Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he will vote AGAINST Hurricane Ian relief funding for his state if the bill gives dollars to the legislature’s independent “pet projects.”
- Marco Rubio is Florida’s senior Senator and has been in office since 2011
- During his first term in 2013, he voted against a $50 billion aid package for states affected by Superstorm Sandy
- Rubio, who later voted for minor relief legislation for Sandy, said the original package was too loaded with “pork” — measures unrelated to the main bill
- When asked if he opposed a Florida relief bill from Hurricane Ian that attacked “pork,” Rubio replied, “Sure, I’ll fight it if there’s pork in it.”
- He and fellow Florida Senator Rick Scott have both asked for relief supplies
- Floridians are waiting for hours at the pump and thousands are still in shelters
Florida’s senior senator said Sunday he would vote against disaster relief funds for his state if bills included unrelated funds for state legislators’ “pet projects.”
Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to CNN just as Florida residents have begun to recover from the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Ian last week.
He has been forced to reconcile his current calls for aid with his 2013 vote against providing $50 billion in funding for the Northeast to help recover from Hurricane Sandy.
“I’ve always voted for hurricane and disaster relief,” Rubio told CNN State of the Union.
“What I didn’t vote for with Sandy is that they included things like a roof for a Washington, DC museum dedicated to the Alaskan fisheries. It was stuffed with things that had nothing to do with disaster relief.’
When asked if he would do the same in this case, Rubio said, “Sure.”
“I will fight against having pork in it,” he added.
“Pork” refers to measures and funding added to a bill that are unrelated to the intended issue.
“That’s the key. We shouldn’t have that in there because it undermines the ability to come back and do that in the future,” Rubio explained.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said he would vote against the hurricane relief aid if it included “pork,” which is a term for unrelated spending being added to the legislation
DANA BASH: You’re asking for Florida disaster relief funds, but you voted against a post-Sandy relief package
MARCO RUBIO: It included things like a roof for a museum in DC
BASH: I read the congressional research report and it sounds like the roof was damaged by the storm pic.twitter.com/iZ9zNcFexT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2022
“We can do it, it’s possible to do it, without burdening it with these other things, because otherwise you’re going to have people in the Senate, in the House of Representatives, who are going to vote against disaster relief because they see these disaster relief bills as opportunities.” for other people to do their pork and pet projects.’
At one point in the interview, host Bash objected to Rubio’s characterization of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. She pointed out that the roof of the Washington DC museum was damaged by the storm and that the Alaska funds were earmarked for another natural disaster that occurred around the same time.
However, Rubio conceded in a separate interview with ABC News’ This Week that any funding bill that comes down the pipeline needs relief for more than just Florida.
‘[I]In our case, we’re not going to ask for the other $5, we’re only going to ask for the one related to emergency relief,” he said, referring to not asking for unforeseen funds.
“I imagine South Carolina and North Carolina, other states in the Northeast will have the same thing. And there are other natural disasters that are occurring – we may need to include Puerto Rico in this motion that they need additional funding.’
An aerial photo taken by a drone shows the damaged roof of a residential home after Hurricane Ian in Daytona Beach, Florida
As of Sunday morning, Florida residents are still reporting hour-long gas station waits as the state begins recovery from Hurricane Ian
Rubio eventually voted on smaller relief bills after Hurricane Sandy and later on a package in 2017 that included relief funds for Florida after Hurricane Irma.
He also said Sunday that Florida will need more federal government help to recover and that some communities there “will never look the same again,” while others have been “wiped out.”
“More are needed. But as always, FEMA has been a great partner. The Biden administration has responded as it said, and so there are no complaints there. They’re professionals,’ Rubio said.
About 10,000 Sunshine State residents remain in shelters through Saturday, according to the Miami Herald.
Local residents have reported waiting in gas station lines for at least six hours throughout the weekend.
At least 67 people have died in Florida alone, reports CNN.
Almost a million homes and businesses were still without power as of Sunday morning, according to website PowerOutage.us.