Waters renews calls for long-term flood insurance program

Current program set to expire in July

The national flood insurance program is set to expire in July, and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is renewing the call to pass a long-term solution for the problem.

(Video credit: Alcynna Lloyd)

Currently, the NFIP is set to expire on July 31, 2018, and has been pushed back by a series of short-term bills funding the program for just a few months at a time.

Back in November, the House of Representatives passed long-term reauthorization of the program, but Congress has yet to pass anything to the president’s desk, and continues to pass short-term solutions.

The NFIP was established in 1968, and authorization for the program, which is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to FEMA’s website, “The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.”

Now, as this year’s hurricane season begins, Waters called upon Congress and the administration to find a long-term solution for the program.

“In 2017, for the first time on record, three Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the United States and served as painful reminders of the importance of affordable and accessible flood insurance,” Waters said. “While Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria may be a distant memory for some, the road to recovery is just beginning for many in this country and we are still learning about the depths of despair in Puerto Rico with no signs of leadership from the Trump Administration.”

“Trump continues to praise the recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria when recent studies have estimated that thousands more Americans have died than previously acknowledged by his Administration,” he said. “With this failed leadership, the last thing we need is for the National Flood Insurance Program to expire. Partisan gamesmanship and harmful reforms passed out of the House have stalled the NFIP’s reauthorization for long enough. It’s time for Congress to do its job and pass a long-term reauthorization that will ensure Americans are protected this and every hurricane season to come.”

Last year, just how financially rocky the program is came to light after a report on the stability of it came out from the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan analysis for the U.S. Congress.

According to the CBO’s report, the program has an expected one-year shortfall of $1.4 billion.

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