Request for Federal Emergency Declaration is Unprecedented After a Mass Shooting
(TNS) – Gov. Rick Scott on Monday took the unprecedented step of asking President Obama to make a federal emergency declaration in Florida in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.
In his letter to Obama, Scott quoted phrases from the president’s Sunday afternoon speech in which he offered condolences to those impacted.
“I urge you to declare an emergency under the Stafford Act so that ‘the full resources of the federal government’ can be made available for the individuals, families and communities impacted by this ‘horrific massacre,’” Scott wrote.
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act gives the president sole authority to determine when and where to declare an emergency, which provides the affected areas with supplemental federal dollars up to $5 million. Congress can also approve additional funding.
Such declarations are usually reserved for places ravaged by natural disasters such as floods, storms and fires.