Matt Gaetz Votes No On Relief Money As Florida Grapples With Hurricane Ian Aftermath

Rep. Matt Gaetz was one of several House Republicans who voted against a resolution to allow FEMA to use up to $15 million in the Disaster Relief Fund.
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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Florida native and lawmaker, voted against a measure to free up millions of dollars in disaster relief for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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

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

The vote comes in 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 that said they’d “do what is necessary” to stop funding the Biden administration, according to the news site.

“Any legislation that sets the stage for a ‘lame duck’ fight on government funding gives Democrats one final opportunity to pass that agenda,” the letter said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) walks down the House steps on Friday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) walks down the House steps on Friday.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Gaetz is no stranger to voting against hurricane relief as the lawmaker didn’t vote in favor of a $15 billion relief package as Hurricane Irma — which led to at least 92 deaths in the contiguous United States — approached Florida in 2017, the Miami Herald reported.

Gaetz did, however, pass a separate $7.5 billion hurricane relief bill earlier that week.

The $15 billion package was linked to a deal between Democrats and then-President Donald Trump to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government until 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 2017 package.

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