As this month marks the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement regarding her longstanding call to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program created by Congress to provide flood insurance for millions of families:
“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,” said Ranking Member Waters.
“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. With this failed leadership, the last thing we need is for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 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.”
Congress currently has until July 31 to reauthorize the NFIP. Ranking Member Waters continues to push for a long-term reauthorization of the program, instead of periodic short-term extensions, to ensure the affordability and availability of flood insurance.
See her September 2017 op-ed on the program here. She has also expressed longstanding concerns about NFIP’s stability and the need to improve FEMA’s flood maps.
In 2014, Ranking Member Waters led bipartisan legislation to provide homeowners with flood insurance rate relief. The law struck an important balance between addressing affordability concerns, bringing accountability to FEMA, and protecting the financial stability of the NFIP.