Jason Parker

House Speaker Paul Ryan Joins Marco Rubio, Carlos Curbelo on Tour of Irma Damaged Florida Keys

A week and a half after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys and left extensive damage in its wake, House Speaker Paul Ryan headed to the area to survey the recovery efforts.

Ryan was joined by members of Florida’s Congressional delegation – Senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, whose district includes the Florida Keys – on an air tour of the area that was first hit by the then Category 4 storm on September 10th.

"America loves Florida," Ryan said after the tour. "I've been coming here since I was a young guy. I've been fishing in the back bay, in the Florida Bay behind Islamorada since my early 20s."

Ryan and the lawmakers who took the tour play key roles in controlling the nation's purse strings, including federal funding to help with Irma recovery.

"As we assess, and we get more information from the administration, I'm sure that we're going to do another, what we call supplemental, sometime in October once we have a full assessment of what is needed," Ryan said.

Curbelo said FEMA funding and tax relief for families are his top two priorities for Florida.

"There are provisions that we can put into the code that will help provide these individuals, families and small businesses some support here at the end of 2017 and into 2018," Curbelo said.

The congressman from Wisconsin is the latest high-ranking politician to travel to areas hard hit by Irma. President Trump traveled last week to Fort Myers and Naples, the second part of the state hit by the storm, while members of his cabinet have also traveled from Washington D.C. to tour the damage.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price was with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Marathon on Monday while Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue flew over areas in Southwest and Central Florida to survey damage to crops from the storm.

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