It was a dramatic turnaround Saturday when U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy bypassed a group of conservative holdouts and relied on Democratic votes to pass a 45-day funding bill to keep federal agencies open.
The House vote was 335-91 and dashed the hopes of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who led a revolt against McCarthy that opposed a short-term proposal to keep the government funded unless it made deep cuts. Hours later Saturday, the Senate passed the funding plan by an 88-9 vote.
Both of Florida’s Republican senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, voted for the funding.
In the U.S. House, all eight Florida Democrats voted for the funding plan, which contained disaster aid, including money for those still digging out from hurricanes, but not aid for Ukraine that the Senate had initially included in its funding plan. Those in support included Kathy Castor, who represents Tampa as well as parts of St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County.
Republicans weren’t as united. Laurel Lee, who represents parts of Hillsborough including Thonotosassa and Plant City, voted “yes.” So did Gus Bilirakis, who represents all of Citrus and Hernando counties and most of Pasco County; and Vern Buchanan, who represents eastern Hillsborough County and all of Manatee County. María Elvira Salazar, Carlos A. Giménez and Mario Diaz Balart of Miami, Neal Dunn of the Panhandle, and John Rutherford of Jacksonville also sided with Democrats, McCarthy and most other Republicans.
Two Florida Republicans didn’t vote: Anna Paulina Luna, who represents most of Pinellas County and portions of St. Petersburg, and Byron Daniels of Naples.
A spokesperson for Luna said the congresswoman just had a baby and is recovering from an infection and was told she could not vote by proxy.
“Her position on the CR [continuing resolution] has been clear: the latest data says typical Americans are spending over $700 a month more than they were two years ago just to buy the same goods and services. That’s nearly $9,000 a year being stolen from Americans through the hidden tax of inflation,” spokesperson Edie Guy said in an email. “Rep. Luna is standing with the constituents of her district, many of whom are on fixed incomes, who literally cannot afford the uniparty’s reckless spending and Bidenflation.”
Ten Florida Republicans voted against the funding plan, including Gaetz, Scott Franklin of Polk County, Greg Steube of Sarasota and Kat Cammack of Gainesville.
That’s 10 Florida Republicans against, eight in support and two not voting. Overall in the U.S. House, 209 Democrats and 126 Republicans supported the funding plan. Ninety Republicans and one Democrat (Mike Quigley of Illinois) opposed it.
“I’m disappointed that 10 of my Republican colleagues from Florida were among the 90 Republicans who voted against the disaster aid for our neighbors,” Castor said in a statement. “Today’s vote was necessary to avoid economic pain and harm to Florida families. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to make meaningful investments that create jobs, lower costs, strengthen our schools, and protect our air and water without extreme abortion bans or cuts to social security.”
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Gaetz, meanwhile, seemed resigned to taking solace in that the $6 billion for Ukraine he had opposed wasn’t included in the funding plan.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated since initial publication with information from a spokesperson for Rep. Anna Paulina Luna.