Lawmakers Should Oppose a Clean Extension of the Flood Insurance Program

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NTU urges all Representatives to vote “NO” on any legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that does not contain necessary reforms. This program is in desperate need of transformation to avoid a collapse and an imminent taxpayer-funded bailout. 
Labeled as “High Risk” in a 2017 Government Accountability Office Report, the NFIP has a $20.5 billion debt to taxpayers and serious structural deficiencies. Without adjustments to risk-based pricing, removal of barriers to private market innovation, investments into risk mapping, and other reforms, it is unlikely that the NFIP will achieve fiscal sustainability. Instead, the NFIP invites a moral hazard by subsidizing homeowners to live and build in flood-prone, often ecologically sensitive areas, and by discouraging mitigation efforts.
Just last year, this Congress approved a measure to forgive nearly $16 billion in NFIP debt without so much as one reform. Of the 41 NFIP reauthorizations over the past 20 years, only 3 have included modest reforms. For far too long Congress has failed to address the issues within the flawed program, leaving homes in danger of flooding, individuals in a hazardous situation, and taxpayers at risk of footing the bill for a future bailout.
Rather than simply kick the can down the road, Congress must consider including common-sense provisions from the Royce-Blumenauer package as a guidepost for relatively modest changes to a program with major problems. These small steps should also serve as a foundation for a more comprehensive package similar to the one passed last year by the House.
Roll call votes on this legislation will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and, absent any effort at reform, a “NO” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Government Affairs Associate Thomas Aiello at