After Devastation Caused by Ian, State Republicans Vote Against Florida Hurricane Aid

Image via screengrab

By Giselle Balido

October 3, 2022

Twenty-five GOP senators, including Rick Scott, refused to vote for the bill. Marco Rubio didn’t even cast a vote.

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” after Hurricane Ian tore through the state leaving a path of destruction and 83 people in Florida dead as of Monday morning, as well of thousands without homes and power.

“A robust and timely federal response, including through supplemental programs and funding, will be required to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to rebuild critical infrastructure and public services capacity, and to assist our fellow Floridians in rebuilding their lives,” read the letter.

RELATED: People Trapped, 2.5M without Power as Ian Drenches Florida

However, just one day earlier, both Republican senators refused to vote for the stopgap spending bill that the Senate passed on Thursday, and which includes about $18.8 billion in additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond to Hurricane Ian, as well as future catastrophes.

Rubio Didn’t Vote at All

Scott voted against it, and Rubio didn’t bother to vote at all. In fact, all 25 senators who refused to vote for the bill were Republicans, who also overwhelmingly voted against it in the House.

This prompted a swift response from Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz, who tweeted on Saturday: “The same week that #HurricaneIan brought so much chaos and destruction to Florida, not a single Florida Republican cared enough to vote in favor of Hurricane relief for the people in their own state hit hardest by the storm.”

Rubio said he opposed the bill because it included “a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief,” adding that he would not support an emergency relief bill for Hurricane Ian if it contained something not concerning only the impacted areas.

‘Callous Indifference’

This is not the first time that Rubio votes against such a bill. In 2013, like then Congress member Ron DeSantis, Rubio voted against the $50 billion relief bill meant to help states impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. His explanation: the bill had been “loaded up with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.”

RELATED: Ian Swept Through One of the Fastest Growing Areas in the US 

These things included a roof for a museum in Washington, DC, that had been damaged by the hurricane, and for fisheries in Alaska impacted by a separate disaster.

“That is a level of callous indifference and political opportunism that boggles the mind,” Diaz wrote. “Thankfully, [President Joe Biden] and Florida Democrats are doing the right thing when it counts, and we appreciate their efforts to help Florida rebuild once again.”


  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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