House Financial Services Housing Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) have introduced new legislation to authorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through March 31, 2010. The current program is due to expire at the end of September 2009 unless Congress acts to extend it.
In addition, Reps. Waters and Frank announced their intention to draft a new bi-partisan measure to reform the NFIP. The updated legislation would incorporate important NFIP reforms previously approved by the House in 2007 and consider new studies and information not available when the Committee last reviewed the NFIP. Frank and Waters also plan to engage the Obama Administration and FEMA officials, and they invite recommendations for the reform legislation from all interested parties.
“The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire in September—right in the middle of hurricane season,” Rep. Waters stated. “We saw the importance of this program following Hurricane Katrina and other storms that have devastated the Gulf Coast. Letting the program expire in the middle of hurricane season would have serious repercussions for areas prone to flooding. A six-month extension is prudent and necessary.”
“This program is very important and very much in need of revision” said Rep. Frank. “Passing an extension of the act will prevent any gap in the important work it does while giving us the chance to improve it both from the economic and environmental perspectives.”
Created in 1968, the NFIP provides over one trillion dollars of flood insurance to more than five and a half million American homes and businesses. Today’s introduction affirms the House leadership’s commitment to a national flood program that effectively and efficiently manages the ever-present risk of flooding to our nation’s homes and businesses.
For more information, visit www.house.gov.