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    Debates

    Senator Nelson Politicizes and Disappoints Puerto Rico

    After nearly 50 years in public office, helping Puerto Rico is another area where Senator Nelson has no record to stand on. He blames the federal government for not treating Puerto Rico fairly, but he has been a fixture of the federal government for decades. Senator Nelson is the federal government.
    Here are just a few examples of how Senator Nelson continuously uses Puerto Rican families affected by Hurricane Maria for his own political gain…

    • Senator Nelson suggested that displaced Puerto Rican families should quickly register to vote because they’ll vote for him.(Julio Ricardo Vaarela, “Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello And Senator Bill Nelson,” YouTube, 10/15/17)      
    • When challenged that Puerto Rican families may want to return home, Senator Nelson said he wanted to make sure they voted for him first, then they could go home.(Julio Ricardo Vaarela, “Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello And Senator Bill Nelson,” YouTube, 10/15/17)
    • Senator Nelson called for Puerto Ricans to register to vote as they would remember “who helped them.”(Mitch Perry, “Bill Nelson Slams GOP Response To Puerto Rico,” Florida Politics, 12/29/17)
    • Senator Nelson even compared the impact of the federal tax reform to the deadly Hurricane Maria. (Alex Leary, “Tax Bill Would ‘Send Another Hurricane To Puerto Rico,’ Says Bill Nelson,”Tampa Bay Times, 11/30/17)

    “Senator Nelson has been a fixture of the federal government for decades, but he has been more focused on Senate floor speeches and scoring political points than real solutions or caring for families. If Senator Nelson was serious about helping Puerto Rican families, he would put in the work to find real, long-term solutions – instead of pointing fingers. But that’s the Washington way – all talk, all blame, no action.” – Lauren Schenone Scott for Florida Press Secretary  

    BACKGROUND

    Governor Scott has been focused on taking action to support Puerto Rico even before Hurricane Maria made landfall. Governor Scott took action and did the following when our neighbors in Puerto Rico needed help:

    • Florida was the only state to enter a host state agreement with FEMA to better welcome displaced families.
    • Governor Scott set up disaster relief centers at Florida airports to help connect families with services and continues to provide information on available resources to anyone who needs it.
    • Governor Scott waived requirements to help nearly 12,000 Puerto Rican students enroll in Florida schools and created a new partnership to help connect Puerto Ricans with jobs in Florida.
    • Governor Scott led a delegation of Florida utility providers to Puerto Rico to help get power turned on and donated 25 Florida Highway Patrol vehicles to the Puerto Rico Police Department.
    • Governor Scott visited the island eight times and has met with leaders in Washington and Puerto Rico to help coordinate response and recovery efforts.
    • Governor Scott has spoken many times with officials fromPuerto Rico and at the federal level to ensure state resources were available to help families in need, including working directly with FEMA to support displaced Puerto Ricans and working to keep the FEMA case managers on the ground across the state.
    • Following a meeting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. BenCarson, Governor Rick Scott secured $616 million to distribute to local communities for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from last year’s hurricane season.
    • While extending TSA, the federal temporary housing assistance program, isn’t something the State of Florida can do, Governor Scott has been committed to doing all he can to ensure state resources are available to help families in need.
    • Under Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida has invested more than $1 billion to make Florida’s affordable housing program among the best in the nation. Just this year, Governor Scott fought for and secured more than $123 million for affordablehousing across Florida’s communities.

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    Debate Discussion