WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA-08) released the below statement on tonight’s vote on the Conference Report to Accompany H.J.Res. 31 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019. Rep. Scott voted against the spending package for its failure to adequately secure our southern border and deliver much-needed federal assistance to farmers and communities impacted by recent wildfires, hurricanes, severe flooding, and other natural disasters from 2018.

“In October, Georgia was hit hard by one of the strongest hurricanes the state has ever seen. The destruction was unimaginable. It battered cities and small towns and destroyed thousands of acres of farmland. For months, I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues in the House for timely disaster relief for farmers and communities impacted by Hurricane Michael and the other natural disasters of 2018. When this spending package was released without disaster assistance, I was disappointed and frustrated that the assurances we have heard for months that relief would be included in spending measures to reopen the government were empty promises,” said Rep. Scott, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. “For this reason, along with the glaring absence of adequate funds to protect Americans and curb illegal activity by building a physical barrier along our southern border, I could not vote for this spending measure. I promise the people of Georgia and the Southeast that I will continue to do everything I can to ensure the devastation they experienced in the wake of these natural disasters does not go forgotten.”

In October, Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a Category 3 Hurricane and was the first major hurricane to directly impact the state since the 1890’s. Projections conducted by the University of Georgia place the losses for Georgia’s agricultural industry caused by Hurricane Michael at over $2.5 billion. In November, Rep. Scott led the Georgia Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to then-House Leadership stressing the timely importance of federal assistance for disaster recovery. Click here to read more.

In January, Scott and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02) were successful in including an amendment in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 268) which would have increased emergency assistance funding to agricultural producers who suffered losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other agricultural related losses in 2018. H.R. 268 passed the House by a vote of 237 – 187 and awaits action in the Senate. Click here to read more.