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Rubio Challenges SBA On Having “No Problem” Delaying Algae Bloom Relief For Florida

Jul 14, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today challenged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on why officials there said they had “no problem” delaying the opening of a relief center in Martin County in the wake of disastrous algae blooms along Florida’s Treasure Coast. In a letter to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Rubio insisted that they act swiftly and not delay any forms of emergency relief to Floridians.
 
“The algae blooms along Florida’s Treasure Coast continue to be a disaster for our state’s environment, businesses and the economic livelihoods of my constituents,” Rubio wrote. “During emergency situations like these, ‎it is imperative that our federal government provide swift and timely assistance without any unnecessary delays.
 
“For this reason, it is unconscionable that officials at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently said they had ‘no problem’ delaying the opening of a relief center in Martin County,” Rubio continued. “Suffice it to say, this incident leaves a profoundly bad taste in the mouths of many Floridians who see this as an example of the SBA putting politics and publicity plans ahead of the needs of our people.”
 
A PDF of Rubio’s letter is available here and the full text is below:
 
July 14, 2016
 
The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet
Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 Third Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20416
 
Dear Administrator Contreras-Sweet:
 
The algae blooms along Florida’s Treasure Coast continue to be a disaster for our state’s environment, businesses and the economic livelihoods of my constituents. During emergency situations like these, ‎it is imperative that our federal government provide swift and timely assistance without any unnecessary delays.
 
For this reason, it is unconscionable that officials at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently said they had “no problem” delaying the opening of a relief center in Martin County. Please answer the following question: In times of disasters, such as the algae bloom in Florida’s waterways, why would the SBA have “no problem” delaying any form of relief to my constituents?
 
Suffice it to say, this incident leaves a profoundly bad taste in the mouths of many Floridians who see this as an example of the SBA putting politics and publicity plans ahead of the needs of our people. As the SBA continues its efforts to provide assistance to Florida on this matter and others throughout our state, I ask that you act swiftly and not delay the immediate relief my constituents desperately need.
 
I request an immediate response to my question.
 
Sincerely,
 
Marco Rubio
United States Senator