South Florida's Ted Deutch starts to take place on national stage


(Sun Sentinel) Congressman Ted Deutch started the year as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, denouncing the new president’s ban on travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries as unconstitutional and un-American. He’s ending the year in a critical position, as the top Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, where he will judge colleagues accused of sexual misconduct.

In between, his work has raised his national profile — one that’s certain to increase if the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives in 2018. As long as Deutch can continue to successfully navigate a volatile political landscape, Democratic supporters — and even some Republicans — see him emerging as his party’s most prominent congressman from the region and, ultimately, as an influential leader in Congress.

This year, the South Florida representative has:

-- Pushed a range of local issues, such as working for federal reimbursement for local government expenses incurred when Trump spends weekends at his resort properties, including Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach; pushing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expand its assistance to South Florida while Hurricane Irma’s tropical storm force winds were still battering the region; and maintaining pressure on Iran to free Robert Levinson, the Coral Springs resident who went missing off the coast of Iran a decade ago.