Florida governor pushes for federal support

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Florida Governor Rick Scott is in Washington
The state's citrus industry is hurting after Hurricane Irma -- and he's making a pitch for federal support.

Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage. Governor Scott says a number of farmers lost everything and the state needs federal relief.

"I'm going to continue talking to the White House and to Congress but the bottom line is it's up to Congress," said Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida.

Wednesday, Rick Scott and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam visited Capitol Hill. They also met with FEMA and the heads of the Energy and Interior departments

"There are a lot of needs around this country. Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas. Hurricane Maria has devastated our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Irma has devastated the state of Florida," said Adam Putnam, Florida Agriculture Commissioner.

Florida's agriculture industry has already lost two and a half billion dollars due to Hurricane Irma, according to the Governor's Office. But it remains to be seen whether Congress would approve federal relief dollars.

The citrus industry alone has seen at least 760 million dollars in damage from Irma -- and that's just the preliminary estimate.

"You have a rotting mat of citrus that is decomposing in the groves and represents not only the loss of revenue to growers but it means thousands of jobs," said Putnam.

Congressman Neal Dunn was at the meeting and says he's proud of Scott's leadership. In a statement, he says, "The Florida delegation stands united in ensuring our men and women on the ground throughout the state have the tools they need to rebuild."

Governor Scott says his goal is for Congress to approve the funding soon. He says those in need could then see relief more quickly.

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