Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 2578

Should the National Flood Insurance Program Be Reauthorized Through September 30?

Argument in favor

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary source of flood insurance for over five million families and businesses. Reauthorizing it keeps these people and businesses protected in case of floods, which are becoming increasingly common. Congress needs to ensure that the NFIP doesn’t lapse for even a short period of time.

Marizzapan's Opinion
···
05/14/2019
Yes, of course, I support reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. I also support a national education program on Climate Change.
Like (22)
Follow
Share
05/12/2019
I support the national flood insurance program
Like (20)
Follow
Share
jimK's Opinion
···
05/13/2019
If our government will not commit to dealing with climate change, the government needs to, at least, help those who cannot get or afford flood insurance. The governments lack of action is putting more and more people at risk as precipitation patterns shift and weather becomes more extreme.
Like (20)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The NFIP’s existence prevents the private sector from offering its own flood insurance options, which could be better-run and more efficient than the NFIP (which is in tremendous debt). Rather than extending NFIP, Congress should encourage the private sector to offer flood insurance again, as it did before the 1950s.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
05/13/2019
Just stop. That program needs to die anyway. It just encourages irresponsible building in flood zones. We shouldn’t be encouraging it. Building in V zones should be illegal and existing structures removed. Zones with the A classification should be prohibited from building new construction. Only remodeling should be allowed.
Like (34)
Follow
Share
doingmypart's Opinion
···
05/14/2019
People that have second homes on beach front property should be forced to carry private flood insurance costing far more then what our national flood insurance costs. Until we stop building in flood zones and repeatedly rebuilding homes flooded out multiple times needs to end. Homes built in existing flood zones should be bought out the next time they flood, relocating these people to areas that won’t flood. Climate change has amplified our pre-existing issue with flooding, out of date flood zone mapping must be updated expanding national flood insurance coverage.
Like (15)
Follow
Share
JTJ's Opinion
···
05/13/2019
This is not the proper function of government. Get the government out of the insurance business.
Like (9)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedMay 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2578?

This bill — the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019 — would extend the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) authorization from its current date of May 31, 2019, to September 30, 2019.

Impact

Homeowners and businesses in flood-prone areas; NFIP policyholders; National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2578

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthReps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) — who has long advocated for a term-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced this bill to extend the NFIP’s authorization to September 30, 2019 from its current expiration of May 31, 2019. In a joint press release, the Representatives said:

“We have introduced legislation to extend the NFIP’s authorization to September 30, 2019. It is important that Congress does not allow the National Flood Insurance Program to lapse. This extension prevents harm to homeowners and the housing market while also providing time to reach bipartisan consensus on much-needed reforms to the program. We remain committed to a long-term bipartisan flood insurance reauthorization bill and will continue to work together toward that goal.”

In opening remarks at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the NFIP’s reauthorization, Rep. Waters said:

“[T]e National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)...  is critical to ensuring access to flood insurance coverage across this country. But the NFIP is much more than just an insurance program. The NFIP plays an important role in disaster preparedness and resiliency by providing flood maps, setting standards for floodplain management, and investing in mitigation for our homes, businesses, and infrastructure. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, everyone is at risk of flooding. That means that this is not just a coastal issue and it means that we all have an interest in ensuring a strong National Flood Insurance Program. I have long advocated for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP in order to provide certainty in the housing market. Unfortunately, the NFIP has been carried along through ten short-term extensions since Fiscal Year 2017, and has even experienced brief lapses during that time. This haphazard approach to legislating puts communities at risk and undermines the health of our housing market. The NFIP’s authorization is currently set to expire on May 31, 2019, and I believe that we will break this cycle. I intend to work in a bipartisan manner, with the Ranking Member, Mr. McHenry, to provide a long-term reauthorization to restore stability and confidence in the market.”

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee in March 2019, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expressed its support for efforts to reform NFIP’s mapping and mitigation programs and ensure the NFIP program’s future. Mabél Guzmán, a 21-year realtor from Chicago, testified:

"The embattled National Flood Insurance Program is central to U.S. disaster preparedness efforts…[T]he program is also essential to completing half-a-million home sales per year, each of which contributes two jobs and $80,000 to America's economy. However, the NFIP was not designed nor intended to address the catastrophic loss years we have seen since 2005, meaning the program is not sustainable as currently structured… Congress should reauthorize and reform the NFIP before its insurance writing authority expires on May 31. As we have seen, a never-ending string of short-term extensions only maintains an uncertain status quo, while program shutdowns jeopardize homes, businesses, communities and the U.S. economy. NAR stands ready to work with this Committee to pass meaningful NFIP and private-market reforms that help property owners and renters prepare for and recover from future flood losses."

In July 2018, the NAR was joined by the American Bankers Association, American Insurance Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of Home Builders, and others in writing a letter to Congress advocating for the NFIP’s reauthorization. In their letter, the organizations wrote, “A lapse of the NFIP… will leave millions of Americans at risk and result in severe disruption in the over 20,000 communities across the United States that depend on the NFIP. “

Congressional Republicans want to reform the NFIP to encourage more private insurance and decrease cost to federal taxpayers. Democrats contend that without a federal backstop, insurance costs could be too high for many homeowners.

In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee in March 2019, Raymond J. Lehmann, director of finance, insurance, and trade policy at the Street Institute, spoke about NFIP’s past troubles and the tension between government programs and the private sector. Lehmann pointded to NFIP’s lack of sustainability and insufficient mitigation incentives, and noted that it discourages the adoption of private alternatives. He argued that private insurance can help close the protection gap for those whose needs fall outside of NFIP’s coverage. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), private insurer interest in directly providing and underwriting flood risk has increased in recent years, as advances in the analytics and data used to quantify flood risk, along with increases in capital market capacities, may allow private insurers to take on previously-shunned flood risks.

This bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).


Of NotePrior to 1950, flood insurance was often included in standard homeowners’ insurance policies. However, in response to increasingly severe and frequent flood-related losses in the 1950s, insurance companies began excluding flood insurance coverage and selling separately. By the 1960s, widespread flooding along the Mississippi River caused most private insurers to flee the flood insurance business altogether, leaving many consumers with virtually no access to private flood insurance. This lack of available flood insurance for consumers left them vulnerable in the event of floods, and also left taxpayers vulnerable to bearing the costs of flood damage through post-disaster relief after floods.

Thus, the National Flood Insurance Program was created in 1968 to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. The NFIP provides affordable flood insurance to property owners, renters, and businesses. It also encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. In 2018, NFIP provided $1.3 trillion worth of coverage to over 5 million homes and businesses. Today, the NFIP is the principal provider of primary flood insurance in the U.S., covering over five million households and businesses.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the NFIP, these efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Additionally, for millions of households in the United States, the NFIP is their only source of flood insurance.

However, some argue that the NFIP is inefficient and poorly run. In its 50 years of operation, the NFIP has borrowed over $30 billion from taxpayers, and it currently operates on a $1.4 billion annual deficit. Additionally, some critics contend that the NFIP is not as innovative as it should be, given that it is a company with $1.2 trillion of insurance coverage.

Due to the NFIP’s large debt burden (it was $24.6 billion in 2017) and an imbalance between incoming premium receipts and payments to owners of flood-damaged properties, no one seriously expects the program’s financial situation to improve if it continues to be run as is. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), recognizing the NFIP’s untenable financial position, has had it on its “High Risk List” since 2006.

Over the past few years, the NFIP’s reauthorization and the terms under which the program should be extended have become a contentious issue in Congress. In 2017, Congress forgave $16 of NFIP debt to keep the program solvent, and the NFIP’s ongoing challenges have led some in Congress and in the insurance industry to call for reforms to NFIP, including changes to align rates more closely with risk. If this bill were to be enacted, it’d be the 11th short-term of the NFIP in less than two years. The last long-term reauthorization of the NFIP was when Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12).


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / RoschetzkyIstockPhoto)

AKA

National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019

Official Title

To reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, and for other purposes.

    Yes, of course, I support reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. I also support a national education program on Climate Change.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Just stop. That program needs to die anyway. It just encourages irresponsible building in flood zones. We shouldn’t be encouraging it. Building in V zones should be illegal and existing structures removed. Zones with the A classification should be prohibited from building new construction. Only remodeling should be allowed.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    If our government will not commit to dealing with climate change, the government needs to, at least, help those who cannot get or afford flood insurance. The governments lack of action is putting more and more people at risk as precipitation patterns shift and weather becomes more extreme.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    I support the national flood insurance program
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    People that have second homes on beach front property should be forced to carry private flood insurance costing far more then what our national flood insurance costs. Until we stop building in flood zones and repeatedly rebuilding homes flooded out multiple times needs to end. Homes built in existing flood zones should be bought out the next time they flood, relocating these people to areas that won’t flood. Climate change has amplified our pre-existing issue with flooding, out of date flood zone mapping must be updated expanding national flood insurance coverage.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    👍🏻👍🏻 The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m of the opinion that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) should be reauthorized, as it is the primary source of flood insurance for over five million families and businesses. Reauthorizing it keeps these people and businesses protected in case of floods, which are becoming increasingly common. Congress needs to ensure that the NFIP doesn’t lapse for even a short period of time. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻NFIP😂👍🏻. 5.13.19.....
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Expand it as well.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance program. With global climate change and #45’s destruction of the EPA, we need all the help we can get.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    This is not the proper function of government. Get the government out of the insurance business.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    I support ALL types of financial help to those in need of help following a natural disaster. THIS INCLUDES PUERTO RICO. I do not support bailouts for Racist in Chief’s Incompetent made trade wars.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to think about efforts to encourage relocation. This flooding is the new norm
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    The effects of climate change make this program even more important than ever.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Good Grief- WHAT A STUPID QUESTION. Has anyone been watching the weather?? There is flooding in Kansas now. That insurance needs to be a continuous thing. With Climate change an ongoing situation & getting WORSE BECAUSE OF TRUMP’S POLICIES ON CLIMATE it’s going to have to be.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    These types of programs, that insure otherwise uninsurable properties, lead to rebuilding over and over in dangerous areas.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s time to move out and away from flood planes and low elevation coastal areas. These areas will only get worse as climate change progresses. It shouldn’t require tax money to continue this losing proposition of save land that can’t be saved.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The National Flood Insurance Program subsidizes irresponsible development and is a waste of our country's limited resources. It should be eliminated.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s been raining for several days each week since January The ground is supersaturate. The rivers are overflowing The ice is melting Yes we need flood insurance
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The NFIP’s existence prevents the private sector from offering its own flood insurance options, which could be better-run and more efficient than the NFIP (which is in tremendous debt). Rather than extending NFIP, Congress should encourage the private sector to offer flood insurance again, as it did before the 1950s.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely not. The people who live inland pay higher insurance premiums to help cover the cost of these million dollar houses built on the coastal lines for the rich. If you can't afford 100% of the cost of flood insurance you can't afford to live on a coastal line. Wanting help from the government to subsidize your flood insurance is welfare for the rich!!! The government needs to get out of the insurance business, they can't even balance their own budget!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    People are not responsible if a major flood hits their area. Even if they do have flood insurance, it will not cover all the damages caused by a major flood. People will lose their jobs because businesses have been destroyed. The roads will need to be repaired. Flooding causes a lot of damage and our country should focus on the natural disasters here before they take care of other countries disasters. It is time to put America first
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE