For members of the Congress hailing from Florida, this is a crucial period as, on one side, their state is trying to limp back to normalcy after the massive hit it has taken from the hurricane and on the other, they have to present a convincing enough case to get relief aid. So far it appears that getting relief funding from the federal government is going to be an uphill task as budget-conscious congressmen are making sure that no single extra dollar goes out anywhere.
Florida begins restoration activities
Meanwhile, in Florida, the damage caused by Hurricane Irma is being assessed and work to repair it has already begun. As the state's machinery is overloaded with repair and restoration efforts, most of the Florida Congressional delegation members failed to reach Washington in time to build pressure for votes and gain federal help. They have, however, appealed to others to present their case and ensure that funding is not skimped upon. Texas did receive funding when it was battered by nature scarcely a week ago and Florida Congress members have pointed this out to give their request for relief aid, more punch. Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says that she and her colleagues in Congress will fight for adequate relief aid from the Federal government just like they did, successfully, for Texas.
Deficit issue may make relief funding difficult
The ongoing issue with the federal deficit is likely to put a dampener on their efforts though. Conservative Republicans are sure to protest any funding measures that will worsen the current deficit situation and relief aid will surely have an adverse impact because no budget cuts can be made to match the funding. As far as budget-conscious Republicans are concerned, there are just too many serious consequences of raising the deficit that make Florida relief aid, a very costly affair, indeed.
Making a statement about the Florida relief request, Rep. Jeb Hensarling pointed out that the relief funding should be paired with offsets primarily given the huge threat posed by the impossible to sustain national debt. More than a hundred Republicans, including Hensarling, voted against a relief bill that outlined $15.25 billion as aid. The relief bill was paired with a debt ceiling increase that would enable the government to keep functioning for a very short period. It is very likely that quite a few votes would go against any proposal for Irma relief, under these circumstances.