Rep. Maloney on Financial Services Committee Flood Insurance Markups

Jun 21, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—After the conclusion of the two-day markup in the House Financial Services Committee on various flood insurance bills, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), released the following statement:

“The National Flood Insurance Program will expire on September 30 if Congress doesn’t act, leaving millions of homeowners who rely on NFIP waiting in the wind. Between last Thursday’s and today’s flood insurance committee markups, I was proud to support several bills that the Committee approved which will improve the flood insurance program for New Yorkers. However, I opposed several other bills that would significantly raise homeowners’ flood insurance premiums and undermine the National Flood Insurance Program. Addressing our nation’s flood insurance program has historically been a bipartisan effort but more work needs to be done for us to pass a bipartisan comprehensive flood insurance bill that strengthens and reforms the program without restricting its availability and affordability Americans who need it to own a home.

“After Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that FEMA’s claims process was broken and the way it accounts for mitigation efforts didn’t work for New York. Too many New York homeowners had their flood insurance claims wrongfully denied and FEMA wasn’t recognizing the significant risk mitigation when mechanical systems, like boilers, were raised from basements to top floors to avoid being damaged by flood waters. That’s why I was proud to support Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s bill, the National Flood Insurance Program Administrative Reform Act, to streamline and provide better oversight of the claims process, and work with Rep. Lee Zeldin on the National Flood Insurance Program Policyholder Protection Act of 2017, passed out of committee on Thursday, which will ensure that  urban-area mitigation efforts, like raising boilers, will lower policyholders’ premiums.

“I am glad my colleagues today agreed to my amendment to the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act (H.R. 1558). With this amendment, the legislation will encourage communities to develop plans to deal with particularly problematic properties that keep suffering flood losses without the threat of automatic suspension for falling behind on implementation. My amendment would ensure that FEMA is not forced to bring down the hammer of suspension either automatically, or too early, while still ensuring FEMA’s oversight power to help these communities implement these plans.

“Unfortunately, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which sought to renew the program, would be devastating for New Yorkers. Not only is its 5-year renewal too short, the bill would also significantly raise premiums for too many New York homeowners with mandatory premium increases and surcharges for new structures. I will continue to oppose this bill and fight for homeowners should this bill come to a vote on the House floor.

“While the committee did some good, bipartisan work during these markups, this discussion is far from over. I will continue to fight for New Yorkers and ensure that all can afford the flood insurance they need.”