Hurricane Ian proved to be a deadly storm claiming more than 80 lives in the state of Florida, and leaving a trail of devastation that will cost untold billions.
But the corporate media was not above playing politics here. Florida’s popular Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been the key target, but so too was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is locked in a reelection battle with one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Trump impeachment henchpersons, U.S. Rep. Val Demings.
Rubio is being taken to task for essentially being consistent while daring to ask for federal disaster relief in response to a devastating hurricane. Appearing on CNN, the senator was asked about voting against a relief package in 2013 following Hurricane Sandy, which did widespread damage in the Northeast.
“After Hurricane Sandy hit Northeastern states in 2012, you voted no on a $50 billion relief package. I know you supported a smaller version, but why should other senators vote for relief for your state when you didn’t vote for a package to help theirs?” CNN anchor Dana Bash asked.
DANA BASH: You're 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 sounds like the roof was damaged by the storm pic.twitter.com/iZ9zNcFexT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2022
“I have always voted for hurricane and disaster relief. I have even voted for it without pay-fors,” Rubio replied. “What I didn’t vote for in Sandy is because they had included things like a roof for museum in Washington, D.C., for fisheries in Alaska. It had been loaded up with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief”
“And I wouldn’t support disaster relief efforts — I would never put out there that we should go use a disaster relief package for Florida as a way to pay for all kinds of other things people want around the country,” he added. “So I think that’s the key in moments like this. And, in Sandy, unfortunately, they loaded it up, they really did, with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy.”
Rubio stressed that he would do the same thing this time, which is to push for a clean disaster relief package.
“When it comes to Florida, I will do that again. And we will make sure that that package is clean and doesn’t have stuff for other people on there,” he said.
Bash was quick to note that the museum roof the Republican referenced was damaged because of Sandy, according to a Congressional Research Service report, before asking: “Are you telling me that if Hurricane Ian relief contains anything that smells like pork, you will vote no?”
“Sure,” Rubio said, unequivocally. “I will fight against it having pork in it. That’s the key. We shouldn’t have that in there, because it undermines the ability to come back and do this in the future.”
“I think disaster relief is something we shouldn’t play with,” he went on to say. “We are capable in this country, in the Congress, of voting for disaster relief for key – after key events like this without using it as a vehicle or a mechanism for people to load it up with stuff that’s unrelated to the storm.”
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