Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who is running for Senate to oust Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), attacked the Florida Republican for not backing a stop-gap spending bill that has little disaster relief.
“Rick Scott is blocking a bill that would fund not just FEMA, but additional funding to firefighters and military, and humanitarian relief to Ukraine — but he wants you to believe Democrats are the problem,” the Florida Democrat wrote on Tuesday. “Rick Scott is one standing in the way of disaster relief, no one else.”
Mucarsel-Powell has continued to push the Biden-backed Senate stop-gap spending bill that only has $6 billion in disaster relief and other Democrat priorities such as $6 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine.
While Mucarsel-Powell has claimed that Scott is the only one in the way of aid, Senate Democrats have blocked Scott’s move to fully replenish the FEMA disaster relief fund.
Scott has long sought to replenish the disaster relief aid fund after the Sunshine State has been battered by Hurricane Idalia.
Scott and Sen. Rubio (R-FL) have long chastised Senate Democrats for holding disaster relief “hostage” while they use it as leverage to get more aid for Ukraine.
Last week, Scott requested unanimous consent to schedule a vote on his bill, the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act, to fully fund the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) blocked Scott’s request.FE
Communities in every state are dependent on disaster aid from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, which is now nearly exhausted and will have just $550 million available at the end of this month. When I spoke to President Biden earlier this month, I told him this is UNACCEPTABLE and especially devastating for families and farmers in Florida, California, Illinois, Vermont and Hawaii who are fighting tooth and nail right now to recover from major disasters. In Florida, our growers and ranchers have been waiting for nearly a year since Ian devastated so many of them and this delay is Senate Democrats kicking them while they’re down. This shouldn’t be a political issue, but Democrats are treating it that way to try and force disaster aid to be part of their massive spending package.
Scott’s legislation, according to a press release, would:
- Fully fund the immediate needs of FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund with at least $16.5 billion to ensure the federal government can uphold its obligation to quickly deploy emergency funding and resources to communities and Americans impacted by natural disasters. This exceeds what the Biden administration has said is needed to respond to recent disasters, including those in Florida and Hawaii.
- Ensure final passage of the bipartisan Block Grant Assistance Act, which provides needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue block grants to Florida’s citrus growers, Georgia’s peach growers, and all U.S. agriculture producers devastated by natural disasters in 2022.
- Committing necessary funds and resources to Florida’s military installations to fully rebuild and recover from hurricane damage and to the Army Corps of Engineers to complete beach renourishment projects.
Scott said during his speech asking for unanimous consent last week, “It is beyond shameful for Senate Democrats to hold disaster aid hostage, and I won’t stop fighting to get this bill passed and relief to our families and growers working hard to get back on their feet.”
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.