Florida’s Republican senators have asked for federal funding to assist with relief after Hurricane Ian ripped through the state ― despite neither lawmaker voting on Thursday for billions in disaster relief, a few of which might go toward hurricane recovery efforts.
On Friday, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott sent a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee chairs asking for funding to “provide much needed assistance to Florida.” The letter was first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat.
“Hurricane Ian will likely be remembered and studied as probably the most devastating hurricanes to hit the USA. Communities across Florida have been completely destroyed, and lives have been without end modified,” the senators wrote.
“A strong and timely federal response, including through supplemental programs and funding, will likely be required to be sure that sufficient resources are provided to rebuild critical infrastructure and public services capability, and to help our fellow Floridians in rebuilding their lives.”
But just in the future earlier, Scott and Rubio refused to vote for such additional funding. The stopgap spending bill that the Senate passed on Thursday includes about $18.8 billion in additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to answer Hurricane Ian and future disasters.
All 25 senators who refused to vote for the bill were Republicans. Scott voted against it, and Rubio didn’t vote in any respect. The House also passed the bill, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting against it.
The identical week that #HurricaneIan brought a lot chaos and destruction to Florida, not a single Florida Republican cared enough to vote in favor of Hurricane relief for the people in their very own state hit hardest by the storm.
— Manny Diaz (@Manny_A_Diaz) October 1, 2022
“The identical week that #HurricaneIan brought a lot chaos and destruction to Florida, not a single Florida Republican cared enough to vote in favor of Hurricane relief for the people in their very own state hit hardest by the storm,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz tweeted on Saturday.
“That could be a level of callous indifference and political opportunism that boggles the mind. Thankfully, [President Joe Biden] and Florida Democrats are doing the fitting thing when it counts, and we appreciate their efforts to assist Florida rebuild once more.”
In 2013, Rubio voted against the $50 billion relief bill meant to assist states impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which left a trail of harm on the East Coast and lots of dead. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who was a congressman on the time, also voted against multiple bills that will have provided aid to victims of Sandy.
When asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday why other senators should support disaster relief for his state when he voted against Sandy relief, Rubio justified his decision by saying the bill “had been loaded up with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”
DANA BASH: You are asking for disaster relief money for Florida, but you voted against a relief package after Sandy
MARCO RUBIO: It included stuff like a roof for a museum in DC
BASH: I read the congressional research report and it appears like the roof was damaged by the storm pic.twitter.com/iZ9zNcFexT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2022
“What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because that they had included things like a roof for a museum in Washington, D.C., for fisheries in Alaska,” the senator said. Bash reminded Rubio that based on the congressional research report for the bill, the roof requested for the museum was damaged by the hurricane, and the Alaskan fisheries were impacted by a separate disaster.
Rubio added that he wouldn’t support an emergency relief bill for Hurricane Ian if it contained something not in regards to the directly impacted areas.
Ian was one in every of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall within the U.S., hitting Florida the toughest last week before climbing as much as the Carolinas. The Category 4 hurricane has resulted in a rising death toll ― escalating to at the very least 47 as of Sunday morning. A whole bunch of hundreds are without homes and power, and the destroyed infrastructure has left many individuals isolated.