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ICYMI: Rep. Waters Op-Ed on Forgiving the NFIP Debt

In a guest column in the Baton Rouge Advocate this week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, discussed the need for Congress to erase the National Flood Insurance Program’s $23 billion debt so that homeowners and businesses can rely on an affordable and sustainable program to protect them financial in the face of disaster:

“I am calling on Congress to forgive the NFIP’s debt so that as we work to reauthorize the program in 2017, we can start with a clean slate. Democrats and Republicans may disagree on many things, but I believe this is one area that we should all be able to agree on. The program’s current level of debt is entirely unsustainable, and if Congress does not address it, the future of the program is at risk, as are the policyholders that rely on the NFIP and the American taxpayers that fund disaster relief.

“The longer that Congress ignores this issue, the longer we will be stuck paying substantial interest on debt that will never be paid back, which in turn thwarts our ability to provide affordable flood insurance across the nation. As Congress continues to review the program ahead of its expiration in September 2017, I hope that common sense will prevail. Let’s forgive the NFIP’s debt and put our nation back on the path to affordability and resiliency.”

The full column can be found on The Advocate’s website.

In September, Waters introduced legislation, H.R. 5953, that would erase the NFIP’s debt. The NFIP provides flood insurance to more than 5 million households and businesses in the United States, providing more than $1 trillion in coverage. The program is also an integral part of protecting our nation from flood risks, including by maintaining flood maps, overseeing mitigation programs and supporting preventive measures.

For more information on the NFIP and its mounting debt, a “Myths vs. Facts” primer can viewed here.


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