With losses total in some areas of the state, Florida’s iconic citrus industry will need Congressional help to recover from Hurricane Irma, according to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
The former Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate warned the Florida Citrus Commission that the U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t the savior it once was.
“The flexibility and discretion that previously had been in the secretary’s office is no more. Comparable disaster assistance programs to what we have seen in the past will now require an act of Congress. And as a recovering Congressman, I can assure you, nothing moves as fast as we would like in Washington.”
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, an Orlando Democrat, is warning Congress might not come to Florida’s rescue until December, when it has to act on the budget.
The state’s second-largest industry employs 45 thousand workers.