Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Secures Millions for Agriculture and Water Efforts in Florida

Jul 12, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) obtained millions of federal dollars in critical funding for Florida in the Appropriations Committee’s Agriculture and Energy & Water bills, which both passed today in the Appropriations Committee.

Rooney represents the largest agriculture district east of the Mississippi River and includes Lake Okeechobee, the largest freshwater lake in the state. Congressman Rooney is proud to represent a district that’s made real progress because of, not in spite of, the successful cooperation among ranchers, farmers, conservation groups and state and local governments and their willingness to share responsibility with the federal government to complete one of the largest ecosystem restoration projects in one of the largest agriculture states in the world.

“Agriculture and water issues are the main topics I hear about from my constituents back at home. I work every day on to ensure that sound commonsense policy gets made and consider these to be my biggest priorities in Congress,” Rooney said. “I am one of three Florida members who serve on the prestigious Appropriations Committee, one of the most bipartisan committees in Congress. Through my work on this Committee, I have the opportunity to request funding for Florida specific projects and bring those tax dollars home to my constituents. These two bills are critical to keeping Florida beautiful and protecting our state’s agriculture industry which is a key driver of economic growth.”

Florida’s agriculture industry is a key economic driver in the state with around 47,300 commercial farms and ranches that span a total of 9.45 million acres across our state’s heartland. Florida’s farmers and ranchers contribute almost $9 billion, but have a far greater economic impact with the amount of jobs the industry supports. Rooney worked tirelessly on behalf of Florida’s farmers and ranchers to ensure that key projects and programs were able to continue for Fiscal Year 2018.

Funding requests for these projects were submitted by Rooney and were accepted in the final Agriculture Appropriations bill include:

  • $7.5 million to sustain the Huanglongbing Multiagency Coordination Group’s (HLB-MAC) recent research gains in early detection, greening management strategies, and therapies to treat infected trees.
  • $53.8 million for the USDA’s Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP). CHRP is a nationwide effort to protect the U.S. citrus industry from invasive pests and diseases, like HLB, and funds for this program allow the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to partner with states and local entities to develop a cure for citrus greening disease.
  • $552 thousand for the Ag in the K-12 Classroom program, a critical tool used to educate our nations’ children about the importance and relevance of the agricultural industry in today’s society.
  • $375 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the premier competitive grants program to research and education to support our nations’ food and agricultural systems.

Floridians have a unique understanding and appreciation for our waterways. Congressman Rooney was proud to work to ensure that this bill includes these funding for these imperative water projects. Funding requests for these projects were submitted by Rooney and were accepted in the final 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations bill include:

  • $76.5 million for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration for the Everglades, including funding for the Indian River Lagoon and Kissimmee River Restoration projects
  • $82 million for the Herbert Hoover Dike
  • $175 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Flood and Storm Damage Reduction and Flood Control
  • $75 million for Shore Protection projects that protect Florida’s coastal communities
  • $6.5 million for Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration

For the full text of both bills please visit:

Agriculture: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap-fy2018-agriculture-agriculture.pdf

Energy and Water: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-115hr-sc-ap-fy2018-energywater-energyandwater.pdf