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200 days after Hurricane Michael, Florida Panhandle still waiting on Congressional action

 

Date: April 28, 2019
Source: NWF Daily news
Author:  Katie Landeck

 

PANAMA CITY — Within 10 days of Hurricane Katrina, Congress has passed supplemental disaster relief funding.

For Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav, it took 17 days. For Hurricane Andrew, the last Category 5 storm to strike the United States, it took 34 days. For Hurricane Sandy, which sparked bitter debate in Congress, it took 74 days.

Today marks the 200th day since Hurricane Michael decimated the Florida Panhandle and still no supplemental disaster funding has been passed.

“The fact that Congress is playing politics with the Panhandle is absolutely out of control, insane, a travesty, there are probably not enough adjectives used to describe the incompetence of what that place is doing,” said Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, said at a recent press conference in Tallahassee.

Congress left for the Easter break after failing four times to pass a supplemental disaster relief bill for the 2018 disasters, including Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence and the California Wildfires. The most recent attempt fell apart over negotiations about how much aid to give to Puerto Rico, still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

After a two-week break, Congress will be back in session on Monday.

Local Congressman Neal Dunn’s office has been in a full court press to get some sort of relief passed, repeatedly voicing frustration with the process, calling it a political farce.

“It is shameful that the Speaker of the House and Senate Minority Leader are playing political games with the livelihoods of the many victims of 2018 disasters who are hurting across this country,” Dunn said. “I will continue to fight for disaster aid and I hope Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer will immediately support the passage of disaster relief funding.”