Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll fight against a federal relief bill that would assist his state's recovery from Hurricane Ian if it has 'pork in it'

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill on May 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on President Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget request for the National Institutes of Health. (Photo by Anna Rose Layden-Pool/Getty Images)
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Examines The NIH 2023 BudgetGetty Images
  • Marco Rubio on Sunday said he would fight against a Hurricane Ian relief bill if it included unrelated spending projects.

  • Rubio said the extra spending would deter other lawmakers from voting for disaster relief.

  • Recovery efforts are continuing, with more than 1,100 people rescued as of Saturday morning.

Senator Marco Rubio on Sunday said he would vote against a federal relief bill to assist Flordia in recovering from Hurricane Ian if it contained unrelated spending projects.

"Sure. I will fight against it having pork in it. That's the key," Rubio said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We shouldn't have that in there, because it undermines the ability to come back and do this in the future."

Rubio said the extra spending would deter other lawmakers from voting on it.

"We can do it, it's possible to do it without loading it with these other things, because, otherwise, you will have people in the Senate, in the House that are going to vote against disaster relief because they view these disaster relief bills as ways for other people to get their pork and their pet projects done," Rubio said.

Biden announced on Thursday that he is authorizing disaster relief efforts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricane Ian first made landfall in Cuba before moving on to Florida and then South Carolina, where it weakened to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved inland.

While the full scope of Hurricane Ian's destruction is still being assessed, losses have been predicted to fall between $28 billion and $47 billion, making it Florida's costliest storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, according to CoreLogic, a research company that estimates storm damage.

As of Saturday evening, about 1 million customers in Florida, 72,000 in South Carolina, and 25,000 in North Carolina remained without power.

Recovery efforts are continuing, with more than 1,100 people rescued as of Saturday morning. About 35 deaths were reported in a single Florida county, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said Saturday. Officials have attributed additional deaths to Ian, but as investigations unfold no official statewide tally has been released.

"I think disaster relief is something we shouldn't play with," Rubio said. "We are capable in this country, in the Congress of voting for disaster relief for key -- after key events like this without using it as a vehicle or a mechanism to -- for people to loaded up with stuff that's unrelated to the storm."

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