Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) released the following statement in response to U.S. Federal District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty issuing a preliminary injunction in the Missouri v. Biden case yesterday, blocking numerous federal agencies in the Biden administration from colluding with Big Tech to censor Americans:
“Under the Trump administration, numerous left-wing federal judges issued nationwide injunctions blocking lawful activities to remove illegal aliens from our country. Unlike those decisions, Judge Doughty’s ruling limits itself to prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of State; and numerous named bad employees from engaging with Big Tech for the purpose of violating our constitutional rights.
While I applaud Judge Doughty’s brave stand, the practical effects of his ruling will likely be minimal. But his decision is a shot across the bow of the Biden administration’s censorship industrial complex. Unlike the left-wing decisions that crippled early Trump administration efforts to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, Judge Doughty’s decision is careful to note that the federal government is not blocked from speaking with Big Tech about ongoing criminal or national security matters. The decision is carefully reasoned and fair.
In the absence of an executive branch willing to uphold the Constitution, the task of threading the needle of protecting our nation, enabling adequate law enforcement, and protecting our cherished civil liberties is a job, right now, for Congress. I am proud to serve on our House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, serving alongside Chairman Jim Jordan. I hope that some of the individuals enjoined under the Missouri v. Biden ruling will testify, voluntarily or under subpoena, before our subcommittee soon,” Congressman Gaetz said.
Commissioner Wilton Simpson Announces Cost-Share Assistance for Agricultural Producers Impacted by Hurricane Idalia
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced a cost-share assistance program to support agricultural producers severely impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The cost-share assistance program will be administered though the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy and will support agricultural producers in repairing or replacing damaged irrigation systems, while simultaneously promoting agricultural water efficiency and reducing nutrient application. Additional information on this program and how producers apply can be found here.
Commissioner Wilton Simpson said, “Hurricane Idalia caused widespread crop and livestock losses and severe damage to agricultural infrastructure. This innovative cost-share program will work to support our hardest hit growers who lost much of their 2023 crop and are now looking for ways to repair or replace hundreds of irrigation systems ahead of the next growing season. While this targeted program will not be able to support every impacted agricultural producer, it is another important recovery resource. I will continue working with local, state, and federal partners to ensure that impacted producers have access to the recovery resources they deserve.”
The assistance program will focus on existing irrigation systems and offer a reimbursement rate of 75% for eligible projects, practices, and equipment, up to a maximum of $150,000 per producer or entity. Commissioner Simpson raised the maximum eligible grant amount from $50,000 to $150,000. It is important to note that these funds will not cover items already fully insured. Eligible repairs will target water and nutrient savings, with a commitment of a five-year contract by the producer or entity to ensure long-term water and nutrient conservation benefits over the irrigation system’s twenty-year lifespan.
Eligibility for the program includes operations in a severely impacted county, enrollment in the applicable FDACS best management practices program, compliance with state and federal regulations, including water use permits for pivot locations, and a commitment to minimal tillage and conservation-based practices. The maximum reimbursement amount is set at $150,000 per producer or entity per contract.
Eligible projects, tools, and equipment include but are not limited to pump bowl upgrades, irrigation retrofits, variable rate irrigation systems, electrical conductivity mapping, precision soil sampling, soil moisture sensors, new control panels, irrigation system automation, flow meters, automatic shutoff devices, fertigation systems, weather stations, variable frequency drives, and other efficiencies or enhancements identified by the Mobile Irrigation Lab.
Through existing statutory authority and agency budget, FDACS will initially use allocated funds for cost-share. Given the substantial cost of equipping irrigation systems with precision agriculture technology, the department is actively exploring additional funding avenues to assist more producers.
This cost-share assistance program is in addition to a variety of other agricultural recovery resources offered by state, local, and federal partners, including:
- Bridge Loan for Ag Producers
- Disaster Programs Administered by FSA [ ]
- Natural Disasters and Crop Insurance [ ]
- Hurricane Idalia Relief Fund
- 2023 Agriculture Disaster Impact Assessment [ ]
- Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool
- Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
- Livestock Indemnity Program
- Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program
- Tree Assistance Program
- Emergency Forest Restoration Program
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- Emergency Watershed Protection Program
- Farm Loan Discovery Tool
- Disaster Work Log [ ]
- Cash Payments ECP Guidance [ ]