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Columbia County Observer

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US Senator Bill NelsonU.S. Senator Bill Nelson - Update
September 15, 2011

Fighting Tax Fraud and Identity Theft  

One week after a police taskforce in Tampa announced it had made 49 arrests and uncovered as much as $130 million in fraudulent tax refunds as part of a local crackdown on identity thieves, Senator Nelson introduced the Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act (S.1254). The measure would:

•  Provide stiffer penalties for criminals who try to defraud taxpayers out of their tax refund by way of stolen identities
•  Direct the IRS to establish a program to improve tax fraud detection and protect identity theft victims
•  Secure the active Social Security numbers of recently deceased taxpayers
•  Improve the coordination between the IRS and local law enforcement authorities
•  Commission a report to examine the role of prepaid debt cards and commercial tax software in facilitating fraudulent tax refunds;
•  Permanently extend the information sharing authority between the IRS and prison authorities to help crack down on inmates filing false and fraudulent tax returns with stolen identities. September 13, 2011

Montford Point Marines 

For more information
Lynn Bannister: Director of Outreach
111 North Adams St
Tallahassee, FL  32301
850-942-8415 / 850-942-8450 (fax)
billnelson.senate.gov

Senator Nelson cosponsored legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corp.

These first black recruits were trained at Camp Montford Point in North Carolina and played important roles in decisive WWII battles, including Iwo Jima and D-Day. The Montford Point Marines were never given national recognition for their contribution to ending legal segregation in the Marine Corps, nor for their service to the nation during WWII.

Cosponsor of Hispanic Heritage Month Resolution

Senator Nelson is an original cosponsor of a Senate resolution celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

 The resolution denotes September 15 through October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month to celebrate the heritage and culture of Latinos in the United States and to esteem the integral role of Latinos and the manifold heritage of Latinos in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 22.5% of Florida’s population was of Hispanic or Latino origin in 2010 and 22.4% of the total number of firms in Florida in 2007 were Hispanic owned.

NASA Heavy-Lift Funds at Kennedy Space Center

On August 26th Senators Nelson and Rubio sent a letter to President Obama clarifying an issue over NASA heavy-lift funds being spent for Kennedy Space Center ground systems that had been characterized by several other Senators as being  misallocated.

Senator Nelson sought to specify the intent of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and to highlight the need for a launch complex to be capable of processing and launching the new large rocket. The letter also urged the Administration to move forward with announcing the design plans for the launch vehicle and begin implementation.

Support for Agricultural Research

Senator Nelson joined a bipartisan group of Senators in expressing support for agricultural research by sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Agricultural Research Service Stations located throughout Florida provide high quality, independent research on agricultural commodities, a significant industry in Florida and the nation. It is important to adequately fund this research to foster economic growth and provide food security.

Natural Hazards Event

With September being National Preparedness Month, Senator Nelson co- hosted an event for the National Science Foundation (NSF) that highlighted their research efforts into natural hazards. Researchers from around the United States exhibited their work, which included state of theart modeling of oil spills and space weather, understanding of hurricane evacuation communications and motivations, and numerous other projects that delved into the science behind hazards. The event also featured NSF projects being led by researchers from the University of Miami.

Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

Senator Nelson wrote to Secretary of State Clinton regarding the health deterioration of Venezuelan political prisoners. He asked the Secretary to bring greater attention to human rights abuses in Venezuela.

According to published reports, many political prisoners are suffering from acute medical problems and require immediate attention. Senator Nelson urged Secretary Clinton to press the Chavez regime to provide medical care.

Supreme Court ruling on the Status of Jerusalem

Senator Nelson joined 28 other Senators in a bipartisan amicus brief to the Supreme Court regarding the case of Zivotofsky v. Clinton, which will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall. The amicus brief seeks to require the Secretary of State to carry out duly enacted legislation, which stipulates that American citizens born in Jerusalem can have “Israel” listed as their country of birth, instead of “Jerusalem.”

 Pending Adoption Cases from Vietnam

Senator Nelson wrote the State Department on behalf of three Florida families regarding pending adoption cases with the Government of Vietnam. The letter urges the State Department to advocate for these cases so that they can be processed as soon as possible.

Original date: September 13, 2011 ed.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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