Yellowhammer News: Roby vows to continue push for Hurricane Michael relief: 'My priority is the people that I represent in the Wiregrass in Southeast Alabama'

May 10, 2019
Representative Roby In The News

Even though Hurricane Michael made its way inland on the Florida Panhandle, then into the Alabama Wiregrass eight months ago, the region is still grappling with the impact, especially the farmers in southeastern Alabama.

During an appearance on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on WVNN in Huntsville, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) offered listeners an assessment of efforts to get disaster relief for those impacted by the storm.

“As you will recall, when Hurricane Michael hit, it hit the southeastern corner of our state,” Roby said. “We had one of the best cotton crops we have had in a long time, and as a result, our farmers had gone all-in. Just at harvest time, the huge hurricane that knows no party lines, or state or district lines, crossed over and really hit hard a portion of my district.”

As it stands now, disaster relief efforts are held up in Congress, which comes at an inopportune time for some farmers that plant for their crop during this time of the year.

“This disaster funding piece is long overdue,” she continued. “As I’ve had to explain numerous times to folks here in Washington: Our farmers take a loan out, put a crop in the ground and they count on the crop to repay the loan so they can then turn around and put another crop in the ground. We’re within that 30-day window right now where our farmers need to get a crop in the ground. And, you know quite frankly, we won’t even know until next year how many farmers were unable because of Congress’ inability to act to get a crop in the ground this year.”

“This disaster money piece is way overdue,” she said. “And you know, there’s also the tornados that swept through Lee County. That recovery assistance would also be in this bill. But, a bill has been filed in the House. Is it perfect? No, it is not. But it provides much-needed assistance to the tune of $3 billion for crop-related loss, as well as for the tornados that swept across Lee County. We’re waiting to see how all of this is going to play out. At the end of the day, it is my job to represent my district, and I intend to do so as it relates to this disaster bill. It’s a good first step. We need the Senate to move. So again, I know that this bill is not perfect. But it is my job to represent the folks in the Wiregrass and make sure they get this much-needed assistance.”

The Montgomery Republican cited the effort of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) to end the impasse and reiterated her pledge to make her constituents in the Wiregrass her priority.

“I’ll just use the words of the secretary of Agriculture – he said, ‘Devastation is devastating to the devastated,’” Roby said. “And our folks in the southeast corner of our state have been devastated. So, I know that Senator Shelby has been in conversations with the White House about getting this done.”

“My priority is the people that I represent in the Wiregrass in Southeast Alabama,” she added. “So, I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement so that we can get these folks, especially the farmers, the help that they need.”