Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart, Florida Delegation Colleagues to Ag Secretary Perdue: We Must Ensure All Florida Producers Receive Fair Share of Disaster Relief

Mar 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, along with 15 bipartisan members of the Florida delegation, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to request that any disaster relief payments to producers not be subject to strict payment and income limitations typically used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If these limitations are implemented, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports 78% of Florida farms would be ineligible to receive disaster assistance.

“The road is far from over for those recovering from the 2017 hurricane season. As Florida’s farmers, ranchers, and growers struggle to get back on their feet, we must do everything we can to ensure they receive all assistance for which they are eligible. Implementing arbitrary restrictions to the supplemental disaster relief recently passed by Congress will hurt our agriculture industry, and severely limit the amount of assistance its members receive. Agriculture producers of all sizes received significant damage from Hurricane Irma, and lifting these restrictions for disaster relief will ensure that everyone receives their fair share.”

Last month, the President signed into law legislation that would provide $89.3 billion in supplemental disaster assistance to communities impacted by the 2017 hurricane season and recent wildfires. The legislation included $2.36 billion for disaster assistance to support Florida’s agriculture industry, including its iconic citrus industry that has an estimated $760 million in damages. As a Subcommittee Chairman and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Diaz-Balart was instrumental in securing adequate resources to help Florida continue its recovery process.

Click here to read the letter.