In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, along with 26 U.S. representatives from Florida, submitted Friday a line-item list of budget requests totaling $26.945 billion worth of federal hurricane recovery funding.
In a letter penned to members of the House Committee on Appropriations, nearly the entire Florida delegation outlined specific recovery funding requests in addition to the $29 billion requested this week from the White House.
“Three hurricanes have hit U.S. soil in a short time, stretching our federal agencies, first responders, and community resources thin,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “With more than a month left in the 2017 hurricane season, and another storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, Americans need to know that the federal government is ready to respond.”
The letter stresses that additional funding will likely be needed once a more thorough damage assessment is complete, and the funding sought in the letter will likely cover only part of the state’s overall recovery costs.
“This supplemental package should serve as a down payment on hurricane recovery efforts while we await full assessment of needs later this month,” the lawmakers wrote.
The largest of the requests include $10 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to help repair and sustain port and river functionality, along with repairing any damage to ongoing projects like the Herbert Hoover Dike; $7 billion for the Community Development Block Grant to fund any unmet needs, including seawall restoration in South Florida; and $5 billion for the Department of Agriculture to assist with crop and livestock losses from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
Congressman Daniel Webster, a Republican from Florida’s 11th district, was the only Florida delegation signature absent from the letter Friday.