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NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 1610, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
January 15, 2014
NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 1610, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. This legislation would effectively gut the major reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) passed in 2012, plunging the troubled NFIP even further into debt and making taxpayers liable for billions more in potential losses.
Thanks to decades of below-market pricing, severe events with unprecedented damages, and increased building in low-lying areas, the NFIP is bankrupt. In 2012, when the landmark Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act was passed, NFIP was a “mere” $18 billion in debt. Less than the two years since that time, NFIP’s debt has grown to $25 billion. The provisions in the bill now before you will only exacerbate matters, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating that S. 1610’s delays could cost taxpayers an additional $2.1 billion over 10 years.
he Biggert-Waters reforms just now being implemented were considered an important first step toward returning the NFIP to solvency with common-sense taxpayer protections and building a foundation for a future private flood insurance market. S. 1610, on the other hand, would yank this progress backward at a point that may be NFIP’s most critical fiscal juncture. For too long taxpayers have subsidized risky decision-making, often for wealthy vacation-homeowners, and they shouldn’t be on the hook when losses occur in flood-prone areas. More accurate mapping of flood plains will help taxpayers and homeowners alike better understand the true costs associated with building or purchasing properties in newly designated areas. In addition, for those already in risky areas, Biggert-Waters provides solid guidance and assistance with mitigation.
Real reform is not often easy, but it is nonetheless vital. Any legislation that intends to “wait out” attempts to introduce honest risk management in NFIP (as S. 1610 does) should be vigorously opposed.
Roll call votes on S. 1610 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700