Florida lawmakers ask for citrus disaster assistance

December 4, 2017 01:56 PM
 
A group of more than 20 U.S. lawmakers from Florida have asked the House Appropriations Committee to bolster disaster assistance for hurricane-battered citrus growers in the Sunshine State.

A group of more than 20 U.S. lawmakers from Florida have asked the House Appropriations Committee to bolster disaster assistance for hurricane-battered citrus growers in the Sunshine State.

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., and other lawmakers wrote a Dec. 1 letter to Republican and Democratic House leaders asking for immediate help for growers. The lawmakers said the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget has not done enough in response to a disaster relief request, according to a news release.

“It is up to Congress to write an adequate hurricane relief bill,” Rooney said in the release. “The citrus growers in my state were devastated by Hurricane Irma.”

He said in the release that fruit is still dropping off of the trees and root systems are rotting. 

Congress must address the emergency needs of growers, he said.

“I will not support any disaster relief package that does not take care of Florida’s agriculture industry — the second-leading driver of Florida’s economy,” Rooney said in the release.

The Dec. 1 letter to House leaders said the Florida representatives support a proposal from Rooney that will enable the USDA to work with the state and provide $1.5 billion in emergency disaster assistance to address the crop losses Florida producers suffered from the storm.

The letter expressed hope that Congressional leadership will support its inclusion in the next disaster relief supplemental legislation.

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