Moskowitz Says Separate Hawaii Relief from Ukraine Funding if Necessary

Moskowitz Says Separate Hawaii Relief from Ukraine Funding if Necessary

Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson
August 19, 2023

Florida Congressman Jared Moskowitz (D-Florida) appeared on Fox News this week in support of separating Federal funding for the disaster relief fund to aide Hawaii from funding for the war in Ukraine if necessary.

"The Biden administration has proposed funding to the same levels we've asked for along with other items as well including Ukraine," said Moskowitz. "I support the Biden package, but to be clear, if for some reason we can't pass that ...we should separate out the disaster relief fund aide. I've always believed that should be a bipartisan issue and it shouldn't be tied to other things if necessary. I don't want that to get held up amongst some of the politics of the other issues."

Moskowitz, who served as Florida's Director of Emergency Management under Governor Ron DeSantis, has been sounding the alarm on the need to replenish FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund which is set to be depleted this month.

“As the former Emergency Management Director for Florida, I’m especially concerned with the financial state of FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund," said Moskowitz. "We have to be proactive. We know this fund is going to run out. How can FEMA operate if we are always being reactionary?"

Moskowitz introduced the Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act, legislation that would ensure FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund does not run out of funding. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rick Scott (R-Florida), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate. According to Moskowitz, the fund, which is used to respond to major disasters around the country, is set to run out of money this month.

Biden's request, which is separate from Moskowitz's bill, ties $12 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief programs to some $24.1 billion in military spending for Ukraine.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) accused Biden of playing politics with critical disaster relief funds.

“President Biden is holding Floridians, and other Americans, hostage by tying critical domestic disaster relief to foreign military aid," said Rubio in a press release. "This is the type of cynical political manipulation I warned about earlier this year and it further undermines trust in the Biden Administration."

Moskowitz expressed frustration at his bipartisan bill being stalled in both chambers of Congress.

"I filed this bill already over a month ago as did the Senator," said Moskowitz. "Neither one of our bills are moving in either chamber. We should be funding FEMA. FEMA helps people in their time of need. It helps people in these disastrous situations which is going on in Hawaii right now. This is the worst fire event in over 100 years. I don't think we've seen anything like this in modern history. An entire town has been burnt to the ground."

Moskowitz says it is time to put party politics aside to help people in need.

"This is when government has to work," said Moskowitz. "This is when both parties have to come together to help people. I'm willing to separate this out if necessary but I'd like to see this done as swift as possible. FEMA has to have all the resources it needs to make sure the response and the recovery are not hindered."




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Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a videographer and investigative reporter based in Fort Lauderdale. Chris covers breaking news, and local and state politics, and focuses on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His work has been cited on Fox News and Epoch Times.

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