March 10, 2022


The first African American elected to Congress from Florida was not allowed to take his seat. In 1870, Josiah T. Walls, a former slave from Virginia who relocated to Florida after the Civil War, was elected to Florida's at-large congressional district, but members of the U.S. House of Representatives refused to seat him. It wasn't until two years later that he was allowed to assume his position in Congress. His tenure was short lived as members expelled him in two subsequent occasions … Continue Reading

May 07, 2021

American Rescue Plan: Help is Here

By Rep. Lawson For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have devastated North Florida's families and small businesses. I've witnessed lines of cars waiting hours to pick up food at local pantries and my Farm Share events. I've spoken to business owners who weren't sure how to keep staff on payroll and their doors open. I have mourned with families who have lost loved ones and others struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Through the recently passed American Rescue … Continue Reading

June 02, 2020

America is Facing Two Pandemics

This has been a difficult week. The coronavirus is still among us changing the way we live our lives and taking from us loved ones. Businesses have begun to reopen, but people are moving into those places with a sense of fear and anxiety. Yet, we wonder whether the economy is being saved at our expense. Even with those thoughts, we are still cautious about what we hear and whether to believe what officials are saying about the precautions that should be taken and that can be relaxed. We will … Continue Reading

April 09, 2020

We must do our part to help our families, friends and neighbors weather this pandemic

My View: U.S. Representative Al Lawson The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge unlike anything we've ever faced. Like you, I understand how scary this is and how desperate you are for answers. As this evolving situation unfolds, I have been working to ensure that state and local officials have the resources they need to keep our community strong.Over the last month, Congress passed three bills to: Provide $1,200 in direct payments to Floridians, and all Americans, who earn up to … Continue Reading

April 09, 2020

America Must Address Major COVID-19 Racial Disparities

The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge unlike anything we have ever faced. I understand how scary this is and how desperate you are for answers. We have seen staggering evidence thatCOVID-19 disproportionately impacts African-Americans more than the overall population. According to the Centers for Disease Control, counties that are majority-Black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the … Continue Reading

May 29, 2019

North Florida Needs Federal Aid for Hurricane Michael Now

For the third time in one week, a House Republican has stopped the passage of the $19.1 billion Disaster Assistance package that would have finally brought long overdue relief to thousands of families across North Florida who are still recovering from Hurricane Michael. In successive days, Rep. Chip Roy, R-TX, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, and Rep. John Rose, R-TN, each stood up to single handedly block a carefully negotiated package of assistance that had been agreed upon by the leadership of … Continue Reading

April 20, 2018

Proposed Farm Bill hurts families struggling to put food on the table

The Farm Bill is about more than just growing crops - it is about ensuring all Americans have access to safe and nutritious food, health and securing a better way of life. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have worked hard with my colleagues to prepare a bill that ensures our nation’s farmers and families have the resources they need to live the American Dream.   Unfortunately, this Farm Bill does not do that. The bill introduced by House Republicans proposes to cut … Continue Reading

April 10, 2018

SNAP Simplification Act Would Reduce Burdens on America’s Elderly and Disabled Community

Many of our nation’s seniors live on fixed incomes and struggle to afford everyday expenses.  Sadly, a large number of these individuals are also disabled.  There are several existing programs that support the most vulnerable among us, but the number of agencies, applications, reporting requirements and additional obstacles they must tackle to access these funds make it unnecessarily difficult for them to receive the benefits they desperately need and deserve.   I recently introduced … Continue Reading

February 27, 2018

Standing idle on gun violence is not an option

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, where 14 students and three teachers were massacred Feb. 14, is yet another reminder that we must rethink guns in our country right now. Since January, there have been eight school shootings. The Parkland community will never be the same. Those who lost a brother, sister, daughter or son will never be the same. No parent should lose a child this way. But with each heartbreaking tragedy, we seem to learn nothing and simply provide … Continue Reading

September 20, 2017


Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, and by the time it drifted through the region, it would break the record for rainfall of any other storm in the history of the continental United States. The devastation to the area is saddening; the cost to human life, infrastructure, and economic productivity is expected to exceed that of Sandy and Andrew. As cleanup efforts from Harvey are just getting underway, Florida is bracing for one of the most powerful storms ever documented in the … Continue Reading

June 28, 2017

Turning back the clock won’t lead to meaningful health care reform

The latest news coming out of the Senate about the health care debate is very troubling. Keeping negotiations behind closed doors and blocking news reporters from reporting on progress is unacceptable.   It was my hope that Senate Republicans would rectify the shortsighted version of health care their House colleagues sent over.   Instead a 13-member group, made up only of male Senate Republicans, has remained elusive about any actual plan for reforming our nation’s health … Continue Reading

March 21, 2017

ACA replacement simply unacceptable

The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is an exercise in smoke and mirrors. This proposal would give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while burdening hard working families with higher health care costs. The Republican plan allows for soaring new health care costs for our seniors and shortens the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, endangering seniors and disabled Americans who depend on Medicaid coverage. This is completely unacceptable for Floridians. The … Continue Reading

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