Joe Henderson: GOP hurricane aid vote is why people hate politicians
Local muralist Candy Miller, left, embraces Ana Kapel, the manager of the Pier Peddler, a gift shop that sold women's fashions, as she becomes emotional at the site of what used to be the store on the island of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, as a Category 4 hurricane on the southwest coast of Florida. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Florida Republicans put politics ahead of hurricane relief for the state they represent.

Regular people don’t want their kids to become politicians when they grow up.

In today’s example, I refer to the disconnect Florida congressional Republicans showed when all 16 House members voted against a bill that included hurricane relief for the state they represent.

Oh, they all had their excuses that started with the D-word. Because President Joe Biden tucked storm relief into a short-term funding bill to keep the government running, voila!

It opened the door for GOP members to slam Democrats instead of saying, “Hey, people are dying. We ought to help.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who appears to lack a compassion gene, said he would have voted for a stand-alone aid package. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who missed the vote, told CNN that he would vote against any future relief aid that includes pork.

But here’s the deal. As POLITICO reported, while the package didn’t specifically say “Hurricane Ian” money, it sent billions to states facing natural disasters like, oh, Hurricane Ian.

You’d think that routing the money directly to states is something Republicans would approve. But, you know … politics.

It’s Exhibit A of why people hate politicians.

A Gallup poll from Sept. 1-16 of this year showed that 75% of respondents disapprove of how Congress does its job. Only 23% approve.

I’m surprised the approval rating is that high because it’s clear these people have lost touch with reality. How anyone, especially representatives from Florida, could see the carnage left in Ian’s wake and vote “no” on that bill isn’t living in the same world as everyone else.

Manny Diaz, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, tweeted, “The same week that Hurricane Ian brought so much chaos and destruction to Florida, not a single Florida Republican cared enough to vote in favor of Hurricane relief for the people in their own state hit hardest by the storm.”

We’ve all seen reports of the catastrophe, with the death count rising and the damage costs jumping to unimaginable levels. Some have estimated the bill to reach $60 billion or more and take years to return to something resembling normal.

But right now, while those who voted “no” are snug in their homes, thousands of Floridians remain in shelters. They depend on volunteer aid workers for food and clean water.

Many haven’t been able to return to their homes. Others can’t get to food distribution sites because flood waters swept their cars away.

And Rubio, Scott and House Republicans want to talk about pork?

What if they had a family member stuck in that situation? You can bet the response would have been different, but someone not affected would have voted “no” and skipped out to lunch.

Everyone who voted “no” should have to live for a week (or a month) in one of those shelters. They should have to depend on the kindness of strangers for necessities. Pork — the kind you put on a sandwich — would have a different meaning.

It’s infuriating to take a disaster like this and turn it into a political soapbox. The representatives were sent to serve, not to posture. They screwed it up this time.

But don’t worry. Another big hurricane will likely hit Florida and give them a chance for redemption.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • PeterH

    October 3, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Republican Bobby Jindal didn’t call today’s Republican Party “the Party of Stupid” for nothing. The GQP is well deserving of the title ….. just look at the comments from every Republican on this site.

    • Impeach Biden

      October 4, 2022 at 6:35 am

      Sorry Peter H, it is your party that is “STUPID”. I give you Joe “Jose” Biden, who now claims he was raised Puerto Rican as exhibit A. I present Kamana Wanna Lei You, with her disaster relief comments as exhibit B. Do you think Val will be “STUPID” enough to be with the President today? What “STUPID” comments will he make today. Floridian’s are really looking forward to November.

    • Paul Passarelli

      October 4, 2022 at 2:03 pm

      This site really only has a few types posting:

      1) Writers of the stories with their extreme Leftwing biases
      2) Soros Trolls
      3) Fake Alias shit stirrers
      4) Those of us that *TRY* to remain civil & dispute the lies.
      5) Those that are past the point of civility, worn down by the incessant lies, denials, and barrage of stupidity by #’s 1-3 is a dumpster fire. But that means no one really minds when the rancor of a blatant lie reaches the boiling point, and one or more Democrats defending the lie is casually told to go f*ck off.

  • Impeach Biden

    October 3, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Joe, not one mention of Kamala Harris and her desire to distribute the relief money on race and equity. Not a single word. I think we all know how you vote now.

    • Tom

      October 3, 2022 at 8:34 pm

      Agreed Impeach.
      Pathetic comments, so ignorant.
      Lack of studying, effort and just purposeful ignorance. Set back for women. Willie Browns girl.

      I don’t know where it is written that you must vote yes on anything.

      Especially when it included billions for Ukraine again.

      • Charlie Crist

        October 3, 2022 at 10:54 pm

        👆Tom just learned where Ukraine was on a map like a few months ago. Just the kinda guy who thinks he can get rich if he votes for rich people 😂

        • Tom

          October 4, 2022 at 3:39 am

          Clueless Joey corsin, just jealous as always as I set the topic. I own you, you are obsessed with the legend.

          You don’t understand international, national, or state of Florida issues, topics.

          Harris is an embarrassment. There is likely to be a supplemental
          ( additional monies Joey) bill tailored towards the Hurricane.

          The new authorized billions to Ukraine on top of billions already authorized is beyond reason, while Americans are suffering.

          You are a pathetic loser Joey, just a Chinese’s bot. LMAO, you talk about be more then you use to talk bout Trump. I own you.

  • Tom Dumbass

    October 3, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    Tropical 2 ocean tornadocane…

  • Jerry

    October 3, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    It’s disgusting the way Democrats tack on garbage and other things to disaster relief bills. They did the same thing with COVID. THAT is why people hate politicians. It’s why people hate Congress.

    You are blaming Republicans for making this political? It’s the Democrats that are loading up these relief bills with things that have nothing to do with the hurricane! If the Democrats just propose a bill for ONLY hurricane relief…it will pass unanimously. But now you want to try to hold that money hostage until we vote for your left-wing agendas and projects? That’s not good government.

    • Ocean Joe

      October 4, 2022 at 5:29 am

      Keeping the government running isn’t garbage. All your neighbors who are on social security don’t think so. Or members of the military, pass-thru funding, etc.
      You do realize that’s involved here? That the GOP has tried before (Newt) and shut down government?

    • Chris Paul Guerrieri

      October 4, 2022 at 7:25 am

      Can you give an example of something the democrats loaded into this bill? Thank You

  • ScienceBLVR

    October 3, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    It’s not surprising the Florida GOP again abdicated their responsibility to their constituents….what’s surprising is that those very folks most devasted by this event continue to support a party and ideology that cares nothing for them. The original path of Ian was supposed to pound my home turf, but a last minute jog kept my lights on and my back yard pristine. I weep for our neighbors..and why aren’t flags in Florida at half staff for so many lives lost?

  • John

    October 3, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    The Republicans did NOT vote down relief for the victims of Hurricane Ian, because there was no language in the bill that was specific to funding relief FOR Hurricane Ian victims.

    The bill DID offer some millions in aid for ‘unaccompanied minors’ at the Texas border. AND THE BILL CONTAINED $12 BILLION MORE IN AID TO UKRAINE.

    The more leftists last in Media, Management, and Government, the larger the web of lies grows. DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY SAY.

  • Paul Passarelli

    October 3, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    A applaud the Senator from Florida’s vote to kill the bill!

    Why? Because it’s packed full of pork that the Democrats want but no one needs!

    Face it, by time those federal dollars work their way through the bureaucracy, the Everglades will have dried up!

    The rest of the story is nothing but Democrat Doubletalk vomited up by Soros’ Trolls using fake aliases.

    • Charlie Crist

      October 3, 2022 at 10:52 pm

      👆Oh here we go with Q-Anon level, antisemitic conspiracy theories and other far right fairy tales. I gave Paul Pizza the benefit of the doubt but now it’s clear he’s off his rocker. I should have known when he revealed himself as socially irresponsible fake patriot 😆

      • Paul Passarelli

        October 4, 2022 at 11:44 am

        He’s an actor reading a script; not very well at that.

        Thank you for providing me the opportunity to debunk that shit.

        Even though you are a Soros Troll with a fake alias, my thanks are sincere.

  • Bob Randow

    October 4, 2022 at 12:58 am

    Nah. Ian is a Democrat hoax. The victims all crisis actors.

  • Ocean Joe

    October 4, 2022 at 5:25 am

    No surprises.
    Classic Republican “morality.” Sink or Swim.
    The rising tide lifts all boats, ignore those who have no boat.
    Lift yourself by your own bootstraps while worshipping a clown who inherited $400,000,000 from daddy.
    If Florida had to pay its own way folks might realize how poorly run we are. We are a beggar state even in good weather.

    • Joshua Steele

      October 13, 2022 at 10:42 am

      The 2nd most popular state for tourism and a record budget surplus of $20 billion but FL is a beggar state?

    • Paul Passarelli

      October 13, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      Hey Joe,

      Let’s us go for a swim, we’ll have to go out at least a mile so the water is nice & deep. and each of us will have to rely on our swimming skills to determine if we sink or survive. I’ll bring my 40lbs of diving weights and because we’re equal in the eyes of Democrats you will have to carry half of them.

      I’m really excited to do this because according to the Democrat philosophy, if I’m having a hard time swimming with all my excess baggage and only one good arm, I can stand on your shoulders to keep my head above water. I gotta tell you that’s the part I’m really looking forward to.

      So whaddya say Joe? Whose “morality” are you going to demonstrate? My bet is you drop the weights and swim away as fast as you can — hypocrite.

      Tell you what; stop Trolling for Soros and I’ll leave you and your fake aliases alone.

  • Paul Passarelli

    October 4, 2022 at 10:07 am

    It’s so disgusting how the Democrats loaded down an ad package with their AGENDA CRAP — then blame the GOP for being responsible!

    The Democratic Party is little more than an anti-American grab for POLITICAL POWER — it’s time to decertify them, and imprison their traitorous leaders.

  • Paul Passarelli

    October 4, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    You are *WRONG* in more ways than I can describe here in less than an hour.

    The Democrats are the ones that jump through hoops to make sure the relatively insignificant fact that the government gets ‘shut down’ inconveniences as many people as possible.

    The Democrats have actually spent not small but large fortunes, to ‘turn off’ what are essentially free services that have for mysterious reasons become the purview of Federal Oversight.

    So forgive me if I say your righteous indignation is as repulsive as watching a dog eat its own vomit.

Comments are closed.


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