The Obama administration has denied a request for federal emergency funds to be sent to Florida in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 49 dead and 53 injured, much of which would have gone to assist the victims of the June 12 attack. The state’s Republican governor is not happy about it, declaring it is “unthinkable that President Obama does not define this as an emergency.”
Gov. Rick Scott had requested $5 million in federal funds under the Stafford Act to help with “emergency response efforts, law enforcement response, emergency medical care, counseling services and other social services to assist victims.”
The Obama administration authorized only $253,000 to be sent in order to pay for the overtime of those who worked during the crisis.
In a press release on the issue, Scott said, “It is incredibly disappointing that the Obama Administration denied our request for an Emergency Declaration. Last week, a terrorist killed 49 people, and wounded many others, which was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. It is unthinkable that President Obama does not define this as an emergency. We are committing every state resource possible to help the victims and the community heal and we expect the same from the federal government.”
Scott also pointed out that the Obama administration has approved emergency funding for a Massachusetts water main break in 2010, the Boston marathon bombing in 2013 and the Flint water crisis this year, making the rejection of Florida’s request even more puzzling to him.
In his letter to Scott denying the request, William Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said, “Because your request did not demonstrate how the emergency response associated with this situation is beyond the capability of the State and affected local governments or identify any direct federal assistance needed to save lives or protect property, an emergency declaration is not appropriate for this incident.”