Following backlash, Democrat President Joe Biden has finally made contact with Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the state’s response to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday morning.
DeSantis revealed on Tuesday that Biden had not yet spoken with him as his state prepared for the Category 4 hurricane to make landfall. That day, Biden had made separate calls with Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater.
“So I have not personally spoken with the president, but FEMA has approved our pre-landfall request,” DeSantis said during a press conference.
“We feel like we have a good relationship with FEMA,” DeSantis continued. “You know, I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida, you know, my view on all this is like you got people’s lives at stake, you got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them.”
On Wednesday night, DeSantis told Fox News that he had finally heard from the president but that he was still waiting for an answer on if the federal government would reimburse the state for the damage that it suffered from Hurricane Ian.
“When a natural disaster like this strikes a state it is common, I think it’s always the case that the state receives federal aid,” host Tucker Carlson said. “Given how politicized things are at the moment, are you confident you are going to get the federal support Florida needs?”
“So, I actually spoke with the president and he said he wants to be helpful so we did submit a request for reimbursement for the next 60 days at 100%. That’s significant support, but it’s a significant storm,” DeSantis responded. “So, we haven’t heard back from him but I’m actually cautiously optimistic that we do.”
On Thursday, Biden spoke on the phone with DeSantis and the White House announced that the Biden administration would be offering reimbursement for half of the days requested by DeSantis.
“For a period of 30 days from the start of the incident period, assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, is authorized at 100 percent of the total eligible costs,” the White House said in a statement.
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