Florida's Congressional Caucus Leads Bipartisan Request for Citrus Hurricane Relief

Florida's Congressional Caucus Leads Bipartisan Request for Citrus Hurricane Relief

Florida continues to recover from Hurricane Ian

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
December 9, 2022

The state of Florida continues to recover from the destruction left after Hurricane Ian made landfall several months ago.  In a bipartisan move, Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL-15) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-9) have teamed up to request disaster relief funds from the House Appropriations Committee to help the citrus industry, which took a big hit after the hurricane came through.

Franklin's press release describes how Florida's citrus industry brings in nearly $7 billion per year and provides 33,000 jobs. Hurricane Ian affected 375,302 acres of farmland, which is over 90% of citrus production. Because of this, estimated losses by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services range from $416 million to $675 million. Resultantly, bipartisan cooperation is necessary to recoup such severe losses for the whole state.

On Twitter, Franklin says in a two-part tweet, "Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s citrus industry this year, with more than 90 percent of all production impacted. Citrus is the pride of Florida & the backbone of many of our rural communities. That’s why I led a letter with @RepDarrenSoto requesting disaster relief for our hardworking and resilient citrus growers."

Similarly, Soto says on his Twitter that "After Hurricane Ian, we saw Central Florida growers struggle with losses and water damage. I joined @RepFranklin and several Florida colleagues in a letter asking @AppropsDems leaders to consider providing disaster relief funding to our citrus industry."

Other signers of the bill made themselves known on social media, including Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL-19).

"Florida’s citrus industry is vital to our state, and they faced a devastating blow due to Hurricane Ian to the tune of 375,302 acres. I am proud to join my colleagues in urging appropriators to provide disaster relief funding for our state’s citrus industry," stated Rep. Donalds.

Finally, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL3) says she was a leader in the letter, stating  that "@RepDarrenSoto and I led a letter to House and Senate Appropriators with strong support of the Florida delegation about relief to specialty crop insurance providers who are facing steep A&O costs with certain caps in current law."

Other Florida Democrats listed as signatories have not yet made comment on the letter, though they include Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL-20), Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-5), and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14).

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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