This week, two Florida Republicans on Capitol Hill–U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez–announced plans to launch a proposal to move $125 million in unspent CARES Act funds to “facilitate cargo vessels currently on hold along the West Coast to cross the Panama Canal and dock in the East.” Their proposal would have governors “use unspent, unobligated CARES Act funds to help offset port fees and other related state-level expenses.”
Scott and Gimenez weighed in on Monday on their “Supply Chain Emergency Response Act.”
“As empty shelves grow more and more common, prices are surging higher and small businesses can’t access the goods they need to serve their customers. Joe Biden’s supply chain and inflation crises are devastating for so many Americans, but it’s our poorest families, those on low and fixed incomes like mine growing up, that are hurt the most. Yet, Biden does nothing to help,” Scott said.
“Unlike the Biden administration, I’m not going to just sit around and play TV commentator,” Scott added. “Today, I am proud to partner with my friend and colleague Congressman Gimenez in introducing the Supply Chain Emergency Response Act to get products flowing to American families and businesses again. We need to make Washington work for Florida families. Fortunately, Florida’s ports are ready and able to help with this crisis and I hope all of my colleagues work with us to quickly pass this good and urgently needed bill.”
Gimenez also took aim at the Biden administration when he showcased his proposal.
“It is a grave failure of the Biden administration that our store shelves are empty, and that Americans cannot find basic goods and products. From the beginning of this supply chain dilemma, Florida’s ports have clamored for more cargo vessels to reroute from their original port call to California and come to the East. Like Florida, several states in the Gulf and the eastern seaboard have both the port capacity and the logistical capabilities to ensure goods reach our shelves in a timely and efficient manner,” said Gimenez.
“Getting these cargo vessels to Florida and other eastern states also alleviates the shipping container shortage, which has made it difficult for American producers – from our farmers and ranchers to our domestic manufacturers – to ship their goods and products abroad,” Gimenez said. “I thank Senator Rick Scott for introducing this bill in the Senate and joining this fight with me to help fix this supply chain issue with a commonsense approach. Senator Scott has always stood on the side of Florida’s workers. I also want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis for his steadfast leadership at the state-level in working to bring more cargo vessels to Florida’s ports – a move that will result in sizable economic activity for places such as PortMiami.”
Conservative group Heritage Action is backing the proposal.