WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement outlining his expectations and the importance of the Senate to immediately vote on a disaster relief package, the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act, that takes care of Florida families and all Americans facing emergencies. In anticipation of Hurricane Idalia’s predicted landfall tomorrow as a deadly, major hurricane, Senator Scott has remained in constant contact with federal, state and local leaders, mayors, sheriffs, emergency managers, and non-profits to make sure everyone is working together and ready for Idalia. He has also been visiting communities along Florida’s Gulf Coast to ensure Florida’s communities are getting every resource needed from the federal government to respond to and recover from Idalia’s expected devastation.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I will be introducing a bill, the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act, that combines the Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act, Hurricane Tax Relief Act, Block Grant Assistance Act, and other essential provisions, to make sure that the immediate needs for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund are fully funded and Florida’s military bases, families and growers impacted by disasters have the federal support they need and deserve. Unfortunately, while I’ve spent the months leading up to this storm fighting to make sure the federal government shows up, President Biden and politicians in Washington have been playing games with FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and insisting that this critical domestic aid be tied to foreign aid for Ukraine. We’ve had enough with Washington playing politics and demand that Congress does what’s right for American families, starting with ensuring our federal government has all the resources it needs to show up after disasters, now and in the future. The moment the Senate reconvenes next week I will be introducing this bill and demanding an immediate vote. Floridians are doing their part and getting ready, and I will not allow Washington to continue playing games with disaster aid and the lives of those needing our help.”
Senator Scott’s Federal Disaster Responsibility Act will:
- Pass an enhanced version of the Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act and fully fund the immediate needs of FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund with at least $12.5 billion to ensure the federal government can uphold its obligation to quickly deploy emergency funding and resources to communities and Americans impacted by natural disasters.
- Ensure final passage of the bipartisan Block Grant Assistance Act which provides needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue block grants to Florida’s citrus growers and all U.S. agriculture producers devastated by natural disasters in 2022.
- Secure final passage of the Hurricane Tax Relief Act which takes care of Floridians and Puerto Ricans by providing disaster-loss tax relief to families in 51 Florida counties and Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona by making those storms qualified disasters for purposes of enhanced disaster casualty loss tax relief. This bill modifies the deduction for personal casualty losses in the hurricane disaster areas, waiving the requirements for impacted taxpayers to itemize deductions and to have losses that exceed 10% of adjusted gross income. Congress previously extended this tax relief for hurricanes Irma, Wilma, Dorian, and Michael, among others.
- Commit necessary funds and resources to Florida’s military installations to fully rebuild and recover from hurricane damage.