Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said Sunday he would vote against any potential congressional disaster aid for Hurricane Ian victims if lawmakers “loaded him with things unrelated to the storm.”
“Of course. I will fight against having pork in it. That’s key,” the senator told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union’ when asked. asked if he would vote against any potential relief package that also contains money for other things. “We shouldn’t have that in there because it undermines the ability to come back and do that in the future. ”
“I think disaster relief is something we shouldn’t play with. We are able in this country, in Congress, to vote disaster relief for the key – after key events like this without using it as a vehicle or a mechanism for people to load it with things unrelated to the storm.
Rubio had previously come under fire for voting against federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Sandy victims because he said the aid was not closely tailored to the storm alone. The senator then voted in favor of a piecemeal relief package for Sandy’s victims.
“He had been tasked with a bunch of stuff that had nothing to do with disaster relief,” he told Bash on Sunday, referring to a Hurricane Sandy relief program. against which he voted. “I would never say we should use a disaster relief program for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things that people want across the country.”
On Friday, Rubio and fellow Florida Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for their “support in developing a disaster supplement to provide much-needed relief to Florida.”
“A strong and timely federal response, including through additional programs and funding, will be needed to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to rebuild critical infrastructure and public service capacity, and to help our fellow Floridians rebuild their lives,” the Republican lawmakers wrote. .
Hurricane Ian – expected to be ranked as the most expensive storm in Florida history – made landfall on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 and weakened to a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday, dropping rain over parts of West Virginia and western Maryland.
At least 67 people have been killed by Ian in Florida as it swallows homes in its turbulent waters, clears roads and destroys power lines. Four people were also killed in storm-related incidents in North Carolina, officials said.