DeSantis Awards Cities With $80 Million in Rebuild Florida Funds, Democrats Call him a 'Fraud'

DeSantis Awards Cities With $80 Million in Rebuild Florida Funds, Democrats Call him a 'Fraud'

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
January 29, 2022

FORT LAUDERDALE—Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that some $80 million was awarded to several South Florida cities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program.

No sooner than Gov. DeSantis handed out the checks at a press conference at Port Everglades, Agriculture Commissioner and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, along with other Florida Democrats, quickly called the governor “a fraud,” accusing him of using the recent Biden infrastructure funding and not the Rebuild Florida funds the governor’s office stated were used.

In response to former state official Ron Filipkowski, who accused Gov. DeSantis of “claiming credit for disbursement of funds from Biden’s Infrastructure Bill,” Commissioner Fried tweeted, “ Of course he is. Such a fraud.”

Several members of the Florida media corps also reported that Biden’s Infrastructure Bill funds were used, including Melissa Ross, who tweeted in response to DeSantis's initial announcement tweet of the awarded funds, “DeSantis opposed the infrastructure bill as did @marcorubio and @senrickscott.

State Senator Annette Taddeo (D), who is also running for governor this election cycle, also tweeted in response to DeSantis’s tweet, simply stating, “Thank you, Joe Biden.”

But just as some reporters and Democrat elected officials railed against DeSantis and accused him of being a “fraud” for allegedly using newly-allocated federal funds to award certain communities, the Miami Herald posted a story contradicting the accusations.

The Herald, who has in the past reported stories that have been deemed ant-DeSantis, and whose reporting has been ridiculed by Republican legislators as being biased against Republicans, has set the record straight, confirming that the funds came from the state's Rebuild Florida grant program.

“Miami scored another $40 million for flooding projects this morning from the state's Rebuild Florida grant program -- federal $ from Hurricane Irma/Michael aftermath,” tweeted Herald reporter Alex Harris. Harris's tweet was retweeted by the paper’s Tallahassee reporter Mary Ellen Klas.

Democrats will contend that the Rebuild Florida program was funded by recent federal funds, but monies appear to have already been in place prior to Biden being sworn into office.

In October 2018, The Floridian reported that the “Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has stepped up to help through Rebuild Florida, a $616 million recovery effort for Florida families whose homes were significantly damaged or destroyed.”

DEO had opened Rebuild Florida centers in communities across the state, where case managers are available to help homeowners register for the program. The state also launched mobile bus centers, which will take the program directly to those who need it most by spending 12 weeks traveling to counties and ZIP codes most impacted by Hurricane Irma.

On June 6, 2019, The Floridian also reported that former President Donald Trump had signed a $19 million disaster relief measure to help victims of Hurricanes Irma and Michael. The measure was up for a vote in the U.S., but Senate Democrats blocked the bill's passage.

After Hurricanes Maria and Irma struck in 2017, and then Hurricane Michael in 2018, Democratic lawmakers demanded the Trump Administration do more to help in the recovery and clean-up efforts, but when the opportunity presented itself to pass meaningful disaster relief, they hedged.

“Disaster funding should not be a partisan issue, yet for months, Congress has repeatedly played politics with much-needed aid at the expense of local communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and around the nation that is struggling to recover,” Rubio said at the time. “Tonight, the Senate had a chance to provide billions of dollars to these disaster-stricken communities, including $600 million to Puerto Rico. Tonight, my colleagues had the opportunity to choose action over the obstruction. Shamefully, Senate Democrats said no.”

Months after President Trump’s initial funding, Gov. DeSantis requested more relief.

Related Posts

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts