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Rubio, Menendez, Colleagues Champion Bipartisan Comprehensive Flood Insurance Reform Bill

Jul 18, 2019 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Kennedy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Chris Van Hollen (R-MD) introduced the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019. The bill would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years while instituting a series of sweeping reforms to make bold investments in proactive mitigation and mapping to bolster our nation’s resiliency while reducing flood risk to our communities. Additionally, this sweeping legislation takes important steps to address the waste, abuse, and mismanagement plaguing the current system. Specifically, this comprehensive legislation tackles systemic problems with the NFIP, puts it back on solid fiscal ground, and reframes the nation’s entire disaster paradigm to one that focuses more on prevention and preparation to reduce spare the enormous cost of rebuilding after flood disasters. U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Clay Higgins (R-LA) are introducing bipartisan companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The National Flood Insurance Program is vitally important to my home State of Florida as it holds more than one-third of total policies nationwide,” Rubio said. “This bill provides long-term stability, while delivering much needed reforms to protect the program’s policyholders. The federal government must take a more proactive approach in addressing the underlying risk affecting flood prone communities, and unfortunately, instability has long plagued the program. I am proud to have worked with this bipartisan group to make our National Flood Insurance Program more practical, sustainable and accountable.”
“We’ve witnessed the NFIP fail our constituents in their greatest hour of need and, after countless reauthorizations that simply kick a broken can down the road, we want real reform,” Menendez said. “With the National Flood Insurance Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, we can make the program more sustainable, more affordable, hold FEMA and private contractors accountable, and invest in the kind of forward-looking mitigation that reduces risk and prevents costly flooding in the first place.”
“This legislation ensures the NFIP works for the homeowners that depend on it,” Dr. Cassidy said. “The reforms in this bill are critical to any reauthorization effort to make the program sustainable and prevent families from being hit with drastic premium increases.”
“This legislation is an important and common sense approach to make flood insurance more affordable and extend coverage to communities who need it the most. Investing in the National Flood Insurance Program will ensure that New Jersey families are protected should disaster strike,” Booker said. “It’s important that residents know there is a safety net that can not only help rebuild communities, but prevent and eliminate waste and mismanagement.”
“More than five million Americans depend on the National Flood Insurance Program to protect their homes and businesses.  For many people, this program is as essential as air and water,” Kennedy said.  “Louisiana has been home to people for centuries. Louisiana energy jobs are helping the U.S. end its reliance on foreign oil.  Through common sense reforms, we can create a flood insurance program that continues to protect people’s homes at affordable rates while remaining solvent.”
“With rising sea levels and heavier rainfalls bearing down on our communities, it’s critical that we reform our flood insurance program to reduce financial risk for families and bring people the peace of mind they deserve,” Warren said. “That’s why I’m pleased to support this legislation, which would take several steps to improve resiliency, and tackle the waste, and mismanagement plaguing our current flood insurance system.”
“Our National Flood Insurance Program is broken, and New Yorkers who live and work in coastal communities are demanding that Congress solve this problem now. With hurricane season already here and sea levels rising on our coasts, we must act quickly to fix the program and give Americans the relief they need,” Gillibrand said. “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bipartisan bill to make our National Flood Insurance Program stronger, and I urge all of my colleagues to join me in fighting to pass it.”
“Every American homeowner, renter, businesses, and community is at risk of a substantial loss due to flooding.  The National Flood Insurance Program provides a way to protect against such risk, but the program can be vastly improved to better protect the public,” Reed said.  “This bill would provide a comprehensive, long-term reauthorization that will ensure property owners know their flood risk and have an appropriately priced but affordable way to insure against it.  Most important, it includes new tools to help property owners mitigate risk before a flood occurs.”
 “Reauthorizing our national flood insurance program is crucial to protecting our communities from severe weather. From hardening our infrastructure to helping our towns rebuild, this legislation includes critical updates that will allow FEMA to better serve families and businesses in Maryland and across the country. It is particularly important for areas like Ellicott City, which has been ravaged by historic floods, and low-lying communities along the Chesapeake Bay. I will continue working to strengthen our state’s flood infrastructure so communities in our state have the security they need and deserve,” Van Hollen said.