Rubio says he’ll vote against Hurricane Ian relief if bill is loaded with extra ‘pork’ spending
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday said he would support a federal relief bill to assist his state in recovering from Hurricane Ian only if it does not contain unrelated spending projects, which are commonly known as “pork.”
“Sure, I’ll fight against it having pork in it,” Rubio told CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Dana Bash when asked if he would vote against a bill that included extra spending that was not related to hurricane damages.
“That’s the key,” Rubio continued. “We shouldn’t have that in there, because it undermines the ability to come back and do this in the future.”
Rubio’s state last week faced massive damages from Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall near Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon. The storm has killed at least 47 Floridians.
President Biden approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) emergency and major disaster declarations for Florida as the storm progressed, freeing up federal resources to bolster the state’s response.
But Rubio and DeSantis have faced criticism from some after the two voted against a federal relief bill following Hurricane Sandy, which hit places such as New York and New Jersey in 2012 and killed more than 100 Americans.
Some Republicans who voted against the measure said at the time that it should be offset with other spending cuts.
Rubio on Sunday said he has voted for hurricane relief without pay-fors before.
But the Florida Republican referenced projects in the Hurricane Sandy bill that he claimed were unrelated to hurricane damages. Bash during the interview pushed back on the validity of some of Rubio’s examples.
“Unfortunately, they loaded it up — they really did — with a bunch of things that had nothing to do with Sandy,” Rubio said on CNN. “But I voted for every disaster relief package, especially that’s clean, and I’ll continue to do so when it comes to Florida.”
Rubio expressed worry that adding unrelated projects would make it more difficult for lawmakers to pass disaster relief in the future.
“We are capable in this country in the Congress of voting for disaster relief after key events like this without using it as a vehicle or a mechanism for people to load it up with stuff that’s unrelated to the storm,” Rubio said on Sunday.