Matt Gaetz votes no on relief money as Florida grapples with Hurricane Ian

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Florida native and lawmaker, voted against a measure to open up the Federal Emergency Management Agency to millions of dollars in disaster relief.

Gaetz was one of several House Republicans on Friday who voted against a resolution allowing FEMA to use up to $15 million in the Disaster Relief Fund, Newsweek reported.

The bill eventually passed both the House and the Senate and awaits President Joe Biden’s approval.

The vote comes the same week that Hurricane Ian killed dozens of Florida residents, flooded communities and destroyed homes and businesses.

Gaetz and other GOP lawmakers added their names to a letter saying they would “do what is necessary” to stop defunding the Biden administration, according to the news site.

“Any legislation that paves the way for a ‘lame duck’ fight over government funding gives Democrats one last chance to pass this agenda,” the letter says.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) walks down the steps of the House on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Gaetz is no stranger to voting against hurricane relief as lawmakers did not vote in favor of a $15 billion relief package as Hurricane Irma – where at least 92 people died in Contiguous United States – approached Florida in 2017, the Miami Herald reported.

Gaetz, however, passed a separate $7.5 billion hurricane bill earlier this week.

The $15 billion package was tied to a deal between Democrats and former President Donald Trump to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government through December 2017.

“Only Congress can find a way to turn a natural disaster into a trillion new dollars in spending authority,” Gaetz said at the time of the $15 billion package.


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