Tammy Duckworth will object to Rick Scott’s disaster relief bill
Tammy Duckworth, Rick Scott. Images via AP.

Duckworth Rick Scott
After Idalia, Florida's junior Senator said Congress must replenish a relief fund absent debate over foreign aid.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott plans to call for a Senate vote next week on replenishing the federal Disaster Relief Fund. But U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, plans to object unless the bill guarantees aid to Ukraine.

It’s the latest in a monthslong standoff over supplemental funding that has taken on fresh urgency since Hurricane Idalia struck Florida’s Big Bend region. Scott, a Naples Republican, pressed for months for the Senate to replenish a largely depleted Disaster Relief Fund.

After Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, Scott said he intends to bring the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act to the Senate floor and seek unanimous consent to pass the bill.

The legislation would provide $12.5 billion for the disaster fund, the Hurricane Tax Relief Act and block grant funding. That’s roughly what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to replenish the fund through the year, according to a supplemental funding request from President Joe Biden’s administration.

But while the President’s funding request bundles that funding with other agenda items, most notably more than $44 billion for military support for Ukraine, Scott’s bill would focus only on disaster recovery.

“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,” Scott said in a statement.

“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.”

Scott also said he plans to increase the appropriations in his bill to $16.5 billion, based on the damage seen in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, which tore through Florida’s Big Bend and swaths of Georgia and South Carolina before heading into the Atlantic Ocean.

Duckworth said she will object to the bill’s passage, preventing a unanimous vote and requiring the bill to go through a lengthier committee process to pass.

“I think it’s important to include Ukrainian funding,” Duckworth told reporters, according to POLITICO.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican, agrees with Scott that disaster funding must be decoupled from foreign aid. But he predicted in a Fox News interview that Scott’s bill likely couldn’t pass through unanimous consent even if a majority of the Senate supports it.

“Sen. Scott will try a unanimous consent agreement next week. I’ll try to get a vote on the package we’ve all put together. Some Democrat is probably going to stand up and say, ‘I object unless you include the Ukraine funding,’” he said.

“I would keep an eye on that because that, to me, was unacceptable. It has never happened before. It shouldn’t happen, when it comes to this. I hope it doesn’t happen. But that’s what they’re signaling.”

Scott voiced outrage on X about Duckworth’s comments.

“It’s unbelievable that anyone in Washington would try to delay the delivery of disaster aid to American families fighting to get back on their feet,” he said. “This helps Florida, Hawaii, California … ALL AMERICANS. Americans should ALWAYS come first.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Richard Russell

    September 1, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Had Biden not profited by firing the prosecutor and sonny boy didn’t have the job in Ukraine, no one in DC with any intelligence or integrity would have supported funding Ukraine. Instead, when Russia was building up its forces on the border, American diplomats (if they had been picked for their excellence, not their DEI qualifications) would have met with Putin and reached an accord to prevent the war. Thank the thieves who stole the 2020 election!

    • PeterH

      September 1, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      Magical thinking is not reality!

      • Rick Whitaker

        September 1, 2023 at 8:46 pm

        magical is good, but i usually say, “believing in fairy tales”.

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 1, 2023 at 8:43 pm

      richard russell, how could someone be so wrong about so many things. you sir, are brainwashed. i could use other words, but brainwashed is the nicist term for your state of mind, judging from your lame uninformed comment. i’m so glad i don’t live in florida.

      • John Doe

        September 3, 2023 at 10:53 pm

        Please enlighten us with the facts Dick.

        • jim

          September 9, 2023 at 9:52 am

          Here’s a fact for you, Putin invaded Ukraine to protect Russia. Biden want NATO to put troops and missiles along the Ukraine/Russian border which would be detrimental to Russia. (Remember the Cuban missile crisis when Kennedy was President) All that needed to be done was assure Putin that NATO would not be causing a threat to Russia, and the invasion would not have happened.

    • My Take

      September 2, 2023 at 12:35 am

      “would have met with Putin and reached an accord to prevent the war.”
      Absolutely clueless.

    • M. Leiva

      September 2, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      You must be delusional to write such twisted account of the truth.
      Learn the facts before you make a fool of yourself again.

    • John Lentini

      September 2, 2023 at 6:03 pm

      Biden wanted the CORRUPT prosecutor fired. Try not to spread Russian disinformation.

      • John Doe

        September 3, 2023 at 10:51 pm

        Let’s see. Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian oil company making about $50k per month while Joe Biden was VP and was tasked with overseeing Ukraine on behalf of the U.S. Gov’t. Then, when this oil company came under investigation from a Ukrainian prosecutor, Joe Biden withheld funds allocated to Ukraine by Congress until Ukraine fired this prosecutor. Hunter Biden is a crack addict and has zero experience in the oil business, yet he somehow was being paid $600k per year to sit on the board of an oil company half way around the world. If you don’t believe this is corruption through and through, you are really dense. Also, please enlighten us with what this supposed corruption was that the Ukrainian prosecutor was involved in? I bet you don’t know, because all the medial tells you is he’s corrupt, but note how they don’t tell you exactly how he’s corrupt.

      • Marko

        September 6, 2023 at 6:52 pm

        I suppose audio recordings are disinformation also? However, in the leaked audio released by People’s Deputy Andrei Derkach, Mr. Poroshenko says there was “no information” that Mr. Shokin had done “something wrong.” But he carried out the firing reportedly ordered by Mr. Biden, regardless.

        “Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin, and despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him — no, it was day [sic] before yesterday — I specially asked him to resign in his position as a state person,” Mr. Poroshenko appears to have said on the clip dated February 18, 2016. “And one hour ago he bring [sic] me the written statement of his resignation. And this is my second step for keeping my promises.“

        “I agree,” Mr. Biden replies.

  • John Lentini

    September 1, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Said the guys who voted against aid for Superstorm Sandy.

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 1, 2023 at 8:44 pm

      straighten them out. good comment

  • PeterH

    September 1, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 1, 2023 at 8:49 pm

      are you a florida dem? i thought dems were an endangered species in florida

    • julius mosonyi

      September 6, 2023 at 4:36 am

      You are an Idiot, Republicans are the only ones along with a few normal thinking Dems. to save our country.

  • John Doe

    September 3, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    Got to love this corrupt as s**t government. Can’t bother to help out the Maui and Florida victims, but can certainly ship all of our tax dollars to Ukraine. Someone please find out which MIC company is paying Tammy.

  • Alex Alvarez

    September 4, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    There is no difference between establishment Democrats and Republicans when it comes to war. They’re always for it. Joe Biden cheerled the Iraq war in the Senate, standing behind funding for W’s WMDs myth completely. Now Mitch McConnell and Lyndsey Graham stand behind Joe Biden’s war. They all gain from the war grift.


    September 5, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Has this senator forgottten who elected her and WHO she is supposed to be representing?????? Until an accounting of the funds already sent to Ukraine I do not think more massive amount should be sent. ALSO…Has she seen the damage facing so many AMERICANS?????????????

    • julius mosonyi

      September 6, 2023 at 4:39 am

      You are correct, this person should have never been elected, mistake was made now correct it and get rid of the I…

  • Michael Bramkamp

    September 10, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Americans need to get out to the polls vote in person. Pay as much attention to American politics as they do sports. America is in trouble think of your children and grandchildren

Comments are closed.


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