One Year Later by Representative Byron Donalds

One year later, taking a look back

The devastating storm surge, wind gusts and widespread destruction of Hurricane Ian, leveled mile-after-mile of our region. Although the destruction was historic, the strength, resilience and can-do spirit of our Southwest Florida community propelled us through a year of extraordinary reconstruction. Over the past year, my office has prioritized disaster relief legislation and has introduced nine topical, legislative proposals that will directly benefit our Southwest Florida community.

H.RES. 47 – Prohibiting Disaster Relief Legislation from Containing Non-Disaster-Related Political Proposals – Last Congress, there were instances in which Democrats slipped unrelated and overtly partisan language into disaster relief legislation in attempts to leverage the pain and suffering of Americans to pass their progressive platform items. Simply put, it is unacceptable for Washington politicians to politicize disasters like Hurricane Ian and why I introduced this proposal.

H.R. 1009 – National Strategy to Utilize Microreactors for Natural Disaster Response Efforts Act – This bill directs the President of the United States to collaborate with several federal entities, that currently have minimal interaction, to develop a national strategy relating to using nuclear microreactors to assist with the impact of a natural disaster (for example instead of using diesel generators).

H.R. 1494 – Hurricane Tax Relief Act – This bill stands up for the people of Southwest Florida by working to fix the qualified loss dilemma for Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, Fiona and subsequent natural disasters. The legislation would provide enhanced disaster loss tax relief to our community and has the support of Senators Scott, Rubio and various members of our state’s congressional delegation. Our office has repeatedly pressed Congressional leadership, the President of the United States, and the committee of jurisdiction for action. We have also signed onto concurrent proposals by Representatives Steube and Cammack to ensure that one of our three proposals is successfully passed.

H.R. 3782 – Short Line Railroad Relief Act – This bill establishes a disaster relief program to provide much-needed, immediate financial assistance to US short line railroads. It is imperative that we secure the efficiency of our supply chain, authorize critical natural disaster relief, and bolster small businesses across America.

H.R. 4678 – Provide Logistical Airport Aid Via Advanced Nuclear Energy (PLANE) Act – This bill updates the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) guidance and encourages airports to consider using microreactors for back-up power in the case of natural disasters. We must proactively prepare for disaster scenarios, encourage efficiency in federal agency collaboration and foster clean and green energy solutions.

H.R. 5103 – The Fishery Improvement to Streamline Untimely Regulatory Hurdles Post-Emergency Situation (FISHES) Act – This bipartisan bill seeks to improve the federal regulatory processes associated with disaster relief funding at fisheries. In addition to streamlining federal disaster relief funding, my proposal slashes red tape for expedited disaster relief allocation, and ensures support for fisheries in their times of need.

H.AMDT. 760 – Deploying Microreactors in Response to Natural Disasters – This amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directs government entities to develop a national strategy to deploy nuclear microreactors to respond to the impacts of a natural disaster. It is critical that we ensure energy is available after disasters, we propose clean and efficient energy options, and that we proactively prepare for future disasters.

H.AMDT. 327 – Evaluates Natural Disaster Emergency Response Plans at Airports Pertaining to Electricity and Power Disruptions – This amendment included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill evaluates the emergency response plans at all FAA-certified airports pertaining to electricity-related considerations. In addition, this proposal proactively prepares for disaster scenarios, ensures that airports have reliable back-up power, and updates plans to assess readiness concerns.

H.R. 5795 – Natural Disaster Transparency Enhancement Act – This bill directs the heads of federal agencies and departments to publish certain data with respect to disaster relief for public viewing. This proposal also seeks to ensure transparency in disaster relief, provide accurate information to the American people, and publish agency funds that have been approved and/or disbursed.

In addition, over the past year, our office has acted as a community hub for those in need, toured various disaster/rebuilding sites across our region, hosted multiple town halls with representatives of SBA, FEMA and NFIP, worked to help get critical infrastructure rebuilt, pushed the Lee County Electric Cooperative to expedite power restoration, and called upon the US Postal Service to reopen the Sanibel Post Office.

This August, members of the House Oversight Committee also joined me for a site visit of the destruction and ongoing recovery efforts in Fort Myers Beach. The committee held a subsequent hearing on-location to provide oversight of the federal response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.

My office and I will never stop fighting for our Southwest Florida community and we will continue to advocate strongly on your behalf in the halls of Congress.


Collier County Office
3299 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 105, Naples, FL 34112
Phone: 239.252.6225

Washington, DC Office
1719 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.2536


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