Republicans Call for Meaningful Reform of National Flood Insurance Program
March 13, 2019 –
WASHINGTON – At today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Republican committee members highlighted the need to modernize the 51 year old program that continues to accumulate debt.
In a January letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member McHenry listed NFIP reform as a top priority and urged the Chairwoman to hold a hearing on the “affordability, availability, and long-term solvency of the NFIP.”
Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10) began by calling for programmatic reforms that include “better data, increased transparency, better technology, and more innovation.” Additionally, he pointed to the massive amount of debt, more than $20 billion, the NFIP owes the Treasury, and expressed concern for the NFIP’s “long term fiscal viability” and Democrat’s proposed legislation that would forgive the debt “without any assurance that it wouldn’t just pile back up again.”
Watch Ranking Member McHenry’s opening remarks here or by clicking on the image below.
Congressman Bill Posey (FL-8) on partnering with private markets to improve cost-effectiveness of the NFIP: “The only risk to NFIP, that going more to the private market would give, is it would stop NFIP from going further in the hole and being a burden on the taxpayers. Coverage would really be more affordable for more people if you do that.”
Watch Congressman Posey’s questioning of the witnesses here or by clicking on the image below.
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3), Ranking Member of the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee, on the NFIP using reinsurance as an alternative to relying on taxpayer dollars: “I took 20 years’ worth of income and expenses from NFIP… and I quickly found out that if NFIP had been using reinsurance and purchasing over the last 20 years, number one, they could afford it, number two, we wouldn’t have had to borrow a penny until these last two hurricanes last year. It’s very frustrating to me to see the incompetence that’s been there, in regards to NFIP directors in the past, not utilizing a tool that every other insurance company in this country uses.”
Watch Congressman Luetkemeyer’s questioning of the witnesses here or by clicking on the image below.
Congressman Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) on the Democrats proposed legislation to forgive the NFIP’s $20 billion debt: “One thing that I hear from people back home, frustration with the federal government, is the government doesn’t live by the same rules that we put on people. How many businesses or how many individuals would we just go and forgive their debt? I think we need to be a little more fiscally responsible as we move forward. I’m quite perplexed that we’re not going to address any major reforms regarding the fiscal problems that we have with flood insurance. Unless you make reforms, you’ll never change behavior, and in a few years we’ll be back in this position again.”
Watch Congressman Loudermilk’s questioning of the witnesses here or by clicking on the image below.
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