Pope Francis, in an address to a joint meeting of Congress, encouraged lawmakers to work together to solve the problems of ordinary Americans and to show compassion for people across the globe who are suffering from war and hunger.

Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

On Monday, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Small Business held a congressional hearing in Homestead.

The subject of the hearing was a proposed bill that would allow state fishery managers to block fishing bans in state waters within national parks. 

The bill’s relevance to South Florida is that it would shut down an attempt to create a marine reserve zone blocking commercial and recreational fishing in a portion of Biscayne National Park. 

Jeff Flake

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently brought a handful of Democrats with her to Cuba – a trip she calls a sign of “friendship” between the U.S. and the island nation that remains under a congressionally mandated embargo.

Miami-Dade school board member Carlos Curbelo surfed a national Republican wave to victory over Democrat Joe Garcia in Florida's 26th congressional district.

The state’s southernmost district includes both suburban Kendall and eclectic Key West.

Garcia won the seat two years ago, but Curbelo has returned it to Republican control.

Curbelo says voters are frustrated and disillusioned with government.

How Effective Are Florida Lawmakers?

Nov 3, 2014
Matt Laslo

This Congress is the least active in the nation’s history. In the past two years, the body has passed only 181 bills that were signed into law by the president. Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, doesn’t rate it very highly.

“This is an embarrassing and miserable Congress, really one of the worst I've ever seen,” he says.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The contest for Florida’s 26th congressional district is close, and the race is getting national attention. But when Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Garcia debated Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo Monday, it was a small town affair. 

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Miami-Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo disagree on a lot of issues. And they fundamentally disagree on whether the public should invest in government – or cut it back. But their sharpest words at Monday’s debate were over character.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

House GOP/flickr

Florida has some of the richest – and poorest – members of Congress, according to a review by the political website CQ Roll Call.

C.M. Guerrero / el Nuevo Herald

Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo got a big endorsement for his run for Congress on Monday: former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Dressed in a white shirt and tie over jeans and shiny loafers, Romney says Curbelo is what the founding fathers had in mind: a man of his community with a deep understanding of how the economy creates jobs.

  He was there just to endorse Curbelo and not to talk about whether or not he’ll run for president again.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) spent the whole year trying to convince fellow House Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform.  

By going to many Republicans one by one, Diaz-Balart says he had solidified the votes to pass immigration reform for the first time since Ronald Regan was president.

He had found a simple solution that gained GOP support: Apply current paths to citizenship to every immigrant already in the country – but putting those who entered illegally at the back of the line instead of the front.