Florida governor: Feds' rejection of emergency funds ‘unthinkable’

The Obama administration will not declare an emergency in Florida after last week’s mass shooting in Orlando, according to a new report.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday rejected a request from Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) seeking federal funds after the attack on a gay nightclub that killed 49 and left 53 more wounded, according to the Palm Beach Post.

ADVERTISEMENT

“A presidential emergency declaration under the Stafford Act applies when federal assistance is needed to supplement state and local efforts and capabilities,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate wrote in a letter to Scott.

“Because your request did not demonstrate how the emergency response associated with this situation is beyond the capability of the state and affected local governments or identify any direct federal assistance needed to save lives or protect property, an emergency declaration is not appropriate for this incident.” 

Scott slammed the Obama administration on Monday for rejecting his plea, which sought $5 million in federal funding.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the Obama administration denied our request for an emergency declaration,” he said in a statement. "Last week, a terrorist killed 49 people, and wounded many others, which was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

“It is unthinkable President Obama does not define this as an emergency. We are committing every state resource possible to help the victims and the community heal and we expect the same from the federal government.”

While the federal government has declined to declare a state of emergency, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it would make $1 million available for local and state law enforcement officials responding to the fallout of the shooting more than a week ago.

The money can be used to pay for overtime costs and other expenses that may arise during the course of the extended investigation into the shooting, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said while announcing the funding.

“We will move quickly to make this award as soon as possible,” she said at a press conference following a meeting with officials in Orlando.

The Justice Department is also offering counseling and other resources available to police and other emergency responders, Lynch added.

The letter from Fugate, who previously had been Florida's emergency management director, said Scott requested an emergency declaration in Florida on June 13, the day after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 more were wounded when a gunman opened fire on June 12 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Shooter Omar Mateen, 29, allegedly praised the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria during the attack. He was killed in a battle with responding police.