Washington, D.C.- Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott sent a joint letter to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The two senators are requesting action and answers regarding FEMA’s disaster relief fund (DRF).
FEMA’s DRF is nearing total exhaustion, which could leave states ravaged by natural disasters without federal financial assistance to respond to the disaster’s consequences.
Senators Rubio and Scott had previously introduced the Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act to provide $11.5 billion DRF re-funding.
Rubio explicitly blamed President Joe Biden for the decrease in available funds. According to Rubio, President Biden is harnessing fund scarcity as a means to coerce republicans in natural disaster-prone states to concede on separate political issues.
“Congress cannot allow the Biden Administration to use disaster funding as a bargaining chip, doing so puts countless vulnerable communities at risk. Our communities deserve better than this. It’s time for Congress to act and provide FEMA with the funding they need for disaster relief,” stated Sen. Rubio.
Senator Scott echoed similar sentiment. “Floridians demand action. Why would anyone delay disaster aid in the middle of hurricane season & as Hawaii burns? Stop playing political games,” said Scott.
Floridians demand action. Why would anyone delay disaster aid in the middle of hurricane season & as Hawaii burns? Stop playing political…
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 16, 2023
As hurricane season nears and DRF levels remain plightful, Rubio and Scott have opted to directly and publicly communicate with FEMA.
In their open letter, they require FEMA to reveal whether they have sufficient funds to cover multiple disasters during hurricane season and what fund requests will be prioritized given insufficient fund availability to meet all requests.
Currently, no action has been taken by top-ranking senators to facilitate a vote on The Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act.