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Gus Bilirakis

Six advocates, from the executive director of the state's veterans agency to a formerly homeless veteran, met with two lawmakers in New Port Richey this week
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Lawmakers and advocates for more than a decade have done battle with the homeless crisis among military veterans.

Their number in the Tampa Bay region has been cut by 72 percent and in half statewide, but a U.S. House subcommittee meeting in New Port Richey Monday heard that more work needs to be done.

Flooding
U.S. Coast Guard photo

By Steve Newborn

Two members of Congress have joined a new coalition of  political, business and local leaders looking into combatting flooding from rising seas.  The pair - one a Republican, the other a Democrat - highlights the group's non-partisan outlook.

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The south side of St. Petersburg - best known among locals as "Midtown" -- is a predominantly African-American area with a high rate of poverty.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis got another earful Saturday during the second of his “listening sessions,” hearing from advocates on both sides of the Obamacare issue.

Quincy Walters/WUSF

Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis held a town hall Saturday, to hear ideas about replacing the Affordable Care Act. 

But he was met with opposition as about every one of the 200 people gathered at The Centre of Palm Harbor were in support of Obamacare. Many came to voice their concerns with the law's potential repeal. 

Courtesy of the American Dental Association

A one-day, free dental clinic for military veterans will open its doors Friday to provide urgent care from root canals to tooth fillings. And there are no empty chairs.

That’s because the second annual “Stars, Stripes and Smiles” event, organized by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and the West Pasco Dental Association, has already filled its allotted 75 slots. But veterans’ names are still being taken for a waiting list.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act rallied hundreds of conservatives at a Tampa hotel Wednesday night with a call for the Republican House to strip funds for the law out of next year's budget.

The budget vote is scheduled for right after Labor Day, in time for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

"Can we defund Obamacare? Yes, we can!" declared Mike Needham, CEO of the host group Heritage Action for America. The crowd applauded heartily at his use of President Barack Obama's campaign slogan.