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Spending bill in Congress delays disaster bill and relief for citrus industry

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 20:57:21-05

Much of the focus Friday was on the talks to keep the federal government running.

All that has overshadowed a crucial piece of legislation Florida farmers are banking on: More than $2 billion in federal relief for the agriculture industry.

At Riverfront Packing Company in Gifford, the waiting is the hardest part.

"Waiting on one item that's very important to us," said Dan Richey.

He's been waiting months for a disaster spending bill to pass. The U.S. Senate has failed to take up the measure.

It's been pushed by the wayside as sparring continues over a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown.

The waiting is having an impact.

"A lot of people are on the edge some people are wondering if they want to grow the next crop. If they don't receive the funding there may be some folks that decide not to grow a crop. That's how important this funding is to us," said Richey.

Rep. Tom Rooney, whose district includes a big chunk of groves, said: "We have to stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good and get this disaster spending bill to the president's desk as soon as possible."