping taxpayer subsidized gym open. “The government shutdown has stopped critical services for countless Americans. But fortunately for members of the House of Representatives – the men and women who helped cause the shutdown – access continues to their taxpayer-subsidized Capitol Hill gym… Speaking to CNN Wednesday morning, Republican Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida said that ‘for people to raise issues over the gym is somewhat petty,’ although Southerland said he does not have a gym membership.” [CNN, 10/09/13]