GOP Sen Marco Rubio confronted over past opposition to hurricane relief despite asking for new funds

Comes as Rubio asked for disaster relief for Florida.

Eric Garcia
Monday 03 October 2022 08:37 BST
Marco Rubio defends past opposition to hurricane relief

Republican Senator Marco Rubio defended his past votes against providing hurricane relief, as he has asked for federal money to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Ian in his home state of Florida.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Mr Rubio about a letter he sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for disaster relief for resources for Florida after Hurricane Ian, but noted how he had previously voted against disaster relief in 2012 for victims of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the northeast of the US.

Hurricane Ian made landfall this week and has already devastated parts of Florida and the East Coast of the United States. Mr Rubio defended his past actions and said that he has always voted for hurricane and disaster relief.

“What I didn’t vote for in Sandy, because they had included things like a roof for a museum in Washington DC, for fisheries in Alaska, it had been loaded up with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with disaster relief,” he said. “I wouldn't ever 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.”

In response, Ms Bash noted that the Sandy relief legislation included the repair for the roof of a museum because it had been damaged during the storm and it allocated money for fisheries in Alaska because of another disaster. In response, she asked if relief for Ian contained wasteful spending, that Mr Rubio would vote against it.

“I’ll fight against it having pork in it,” he said. “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.”

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