Before Ron DeSantis was Governor of Florida, he was a member of the US House of Representatives representing Florida’s 6th district. During those six years in the US Congress, he had opportunities to vote to help people who had been ravaged by natural disasters – and refused.
Superstorm Sandy made landfall on the upper East Coast resulting in 149 deaths in the US and caused at least $70 billion in damages, making it second only to Katrina in 2005. There were over 140,000 Sandy related insurance claims.
When an emergency aid package for Sandy’s victims came before Congress, 36 Republican Senators and 179 Republican Representatives voted against it, including Ron DeSantis. Republican Chris Christie, then Governor of New Jersey, one of the hardest hits states described Congress’ attitude toward victims as "callous indifference". From 2013 to 2020, Florida has received $2.61 Billion in Federal Disaster Aid, making it the 5th most of any state.
In a June 2013 interview with the Florida Times-Union, DeSantis offered the following statement, when asked whether he would accept disaster relief in his own district: "If a hurricane came here, I would want any relief plan to be fiscally responsible,” he said.
On Wednesday, DeSantis asked Biden to approve a major disaster declaration and 100 Percent Federal Cost Share for 60 Days for Hurricane Ian, for all 67 counties in Florida. DeSantis did not first ask if the money could be found in a fiscally responsible manner. The president promptly approved it — as he should have. But many people online were quick to note that DeSantis voted against a 2013 bill during his time in the House that would have given New Yorkers similar aid after Hurricane Sandy.
This FEMA funding would support debris removal and emergency protective measures (FEMA Categories A and B) to help counties that will be directly impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under federal law, the president has the authority to issue a waiver to increase the federal cost share for hurricane recovery in imminent disaster situations. The approval of such funding could save Florida residents and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars
It was correct of DeSantis to request aid, just as it was correct for the north-eastern Governors to do so after Sandy. It was correct for President Bident to approve DeSantis request with no strings attached, as he has done. Perhaps it was not correct for DeSantis and the others to have had attempted to block the same aid to previous victims in other states, calling it fiscally irresponsible.
Hypocrite: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.