TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott used part of his tropical storm news conference Thursday to blame the Obama administration for putting the Sunshine State in a precarious situation this storm season.
"They are forcing our National Guard, 50 percent of our National Guard to be furloughed part of the time."
If damage from Tropical Storm Andrea had been widespread and severe, the governor could have activated the Florida National Guard to respond to hard hit areas.
During this hurricane season though, about half of the state’s 2,000 guardsman are being furloughed, essentially taken off the job 20 percent of the time.
Scott said, "The Department of Defense had the opportunity to not furlough any of our National Guard and they made the decision to furlough our National Guard right as we are walking into hurricane season."
The furloughs come as part of forced budget cuts from the so-called sequestration because President Obama and the Republican led Congress couldn’t come to an agreement.
Scott says he’s concerned the National Guard is an unnecessary casualty of Washington politics.
Furloughs for guardsmen are scheduled to begin in July and run through September.