Rick Scott Sounds Alarm over Obama Cuts to National Guard in Hurricane Season

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: July 6, 2013 3:55 AM

Rick Scott

Just a month into the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, Forida Gov. Rick Scott is sounding the alarm over draconian cuts to the National Guard set to take place Monday.

The cuts are expected to affect 50 percent of Florida's Guardsmen, resulting in the furlough (forced leave without pay) of several, and a 20 percent pay reduction to those who remain active.

"[T]he National Guard offered to take funding reductions from other areas in their budget that would not impact personnel. The Guard also requested to take reductions before or after hurricane season so as to not affect emergency response capabilities,” a Friday statement from Scott's office noted. “Unfortunately, both requests were denied by the federal government. Now, many Florida National Guard members will be forced to take leave without pay beginning Monday.”

On June 5, just four days after the start of hurricane season, Scott sent a letter to Florida's U.S. senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, begging their assistance in convincing President Obama to take Scott up on his offer to lend the assistance of the state's budget experts to the U.S. Department of Defense, a suggestion that also appears to have been rebuffed.

Scott's letter notes that the cuts mean Florida Guardsmen will now need at least two additional days to mobilize before any storm hits Florida, “at an even greater cost to the state, to say nothing of the impact on public safety."

Republicans have frequently accused the Obama administration of purposefully withholding federal funds from critical areas in order to give the appearance that mandatory spending cuts from the 2013 budget sequestration are catastrophic for the country.

Reach Eric Giunta at egiunta@sunshinestatenews.com or at 954-235-9116.

Comments (6)

Richard Crooks
1:31PM JUL 6TH 2013
Let Scott get down on his knee's and beg. The guy is such a stupid idiot but I guess a lot of stupid people voted for the idiot.
10:59AM JUL 6TH 2013
Republicans and Democrats share the blame for sequester. It is a politician problem, not a political problem. If they all did what they were sworn to do, instead of pandering to their base this would have been solved. The art of politics is compromise
11:01AM JUL 6TH 2013
What did all those Tea Party types think would happen when they ensured sequestration would happen ACROSS THE BOARD . . . . that everyone would live happily ever after . . . that only the programs they didn't like would be hurt . . . just like those shrill Oklahoma Senators (Inhofe and Coburn) who venomously and repeatedly voted against national funding disaster aid for other parts of the country . . . . before they had to face their own state's needs after the catastrophic tornadoes hit them hard . . . . hypocrites all . . . . and just plain . . .

Pathetic . . .
FL Teacher
9:53AM JUL 6TH 2013
Hey Rick- Florida can cover a lot of these costs. Oh wait- you gave those big breaks to friends at the Florida Chamber. How about that 3% you pilfered from public workers?
Jim D.
7:39AM JUL 6TH 2013
Just another step by the current administration to weaken our country on its way to socialism. Will we not wake up and see what is happening to this once great country?
11:04AM JUL 6TH 2013
Yes, we've seen the problem . . . hateful, far right GOP obstructionism . . . whose sole function is to "get" this black President, without any consideration for the national harm that creates . . .

Pathetic . . .

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