Sen. Rick Scott Slams Dems for Tying Disaster Relief to More Ukraine Aid

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., referred to as out Senate Democrats for persevering with to dam federal support to American catastrophe victims by tying any such funds to $44 billion in proposed support to Ukraine.

“Your federal authorities should do its job. A part of its job is to assist its residents in a time of want,” Scott advised The Each day Sign in an interview Thursday. “I’m dissatisfied by an administration that hasn’t stepped as much as assist, that wishes to attempt to connect assist for People to Ukraine support.”

Within the wake of Hurricane Idalia, Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., launched laws Wednesday referred to as the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act in an effort to separate the proposed $16.5 billion in aid to the communities hit by pure disasters in states corresponding to Hawaii, Florida, California, Illinois, and Ohio from the proposed $44 billion in further support to Ukraine.

Ukraine has defended itself since Russia invaded Feb. 24, 2022.

When requested if President Joe Biden and Democrats would contemplate the Ukrainian support and U.S. catastrophe aid in two separate payments on Wednesday, White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded that the Biden administration isn’t “going to get into hypotheticals right here about decoupling something right now.” Jean-Pierre then claimed that each support packages have been “very important, vital authorities applications that have to be funded.”

Biden and Senate Democrats are nonetheless blocking the Scott-Rubio measure, persevering with to tie federal support to People with international support and different “unrelated spending.” 

The Federal Catastrophe Accountability Act wouldn’t get rid of further support to Ukraine, however would separate the 2 funding packages into two distinct payments—giving Congress the chance to think about the advantages and particulars of every.

Scott advised The Each day Sign that requiring the 2 support packages to be voted on individually would permit Congress to direct monetary help to People with out holding it up throughout one other debate over how America ought to proceed to assist Ukraine.

“I believe we should be specializing in American support first, earlier than we discuss support to a international nation, and that’s primary,” Scott mentioned. “It’s an extended dialog to determine precisely what we do with Ukraine and the way. However proper now I believe we’re going to get this finished.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-In poor health., reaffirmed her dedication to blocking Scott’s invoice to separate federal support to American catastrophe victims from the administration’s proposal to nearly quadruple monetary support to Ukraine.

Duckworth told reporters: “I might [block Scott’s bill]. I believe it’s vital to incorporate Ukrainian funding.”

Scott advised The Each day Sign that Duckworth’s tactic of tying funding proposals collectively is typical of Democrats.

“They’ll put one good factor within the invoice with plenty of issues that don’t make any sense for the American public. Then once you vote towards it, they declare ‘you don’t care about this one good factor!’ Sure, I do. Let’s do a separate vote only for the ‘good factor,’” Scott mentioned, including:

We’ve received to cease making an attempt to pressure folks to vote for issues as a result of there’s one good factor within the invoice with different stuff, they usually don’t need to get criticized for not voting for the one good factor.

Whereas on the bottom in Maui, Hawaii, protecting the aftermath of the wildfires that swept the western portion of the island, I used to be struck by the variety of catastrophe victims who mentioned they felt “on their very own,” and “deserted” by the federal authorities.

Similar sentiments usually are expressed in states corresponding to Illinois and Ohio, the place residents consider that as a part of “flyover nation,” federal catastrophe response is extra targeted on greater states corresponding to Florida, California, and Texas.

Scott advised The Each day Sign that it’s important for the federal authorities to help all of its residents, as a result of that’s it’s major job:

Everyone within the nation pays their taxes, and so we should signify the entire nation. The federal authorities does have a job in aiding after native disasters, so we should be sure that that is true for the complete nation—not for just some massive states—however for the complete nation.

I’m going to work onerous, and I’m going to attempt to do it on a bipartisan foundation, to get this invoice handed to ensure we assist folks in Hawaii and California and Ohio and Illinois and Missouri and Florida—each place that’s impacted by a pure catastrophe.

Since Scott and Rubio launched the Federal Catastrophe Accountability Act, the laws has been endorsed by Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and shopper providers, Wilton Simpson, who cited the importance of federal aid not simply to those that misplaced their houses, however to agriculture and different industries crippled by the current disasters.

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has not but responded to Scott’s name for the Senate to vote on the invoice.