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Rubio Applauds USDA Announcement of Disaster Relief for Florida Citrus

May 1, 2018 | Press Releases

San Jose, Costa Rica – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement today after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced new details on hurricane disaster relief for Florida’s citrus farmers:
“It’s been nearly eight months since Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, impacting rural communities across our state that rely on agricultural production as a major source of economic activity. Like so many throughout our state, I am thankful for this welcome announcement from Secretary Perdue, which includes important funds for a Florida Citrus Block Grant that continues recent federal and state efforts to recover this iconic Florida industry. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who helped craft this disaster relief package, I am proud that we can finally begin to address some of the economic damages suffered by growers and make sure that crop yields, and life throughout Florida’s heartland, return to normal as quickly as possible.”
Rubio’s Disaster Relief Efforts for Florida Citrus
·         In April, Rubio spoke directly with Secretary Perdue regarding the status of disaster relief and also urged him to effectively implement disaster funding. Following their conversation, USDA announced its implementation process for the $2.36 billion in disaster payments for farmers that was provided by Congress. ‎
·         In February, Rubio was able to secure funding for Florida agriculture in the disaster supplemental.

·         In November, Rubio stated that the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) proposed disaster supplemental was unacceptable for Florida farmers.
·         In October, Rubio led nearly all members of the Florida congressional delegation in urging the leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees to provide additional resources for hurricane recovery efforts in Florida.
·         In September, Rubio hosted a discussion on recovery efforts with Florida agricultural leaders, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, in Hendry County.
·         Additionally, in September, Rubio visited Collier, Lee, Polk and Palm Beach Counties after Hurricane Irma, while staff hosted hurricane recovery assistance centers in the Florida Keys, Miami, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Fort Myers,  Naples and Immokalee.