Marco Rubio Calls for $33 Billion from the Federal Government to Help Florida Recover From Hurricane Ian

This week, from his perch on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called for $33 billion to help Florida recover from Hurricane Ian.

“Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida as a Category 4 major hurricane on September 28, 2022, resulting in catastrophic damage along its path through Florida. The state, its residents, and local governments are in need of immediate assistance to begin the long road to recovery,” Rubio’s office noted.

Rubio weighed in on why the funds are needed.

“The strength and resilience of Floridians are inspiring, but we have a long recovery ahead. Given the scale and scope of the disaster – by some measures the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States – the federal government has an important role to play in facilitating Florida’s recovery. I plan to make sure our state receives the emergency relief it needs to fully rebuild,” Rubio said.

Rubio’s plan called for almost $12.4 billion to go to the Army Corps of Engineers and more than $10 million going to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The senator also called for $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. Rubio also wants almost $3 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with most of that–$2 billion–penciled in for the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program and $1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The senator also wants $400 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $300 million for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, $150 million for the Coast Guard, $120 million for the U.S. Interior Department, $125 million for the Economic Development Administration, $100 million for the U.S. Transportation Department and $50 million for the U.S. Labor Department.

Rubio called for $327 million in additional funds, including $100 million for the U.S. Defense Department to “repair facilities damaged by Hurricane Ian and reimburse deployed personnel” and another $100 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs “to repair facilities damaged by Hurricane Ian and ensure veterans can travel to access secure, needed care.” Rubio wants $60 million for the U.S. Education Department “to repair schools damaged by Hurricane Ian and ensure students and teachers, including those without housing, receive the assistance they need.” He also called for $20 million for universities and colleges damaged by Hurricane Ian.

Rubio also pushed for $10 million for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), $30 million for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), $5 million for the Postal Service to repair facilities, $1 million for the General Services Administration to repair courthouses and $1 million for the Legal Services Corporation to “assist survivors with their civil legal needs,
including FEMA claims, probate issues, home-repair contracts, and consumer protection and
housing issues.”

The senator’s office warned that his appropriations request can change in the coming days, noting the $33 billion figure “will change as assessments continue.”

Kevin Derby
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