Today,Â South Florida Congressional Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz makes an unusual stop on her way back to Washington -Â to her own state capital to square off against the state’s Republican governor.
“I haven’t been back in Tallahassee since before I was elected to Congress. But I think this is so unbelievably important,” Wasserman Schultz says.
According to Wasserman Schultz, Florida’s Republican governor has put forth a budget that eliminates more than half the cyber-crime investigators who go after child pornornography producers and online predators, slashes funding and moves the program out of the state attorney general’s office.
“There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of predators who are lurking online using children in sexual acts to bring pleasure to themselves and others,” she explains.
“We do have to make cuts. We have to make smart cuts,” Wasserman Schultz says. “We don’t have to treat children like they’re expendable and we don’t have to put children’s lives at risk, which is exactly what’s going to happen here if this cut is allowed to stand.”
It’s unusual for a member of Congress to directly challenge a sitting govenor – so why now?Â Wasserman Schultz championed a 2008 federal law to coordinate the efforts of state programs. And this year in the House, she got an amendment to the GOP’s stripped-down budget for at least $30 million in funding for Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
“But that doesn’t preserve the investigators in Florida,” Wasserman Scultz says. Â If Gov. Scott’s plan succeeds, Florida risks not being able to use those those valuable resources coming down from the federal level.