For Republicans, hypocrisy is fundamental—and Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio prove it on a daily basis. After Hurricane Ian wrought havoc and destruction across the state this week, Scott voted against legislation to help it recover. At the same time, his Bible-quoting GOP colleague in the Senate didn’t even bother to show up for the vote.
On Friday, Scott and Rubio sent a letter to the Senate’s Appropriations Committee chairs, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), seeking financial support to —in their words—”provide much-needed assistance in Florida.”
“Hurricane Ian will be remembered and studied as one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States. Communities across Florida have been completely destroyed, and lives have been forever changed. A robust and timely federal response, including through supplemental programs and funding, will be required to ensure that sufficient resources are provided to rebuild critical infrastructure and public services capacity, and to assist our fellow Floridians in rebuilding their lives. These provisions must be made a priority and considered at the earliest opportunity.”
Of course, this plea was completely contradictory to both Senators’ actions just a day before.
In an overwhelming 72-25 vote Thursday, the Senate passed a stop-gap spending bill adding nearly $19 billion for FEMA to respond to Hurricane Ian and future disasters.
Sen. Rick Scott voted against the legislation, and little Marco skipped the vote altogether. It was completely on brand for the GOP—over 200 Republicans voted against the measure when the Democratic-controlled House passed it on Friday by a vote of 230-201.
Florida Democratic Chair Manny Diaz called out his political colleagues across the aisle:
“The same week that Hurricane Ian brought so much chaos and destruction to Florida, not a single Florida Republican cared enough to vote in favor of Hurricane relief for the people in their own state hit hardest by the storm,” he said. “That is a level of callous indifference and political opportunism that boggles the mind.”
“Thankfully, President Biden and Florida Democrats are doing the right thing when it counts, and we appreciate their efforts to help Florida rebuild once again,” he added.
With losses estimated between $25 and $40 billion in the hurricane-damaged state, Democrats said passing the bill was important to help victims of recent natural disasters in the U.S., including Hurricane Ian, as it provides a Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster fund with a year’s worth of money upfront rather than for two-and-a-half months, Tallahassee Democrat reported.
But the two Senators who should care the most apparently don’t— despite their empty words.
Feigning concern for an Ian-ravaged Sunshine State and Hurricane Fiona-battered Puerto Rico, the hypocritical Republicans ended their letter with hollow words, saying, “We look forward to working with you to develop and secure the resources that are desperately needed to rebuild our communities in both Florida and Puerto Rico, which was impacted by Hurricane Fiona. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.”
In all fairness, we should not be surprised that the forever-grifting Senator Scott and useless tool Senator Rubio voted against their constituents’ interests. One defrauded medical safety nets and was fined $1.7 billion for his scheme and the other is simply too lazy to bother showing up for work.
Original reporting by Sergio Bustos at Tallahassee Democrat.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick