WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) made the following statement after the House Financial Services Committee unanimously voted to advance the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 during today’s committee markup:
“After 12 short-term extensions, many of which passed mere hours or days before the program would have lapsed, it is long past time for Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Families and businesses across the country that rely on NFIP deserve this stability.
“The bill that passed unanimously by the Financial Services Committee achieves some very important reforms. It prioritizes mitigation and improves the mapping process. It includes common sense affordability measures like allowing monthly payments and protecting people’s rates if they choose to go to a private plan but want to come back to NFIP at a later date. It eliminates costly surcharges for policyholders. It doesn’t include any rate or fee hikes on policyholders. And importantly, it reauthorizes the program for five years.
“Does this bill include everything that I would like to see in a flood insurance reform bill? No, it doesn’t, but this bill is a substantial improvement over current law, and the 5 million policyholders across the country deserve for their elected officials to do their jobs and stop punting the program for a few weeks and months at a time. And as we have always had to do, we will continue to hold FEMA accountable for any administrative action they take in the future that impacts affordability.
“The fact that Republicans and Democrats in the House have been able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to move forward on a bill that provides long-term certainty for policyholders and makes key reforms is a significant accomplishment, and I applaud Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry for leading the charge.
“It’s unfortunate the Senate has not been able to do their part in building a coalition to pass a long-term reauthorization of the program. I am glad we have been able to do that in the House, and I look forward to the bill receiving a strong vote on the Floor in the coming weeks. Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ This bill, while not perfect, is a strong improvement over current law. Hopefully the Senate will back up their talk with action and finally do their job in joining us to pass a long-term extension so that we can fina