A $19.1 billion disaster relief bill – set for passage seven months after Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle – was single-handedly blocked by a lone freshman member of the House of Representatives. Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried offered the following statement:
“It’s craven, shameful politics at its worst that a single House member would choose to further delay disaster relief over a border wall that isn’t going to happen. Congressman Roy must have forgotten the aid that Texans received after Hurricane Harvey, while Floridians and his fellow Americans wait more than seven months for help following Hurricane Michael and other recent disasters across the country.”
Last week, Commissioner Fried spoke before Congress on the need to pass long-overdue disaster relief. In April, she sent a letter to every member of Congress urging them to make disaster relief their top priority, and released a mini-documentary video on Hurricane Michael’s impact seen more than 200,000 times.
Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm with 161-mph winds, was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever impact North America, caused $1.7 billion in losses to Florida agriculture, and displaced tens of thousands of Floridians.