WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Sunday that he wants any Hurricane Ian relief bills to be targeted only at disaster funding, adding he would not vote for legislation that goes beyond that.
Parts of Florida's Gulf Coast were destroyed by the hurricane before it cut across the state and then swung through the Atlantic and made landfall on the South Carolina coast. Fifty-four people have died as a result of the storm.
"What I won't support is things that are not emergency relief. What we're going to ask for Florida is what we supported for every other state in the country that's been affected by - by natural disasters, and that is emergency relief designed to be spent immediately to help the people affected now," Rubio said on ABC's "This Week."
The latest: Ian death toll climbs to 54; almost 1 million still without power in Florida: Live updates
Rubio voted against Superstorm Sandy relief in 2013 because he said some funding in the bill was irrelevant to the relief.
He said on CNN's "State of the Union," Sunday that he would vote no on any bill that is not "clean" when host Dana Bash asked Rubio if he would vote against a bill ''that smells like pork."
"You will have people in the Senate, in the House that are going to vote against disaster relief because they view these disaster relief bills as ways for other people to get their pork and their pet projects done."
"Pork" is slang for unrelated funding requests inserted into congressional spending legislation.
Hurricane Ian updates: Ian death toll climbs to 54; almost 1 million still without power in Florida: Live updates
Biden Hurricane Ian: After FEMA update, Biden says Ian could be 'deadliest hurricane in Florida's history.'
The White House has declared 13 counties in Florida as major disaster areas, meaning tens of thousands of residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can apply for financial assistance.
The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help people in affected counties pay for temporary housing and home repairs, offer low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses, and fund other federal programs to assist individuals and business owners recover from one of the nation's most significant storms.
Contributing: Tallahassee Democrat
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Marco Rubio says he won't support Ian relief bills that include 'pork'