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Florida’s Senators, Jared Moskowitz Team Up on Bill to Ensure FEMA Fund Doesn’t Run Out During Hurricane Season

U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., has teamed up with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on the “Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act.”

Two weeks ago, Rubio introduced the bill with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., as one of the two co-sponsors.

The bill ensures the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “has sufficient resources to continue ongoing disaster response and is prepared for unforeseen major disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and other events.”

Rubio’s office pointed the blame for the problem at the Biden administration.

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) responds to major disasters through assistance to individuals, households, and non-federal government entities. The DRF is expected to run out of funds during the first week of August, in the middle of the 2023 hurricane season. The Biden administration has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the federal government is prepared to respond to natural disasters in a timely and effective manner,” Rubio’s office noted. “If Congress doesn’t act to prevent a shortfall in the DRF, there will be no funds for unforeseen major disasters until the end of the fiscal year.”

Rubio mirrored that line of attack at the end of last week.

“Congress cannot allow the Biden administration to use disaster funding as a bargaining chip, doing so puts countless vulnerable communities at risk. Our communities deserve better than this. It’s time for Congress to act and provide FEMA with the funding they need for disaster relief,” said Rubio.

“Floridians know that responding to natural disasters is a team effort, which requires every level of government to be ready to assist families in need at a moment’s notice. This good bill will ensure the federal government can uphold its obligation to quickly deploy emergency funding and resources to communities and Americans impacted by natural disasters,” said Scott.

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U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is also co-sponsoring the bill.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

Moskowitz is championing the bill in the House.

“If Congress doesn’t act to prevent a shortfall in the DRF, there will be no funds for unforeseen major disasters until the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30th. Under Moskowitz’s legislation, FEMA would be provided $11.5 billion in supplemental funding before the August deadline. After experiencing a worldwide pandemic and disasters becoming more and more prevalent, this fund is essential in assisting communities around the country recover,” the congressman’s office noted.

“As the former Emergency Management director for Florida, I’m especially concerned with the financial state of FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. We have to be proactive. We know this fund is going to run out. How can FEMA operate if we are always being reactionary? FEMA provides life-saving resources to areas impacted by disasters all around the nation. Emergency management cannot be politicized and should always be prioritized. I’m encouraged to see there is still bipartisan interest in solving this problem and I look forward to working together to get the appropriate funding to the Disaster Relief Fund,” said Moskowitz.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Appropriations and the Budget Committees. U.S. Rep. James Moylan, R-Guam, is backing Moskowitz’s bill.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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