Rep. Matt Gaetz addresses impact of Three Mile Bridge closure
NICEVILLE, Fla. (WEAR-TV) — Rep. Matt Gaetz hosted his 'Open Gaetz Day' in Niceville on Monday discussing a range of issues, from COVID-19 to the crisis at the border.
The economy was the biggest focus and what some argue, are negative impacts from the recent stimulus package.
"We can't find people to work, an extreme shortage of labor which is hurting business," said Jay Gosh.
"Small businesses, big businesses alike are struggling as a consequence of federal policy that just prints money and sends it to people in the absence of earned income and work," said Gaetz.
Channel 3 asked Gaetz about how the federal government can help ensure the Three Mile Bridge reopens as soon as possible.
He says on Friday he asked Gov. Ron DeSantis to disqualify Skanska from any future state contracts to apply pressure.
"We've got to get Skanska's attention so that they fulfill their commitment and I think the fastest way to do that is to make it clear that the only way that they'll be able to do business in the state of Florida going forward is if they accelerate these repairs and get us back connected," Gaetz said.
Those efforts were not enough for a couple dozen of protestors at the townhall. They believe Gaetz is not doing enough for Northwest Florida.
"He's had no legislation, he has ethics violations and he is in the top 25% of absentee legislators. So he's not really spending his time working for us," said protestor Tracey Tapp.
Hundreds of Gaetz's supporters at the townhall disagree.
"He's a good fighter, he fights for us," said Margaret Jusis.
"I can't speak enough of what Matt's done for this area, for the military and his message for the conservatives of this area," added Gosh.
When asked about the protesters' concerns, Gaetz says the voters speak for themselves.
"I've stood for election five times. I've been elected with overwhelming majorities every time," said Gaetz. "I think the folks are pretty pleased with the service I get done for them."