Florida U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio plans to begin the new year with proposals to strengthen the middle class with education opportunities, jobs that will be worth their new degrees and solvent Social Security and Medicare systems to await their retirement.
NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks
Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached
Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.
Time's nearly up for South Florida Republican Congressman David Rivera who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Joe Garcia in November.
It's a stall in a remarkable political career that always kept Rivera one or two adroit steps ahead of political and personal disaster.
Still, his last round of problems -- now under investigation by the FBI and the IRS -- may lead to criminal charges with possibly uncomfortable ramifications for Rivera's close friend, U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
In an election year and a redistricting year, you might have expected this. The biggest stories of 2012 ended up being an election and redistricting.
A third ongoing story also pervaded the year's news: The economy continued its long, slow rise from the ashes of the recession, and by year's end the rebound – while facing the possible stomach-punch of a fiscal cliff setback – appeared to be solid.
Tumbling off the fiscal cliff will immediately cut the economic lifeline for 119,000 Floridians who depend on extended unemployment compensation now funded by the federal government.
It would also mean an immediate increase in the payroll taxes paid by every American wage-earner. But the long-term unemployed will be especially vulnerable if Congress and White House negotiators are unable to reach an agreement to head off automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts by Monday.
In 2012, Florida remained the state that can't vote straight.
President Barack Obama sent Florida's GOP leaders in to shock by winning the state in November, and some Democrats followed his coattails to make the state slightly bluer. But while licking their wounds, Republicans remain in firm control of Florida's agenda.