Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Thanks Secretary Perdue for Commitment to Disaster Aid Distribution

Apr 6, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL) issued the following statement in response to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for disaster relief payments through the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program:

“Florida’s farmers and growers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will finally be getting the help they need to rebound from Hurricane Irma,” Congressman Rooney said. “I want to thank Secretary Perdue for his commitment in setting up this recovery program and also thank Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam for his tireless efforts to put Florida’s farmers’ and ranchers’ needs first.”

The disaster relief funds are available as part of the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Sign-up for the new program, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will begin no later than July 16.

Preliminary estimates calculated over $2.5 billion in losses to Florida’s agriculture industry from Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm which struck the state in September. Friday’s announcement is the result of a request made by Congressman Rooney to provide direct disaster relief payments of up to $2.36 billion to ranchers and growers nationwide.

“From citrus greening to flooding, our growers have borne the brunt of Irma,” Rooney said. “The road to recovery has not been easy, but rest assured, we are going to do all we can to get oranges back on the trees and get growers back on their feet once more.”