Matt Gaetz votes against hurricane relief money in home state of Florida after Hurricane Ian devastation

Representative Matt Gaetz voted against legislation that would have provided relief for victims of Hurricane Ian, which left a path of devastation in the congressman’s home state of Florida.

The House of Representatives voted 230 to 201 on a continuing resolution to keep the government open until 16 December on Friday. The continuing resolution also gives the Federal Emergency Management Authority the power to spend money through the Disaster Relief Fund.

DRF pays for repairs and restoration of infrastructure damaged by natural disasters, hazard mitigation initiatives, financial assistance to survivors and Fire Management Grants for large forests or grassland wildfires, according to FEMA.

Only 10 Republicans voted against the continuing resolution in the House on Friday. The bill passed the Senate on Thursday with Florida Senator Rick Scott voting against it. Senator Marco Rubio, the Sunshine State’s other US senator, was not present to vote for it.

The vote comes as Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm when it struck the state, killed at least 47 people and Florida utilities were working to restart power in the state.

Mr Gaetz was part of a group of Republicans who circulated a letter earlier this month saying they would not vote for “any continuing resolution that expires prior to the first day of the 118th Congress, or any appropriations package put forward in the remaining months of this Democrat-led Congress.”

“As the September 30th federal funding deadline approaches, Republicans must do what is necessary to ensure that not one additional penny will go toward this administration’s radical, inflationary agenda,” the letter said. “Any legislation that sets the stage for a “lame duck” fight on government funding gives Democrats one final opportunity to pass that agenda.”