Coalition of Over 80 Members of Congress Introduce Legislation to Address Flood Insurance Rate Increases
On the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, a broad, bipartisan coalition of over 80 Members of the House of Representatives have introduced a legislative solution to fix the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ensure changes are implemented affordably.
The legislation, led by Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), calls for a four-year delay to the program, requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete an affordability study and propose a framework that addresses affordability issues. A companion measure has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
Specifically, the legislation will accomplish the following:
Original Cosponsors of the legislation include: Representatives Michael Grimm (R-NY); Maxine Waters (D-CA); Cedric Richmond (D-LA); Pete Olson (R-TX); Steven Palazzo (R-MS); Patrick Murphy (D-FL); Bill Cassidy (R-LA); Doris Matsui (D-CA); Kevin Cramer (R-ND); William Keating (D-MA); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL);Corrine Brown (D-FL); Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX); Gregory Meeks (D-NY); Mike McIntyre (D-NC); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); Richard Nugent (R-FL); Bobby Scott (D-VA); Jim Langevin (D-RI); Joseph Crowley (D-NY); Gwen Moore (D-WI); Glenn Thompson (R-PA); Walter Jones (R- NC); Peter Welch (D- VT); William Enyart (D- IL); Frank LoBiondo (R- NJ); Stephen Lynch (D-MA); John Carney (D-DE); John Culberson (R-TX); Kathy Castor (D-FL); Joe Garcia (D-FL); Lois Frankel (D-FL); Nydia Velazquez (D-NY); Jan Schakowsky (D-IL); Peter King (R-NY); Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Frederica Wilson (D-FL); Filemon Vela; (D- TX); Rodney Davis (R-IL); John Tierney (D-MA); Ed Perlmutter (D – CO); Keith Ellison (D-MN); Ted Deutch (D-FL); Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY); Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL); Jerry McNerney (D-CA); Charles Boustany (R-LA); William Lacy Clay (D-MO); Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO); Steve Scalise (R –LA); Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY); John Garamendi (D-CA); Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX); Vern Buchanan (R-FL); Robert Andrews (D-NJ); Niki Tsongas (D-MA); Tim Bishop (D-NY); Gerry Connolly (D-VA); Danny Davis (D-CA); Diana Degette (D-CO); Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA); Al Green (D-TX); Gene Green (D-TX); Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Gregg Harper (R-MS); Rush Holt (D-NJ); Joe Kennedy (D-MA); Dan Maffei (D-NY); Frank Pallone (D-NJ); Jared Polis (D-CO); Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); Kurt Schrader (D-OR); David Scott (D-GA); Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH); Albio Sires (D-NJ); Louise Slaughter (D-NY); Steve Stockman (R-TX); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
“Homeowners across the nation have been hit with skyrocketing flood insurance rates, which they simply cannot afford,” said. Rep. Michael Grimm. “On Staten Island, this is an unbearable blow that further victimizes those who are still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy. I am proud to be part of bipartisan, bicameral solution to delay the rate hikes, while improving the Biggert-Waters Act in ways that protect homeowners from financial burdens and maintain the solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program.”
“The Biggert-Waters legislation was designed to address a $24 billion deficit and ensure millions of American homeowners could continue to purchase flood insurance. But FEMA’s poor implementation, inaccurate mapping and incomplete data has led to unreasonable and unimaginable increases in premiums. From the moment I learned of the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters legislation, I have made clear that I would lead the effort to resolve the problems that have resulted,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee. “Today we have reached bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the best way to repair the National Flood Insurance Program. This legislation would ensure FEMA undertakes program changes in a way that will not cause harm, by delaying implementation until it provides Congress the facts on how rate increases will affect homeowners. It will also give us the information we need to go through the program piece-by-piece and fix any outstanding affordability issues.”
“Today, I join my House and Senate colleagues to continue the fight to make flood insurance affordable. We cannot leave our neighbors, families and friends in our respective states to grapple with this burden alone,” Congressman Cedric Richmond said. “Flood insurance increases have sent shockwaves up and down the coastal regions and through the heartland of our country. I’m a proud that there is now legislation in both houses of Congress that provides a sustainable, long-term solution that will allow people to buy and sell homes without penalty. This effort transcends party affiliation and reaches down to the core of our purpose in Congress, which is to draft legislation that protects our constituents. For Louisiana’s communities bearing the brunt of these insurance hikes, especially the River Parishes, today is a big step toward a solution.”