38 Facts About Bill Nelson

1. In January 2018, Bill Nelson voted to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the National Security Agency to extend a program of warrantless spying on internet and phone networks.

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2. In 2007, Bill Nelson was the only Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee to vote against an amendment to withhold funds for the use by the CIA of enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects.

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3. Bill Nelson opposed and filibustered the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

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4. Bill Nelson was criticized for sending campaign fundraising emails in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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5. In July 2017, Bill Nelson introduced legislation to cut interest rates on student loans to 4 percent.

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6. Bill Nelson spread misinformation via Twitter after the Parkland shooting, falsely claiming that shooter Nikolas Cruz wore a gas mask and tossed smoke grenades as he shot people.

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7. In 2006, Bill Nelson met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus at the recommendation of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to try to improve US-Syria relations and help stabilize Iraq.

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8. Bill Nelson opposed a 2009 spending bill until his concerns about certain provisions in the bill related to Cuba were assuaged by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who assured him that those provisions "would not amount to a major reversal of the decades-old US policy of isolating the communist-run island.

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9. Bill Nelson voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 authorizing military action against Iraq.

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10. Bill Nelson wrote, "The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.

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11. On December 18, 2010, Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, which established a legal process for ending the policy that prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.

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12. In 2017 and 2018, Bill Nelson sought to prevent Jim Bridenstine, President Trump's nominee to head NASA, from being confirmed in the Senate.

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13. In January 2017, Bill Nelson wrote President Trump a letter protesting his immigration order.

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14. In March 2010, Bill Nelson voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which passed and were signed into law by President Obama.

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15. In 2010, PolitiFact found that Bill Nelson had flip-flopped on the issue of earmarks, pushing for a moratorium on the practice after saying that "earmarks were an important part of creating jobs and growing Florida's economy.

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16. Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Biggert–Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which required the National Flood Insurance Program to raise insurance rates for some properties at high risk of flooding to better reflect true flood risk costs and keep the program solvent.

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17. Bill Nelson voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, often referred to as economic stimulus, proposed by President Obama.

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18. In 2013 Bill Nelson advocated tax reform, which he defined as "getting rid of special interest tax breaks and corporate subsidies.

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19. Bill Nelson said, "In short, tax fairness for deficit reduction just makes common sense.

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20. Bill Nelson voted against a Republican plan to extend the Bush tax cuts to all taxpayers.

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21. Bill Nelson scored a 9 out of 100 on the 2016 FreedomWorks ratings.

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22. Bill Nelson scored a 28.4 lifetime rating on the American Conservative Union's scale of 0 to 100, but a 0 out of 100 in its 2015 ratings.

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23. Bill Nelson has styled himself as a centrist during his various campaigns.

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24. Bill Nelson faced Republican challenger, incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott, in the general election on November 6, 2018.

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25. Bill Nelson obtained the endorsement of all 22 of Florida's daily newspapers.

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26. Bill Nelson focused on safe issues, portraying himself as a bipartisan centrist problem-solver.

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27. Bill Nelson was a Democrat in a state that Bush had won, though by a margin of only five percentage points.

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28. Bill Nelson chose January 3, 2001, as the effective date of his resignation, as that was the date on which new Senators would be sworn in.

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29. In 1994, Bill Nelson announced his intention to seek the office of Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal of Florida.

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30. In 1980, Bill Nelson was reelected to that district, which encompassed all of Brevard and part of Orange County.

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31. In 1972, Bill Nelson was elected to the Florida House of Representatives as the member from the 47th district, representing much of Brevard County and portions of Orange County and Seminole County.

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32. In 1988, Bill Nelson published a book about his space flight experience entitled Mission: An American Congressman's Voyage to Space.

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33. In 1986, Bill Nelson became the second sitting member of Congress to travel into space.

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34. Bill Nelson was admitted to the Florida bar in 1968, and began practicing law in Melbourne in 1970.

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35. Bill Nelson transferred to Yale University, where he was a member of the Book and Snake secret society.

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36. Bill Nelson was born on September 29, 1942, in Miami, Florida, the only child of Nannie Merle and Clarence William Nelson.

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37. Bill Nelson supports same-sex marriage, lowering taxes on lower and middle income families, expanding environmental programs and regulation, protecting the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid.

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38. Bill Nelson retired from Congress in 1990 to run for Governor of Florida, but was unsuccessful.

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