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DeSantis, Once a ‘No’ on Hurricane Aid, Petitions Biden for Assistance


Greater than that, Mr. Jolly said, a governor who self-identifies as unswerving in his principles now finds himself with little alternative but to push for storm relief actions “antithetical to his professed ideology.”

“He held those convictions strong within the House,” said Mr. Jolly, who has been sharply critical of the party within the Trump years. “I doubt he’ll hold them as strongly within the governor’s mansion.”

In 2013, Mr. DeSantis and Representative Ted Yoho, one other hard-line conservative, were the one House members from Florida to oppose the Sandy package. For Mr. DeSantis, who represented a coastal district in eastern Florida, the vote directly established him as an eager combatant from the party’s ascendant right wing — he was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus — while at times placing him on the defensive back home.

In an area interview that yr, Mr. DeSantis said the bill contained “extraneous stuff” that might not be classified as emergency spending. “I never made the purpose of claiming we shouldn’t do anything,” he said, adding that he could have supported a leaner package focused on immediate relief. Asked then if he would vote against a relief package that affected his own district, Mr. DeSantis was noncommittal, suggesting he would support a responsible plan.

Through the years, critics in each parties have accused Mr. DeSantis of applying this standard selectively. In 2017, as he was poised to run for governor, Mr. DeSantis supported an aid package after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as places like Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico strained to get well.

His 2018 primary opponent, Adam Putnam, made a difficulty of Mr. DeSantis’s voting record in the course of the campaign. Storm-weary voters, a Putnam spokeswoman warned then, should protect themselves against “further destruction by the hands of Hurricane Ron.” Mr. DeSantis’s congressional office denied any inconsistency on the time, rejecting a comparison between the 2 disaster packages and saying he had supported emergency spending “when immediate and vital.”

Asked concerning the governor’s past positions on Thursday, a DeSantis spokesman said the administration was “completely focused on hurricane response.” “Because the governor said earlier,” the spokesman, Jeremy T. Redfern, said, “we now have no time for politics or pettiness.”

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