Florida’s two Republicans in the U.S. Senate--Marco Rubio and Rick Scott--are helping push a $13.6 billion relief bill to help Americans recovering from Hurricane Michael and other disasters.
The bill contains relief for citrus farmers, military construction projects and VA health centers on the Panhandle which were hit by the hurricane in October. Scott added an amendment to help Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria back in September 2017 with $600 million in nutrition assistance.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Sen. David Pedue, R-Ga., and has the support of Rubio, Scott, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Tim Scott, R-SC, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Thom Tillis, R-NC. The Trump administration is backing the bill.
“In October, President Trump and Vice President Pence both saw the devastation of Hurricane Michael firsthand and promised farmers they would have their backs. In pushing for this disaster relief bill, the President is fulfilling that promise,” said Perdue. “Now, it is up to Congress to follow through and pass this critical, bipartisan bill. Our farmers and rural communities cannot wait any longer for disaster relief. For some Georgia farmers, the timing of assistance will determine whether they put a crop in the ground ever again.”
“While Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly to help Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Michael earlier this year, Congress has repeatedly played politics with disaster funding at the expense of local communities still struggling to recover,” said Rubio. “Each day that Congress fails to act, state and local governments become increasingly at risk of running out of the necessary resources needed to address critical issues and fully recover from recent disasters. Our communities should not have to suffer the consequences of Congress’s inaction any longer. It is time to act.”
“As governor of Florida, I saw firsthand the destruction left behind by multiple devastating hurricanes. Following these storms, we worked nonstop to help our communities recover – but there is still a lot to do, especially when it comes to rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base. Disaster funding should not be a political fight and needs to be brought to the floor of the Senate as quickly as possible. I will never stop fighting for disaster funding to help Tyndall return to its full operation and make sure Florida families and businesses have the resources they need to get back to their normal lives. I’m glad this bill also includes the funding to help our friends in Puerto Rico continue to rebuild following Hurricane Maria,” Scott said.
The bill was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.