NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM EXTENSION ACT
(House of Representatives - May 16, 2012)

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[Pages H2782-H2787]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM EXTENSION ACT

  Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 5740) to extend the National Flood Insurance Program, and 
for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 5740

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``National Flood Insurance 
     Program Extension Act''.

     SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--Section 1319 of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4026) is amended by striking 
     ``the earlier of the date of the enactment into law of an Act 
     that specifically amends the date specified in this section 
     or May 31, 2012'' and inserting ``June 30, 2012''.
       (b) Financing.--Section 1309(a) of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4016(a)) is amended by 
     striking ``the earlier of the date of the enactment into law 
     of an Act that specifically amends the date specified in this 
     section or May 31, 2012'' and inserting ``June 30, 2012''.

     SEC. 3. USE OF PRIVATE INSURANCE TO SATISFY MANDATORY 
                   PURCHASE REQUIREMENT.

       Section 102(b) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 
     (42 U.S.C. 4012a(b)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)--
       (A) by striking ``lending institutions not to make'' and 
     inserting ``lending institutions--
       ``(A) not to make'';
       (B) in subparagraph (A), as designated by subparagraph (A) 
     of this paragraph, by striking ``less.'' and inserting 
     ``less; and''; and
       (C) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
       ``(B) to accept private flood insurance as satisfaction of 
     the flood insurance coverage requirement under subparagraph 
     (A) if the coverage provided by such private flood insurance 
     meets the requirements for coverage under such 
     subparagraph.'';
       (2) in paragraph (2), by inserting after ``provided in 
     paragraph (1).'' the following new sentence: ``Each Federal 
     agency lender shall accept private flood insurance as 
     satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage requirement 
     under the preceding sentence if the flood insurance coverage 
     provided by such private flood insurance meets the 
     requirements for coverage under such sentence.'';
       (3) in paragraph (3), in the matter following subparagraph 
     (B), by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
     Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home 
     Loan Mortgage Corporation shall accept private flood 
     insurance as satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage 
     requirement under the preceding sentence if the flood 
     insurance coverage provided by such private flood insurance 
     meets the requirements for coverage under such sentence.''; 
     and
       (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(5) Private flood insurance defined.--In this subsection, 
     the term `private flood insurance' means a contract for flood 
     insurance coverage allowed for sale under the laws of any 
     State.''.

     SEC. 4. PRIVATIZATION INITIATIVES.

       (a) FEMA and GAO Reports.--Not later than the expiration of 
     the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
     Management Agency and the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall each conduct a separate study to assess a broad 
     range of options, methods, and strategies for privatizing the 
     national flood insurance program and shall each submit a 
     report to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of 
     Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and 
     Urban Affairs of the Senate with recommendations for the best 
     manner to accomplish such privatization.
       (b) Private Risk-Management Initiatives.--
       (1) Authority.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
     Management Agency may carry out such private risk-management 
     initiatives under the national flood insurance program as the 
     Administrator considers appropriate to determine the capacity 
     of private insurers, reinsurers, and financial markets to 
     assist communities, on a voluntary basis only, in managing 
     the full range of financial risks associated with flooding.
       (2) Assessment.--Not later than the expiration of the 12-
     month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, the Administrator shall assess the capacity of the 
     private reinsurance, capital, and financial markets by 
     seeking proposals to assume a portion of the program's 
     insurance risk and submit to the Congress a report describing 
     the response to such request for proposals and the results of 
     such assessment.
       (3) Protocol for release of data.--The Administrator shall 
     develop a protocol to provide for the release of data 
     sufficient to

[[Page H2783]]

     conduct the assessment required under paragraph (2).
       (c) Reinsurance.--The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 
     is amended--
       (1) in section 1331(a)(2) (42 U.S.C. 4051(a)(2)), by 
     inserting ``, including as reinsurance of insurance coverage 
     provided by the flood insurance program'' before ``, on such 
     terms'';
       (2) in section 1332(c)(2) (42 U.S.C. 4052(c)(2)), by 
     inserting ``or reinsurance'' after ``flood insurance 
     coverage'';
       (3) in section 1335(a) (42 U.S.C. 4055(a))--
       (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(a)''; and
       (B) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(2) The Director is authorized to secure reinsurance 
     coverage of coverage provided by the flood insurance program 
     from private market insurance, reinsurance, and capital 
     market sources at rates and on terms determined by the 
     Director to be reasonable and appropriate in an amount 
     sufficient to maintain the ability of the program to pay 
     claims and that minimizes the likelihood that the program 
     will utilize the borrowing authority provided under section 
     1309.'';
       (4) in section 1346(a) (12 U.S.C. 4082(a))--
       (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by inserting ``, 
     or for purposes of securing reinsurance of insurance coverage 
     provided by the program,'' before ``of any or all of'';
       (B) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) by striking ``estimating'' and inserting 
     ``Estimating''; and
       (ii) by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting a 
     period;
       (C) in paragraph (2)--
       (i) by striking ``receiving'' and inserting ``Receiving''; 
     and
       (ii) by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting a 
     period;
       (D) in paragraph (3)--
       (i) by striking ``making'' and inserting ``Making''; and
       (ii) by striking ``; and'' and inserting a period;
       (E) in paragraph (4)--
       (i) by striking ``otherwise'' and inserting ``Otherwise''; 
     and
       (ii) by redesignating such paragraph as paragraph (5); and
       (F) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(4) Placing reinsurance coverage on insurance provided by 
     such program.''; and
       (5) in section 1370(a)(3) (42 U.S.C. 4121(a)(3)), by 
     inserting before the semicolon at the end the following: ``, 
     is subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities 
     Exchange Act of 1934, pursuant to section 13(a) or 15(d) of 
     such Act (15 U.S.C. 78m(a), 78o(d)), or is authorized by the 
     Director to assume reinsurance on risks insured by the flood 
     insurance program''.
       (d) Assessment of Claims-Paying Ability.--
       (1) Assessment.--Not later than September 30 of each year, 
     the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
     shall conduct an assessment of the claims-paying ability of 
     the national flood insurance program, including the program's 
     utilization of private sector reinsurance and reinsurance 
     equivalents, with and without reliance on borrowing authority 
     under section 1309 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 
     1968 (42 U.S.C. 4016). In conducting the assessment, the 
     Administrator shall take into consideration regional 
     concentrations of coverage written by the program, peak flood 
     zones, and relevant mitigation measures.
       (2) Report.--The Administrator shall submit a report to the 
     Congress of the results of each such assessment, and make 
     such report available to the public, not later than 30 days 
     after completion of the assessment.

     SEC. 5. STUDIES OF VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY-BASED FLOOD INSURANCE 
                   OPTIONS.

       (a) Studies.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
     Management Agency and the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall each conduct a separate study to assess options, 
     methods, and strategies for offering voluntary community-
     based flood insurance policy options and incorporating such 
     options into the national flood insurance program. Such 
     studies shall take into consideration and analyze how the 
     policy options would affect communities having varying 
     economic bases, geographic locations, flood hazard 
     characteristics or classifications, and flood management 
     approaches.
       (b) Reports.--Not later than the expiration of the 18-month 
     period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
     and the Comptroller General of the United States shall each 
     submit a report to the Committee on Financial Services of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, 
     Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate on the results and 
     conclusions of the study such agency conducted under 
     subsection (a), and each such report shall include 
     recommendations for the best manner to incorporate voluntary 
     community-based flood insurance options into the national 
     flood insurance program and for a strategy to implement such 
     options that would encourage communities to undertake flood 
     mitigation activities.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Illinois (Mrs. Biggert) and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. David 
Scott) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois.


                             General Leave

  Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and to add extraneous materials on this bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  1740

  Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I rise today to ask my colleagues for their support of H.R. 5740, the 
National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act.
  The program is set to expire on May 31, and this critical legislation 
will spare property owners and the housing market from another lapse in 
the NFIP. It extends the National Flood Insurance Program's 
authorization for 30 days, until June 30. In addition, it would 
initiate several noncontroversial reforms to develop private sector 
options in the flood insurance market.
  Like many of my colleagues--especially my good friend and cosponsor 
of both this bill and our long-term reauthorization, the gentlelady 
from California, Maxine Waters--I am frustrated that the House must 
consider yet another short-term extension. It has been 10 months since 
the House sent H.R. 1309, a comprehensive, bipartisan reform and a 5-
year reauthorization measure, to the Senate.
  Our Committee on Financial Services approved H.R. 1309 by a unanimous 
vote of 54 0 in the committee, and it passed on the House floor by a 
vote of 406 22. As part of that process, we secured the input and 
support of groups representing the views of everyone from taxpayers to 
businesses to wildlife defenders. And yet, after five additional short-
term extensions, the Senate has still not considered any legislation to 
reform the NFIP. Instead, all we hear are excuses and rumors--that the 
administration doesn't want Congress to look productive, that floor 
time in the Senate is too precious, or that Senate leaders simply don't 
want to deal with possibly difficult amendments.
  The time for excuses has run out. This program is more than $17 
billion in debt to the taxpayers. We owe it to the homeowners, to the 
housing market, and to taxpayers to begin the process of fixing this 
program, even if we must do it 30 days at a time.
  Today, we are sending to the Senate H.R. 5740. Should the Senate pass 
this short-term extension bill, it will have around 6 weeks from today 
to take up a flood reform measure and send it to the House. In the 
meantime, this 30-day extension will initiate key elements of our 
bipartisan House-passed reforms. It opens the door to private sector 
participation by asking FEMA and the GAO to study the cost and 
feasibility of private reinsurance, as well as the private market's 
capacity to provide new options for homeowners. It also says that 
private insurance coverage can take the place of government coverage to 
meet the requirements of lenders in flood-prone areas. The sooner we 
begin making these changes, the sooner taxpayers can stop bearing the 
full expense and risk of an outdated flood program.
  Over the next 6 weeks, the Senate will have more than enough time to 
pass long-term reform. Again, last July, the House passed H.R. 1309 by 
an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, 406 22. The House then sent this 
text to the Senate two additional times. In December, the House passed 
flood reform as part of H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
Creation Act, and last week the House passed the same flood measure as 
part of H.R. 5652, the Reconciliation Act.
  But this isn't like other partisan battles. It should not be that 
difficult. Even the White House is with us. In September 2011, 
President Obama released a statement in support of our reforms as part 
of his ``Plan for Economic Growth and Debt Reduction'' because the 
House bill would spare taxpayers from billions in losses.
  Senate Banking Committee Chairman Johnson has secured committee 
approval of his own version, S. 1940, along with strong bipartisan 
support. And in February, 41 Senators--Republicans and Democrats--sent 
a letter to Senate leadership asking that Senate leaders Reid and 
McConnell schedule

[[Page H2784]]

flood insurance reform for floor consideration.
  There is simply no reason that in the next few days we cannot sit 
down and reconcile any differences that remain between the House and 
Senate visions for flood reform, and today's legislation will give the 
Senate time to make that a possibility. It will also begin the process 
of fixing the NFIP and protecting taxpayers from unnecessary risk.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill because this program is too 
important to let lapse and too in debt to continue without reform.
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  The National Flood Insurance Program plays a very, very key role in 
our Nation's efforts to prevent and recover from flood disasters. 
Floods are now the number one natural disaster in the United States in 
terms of lives lost and property damaged.
  Now, here is exactly what the National Flood Insurance Program does:
  First, it identifies areas of flood risk; secondly, it encourages 
communities to implement measures to mitigate against the risk of flood 
loss; thirdly, it provides financial assistance to help individuals 
recover more rapidly from flooding disasters, and it lessens the 
financial impact of flood disasters on individuals, on businesses, and 
all levels of government.
  In recent years, a series of short-term reauthorizations and 
temporary suspensions of the NFIP have eroded confidence in the program 
among our stakeholders--including State government, tribal governments, 
local communities, individual policyholders, mortgage lenders, and the 
private insurance industry. In addition to disrupting the program's 
day-to-day operations, short-term reauthorizations and temporary 
suspensions--like what we're doing here in 30 days--creates significant 
uncertainty regarding the Federal Government's long-term commitment to 
underwriting and indemnifying flood losses. So in the absence of such a 
commitment, our stakeholders are less likely to make the necessary 
investments that are needed to successfully sustain, strengthen, and 
grow the program, thereby undermining the program's effectiveness and 
efficiency over time.
  As my colleague, Mrs. Biggert, mentioned earlier, Congress last 
passed a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program 
authorization on December 23, 2011--5 months ago--as a part of the 
full-year omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. Even prior 
to this action, we in the House took decisive action to extend the 
flood insurance program the way it should be by approving a 5-year 
flood insurance reform reauthorization bill last July that passed this 
House on a strongly bipartisan Republican and Democratic vote of 406 
22.
  Unfortunately, the National Flood Insurance Program is set now to 
expire May 31, just over 2 weeks from today, and guess what? June 1 
also happens to mark the official start of the hurricane season in this 
country. This lets you know how we have got to put pressure on the 
Senate to act responsibly. Here we are attempting to pass a 30-day 
extension just 2 weeks before the devastating hurricane season starts. 
Urgency is necessary here. This is why reauthorizing of the National 
Flood Insurance Program before it expires is essential to our Nation's 
efforts to prevent and recover from flood disasters.
  So I'm pleased that the bill that we have before us does extend the 
program for 30 days, but it is not a perfect bill, as I said. I believe 
that many in this Chamber--just about everybody in the House of 
Representatives--would prefer to see the Senate take up and pass our 
bill for the 5-year extension, H.R. 1309. Short of that, I believe that 
many on our side would prefer to take up a flood extension bill that 
will provide a clean extension.
  In addition, there is the possibility--count it, with 2 weeks to go, 
who knows--the Senate simply may not agree to an extension that only 
runs 30 days and includes authorization provisions. We just learned 
last evening that the junior Senator from Oklahoma, Senator Tom Coburn, 
objected to the majority leader's request to take up and approve a 
clean, short-term extension bill that would extend the program until 
December 31, 2012. So here we are, 2 weeks before the hurricane season 
starts, and the flood program runs out, and still no action from the 
Senate.

                              {time}  1750

  I think it is also important to note that while this body repeatedly 
has voiced concern with spending, particularly with spending that is 
not offset with cuts, the Congressional Budget Office has indicated 
this bill will cost $2 million over 5 years, an amount that is not 
offset in this bill.
  Despite some of these shortcomings, I believe it is of utmost 
importance that we avoid any lapse in the program. Any lapse, 
regardless of the duration, would cause significant dislocation in our 
very fragile housing market for borrowers unable to complete mortgage 
closings, for insurance agents that sell national flood insurance 
policies as a part of their business, and for insurance companies that 
may be forced to reevaluate their voluntary participation, our National 
Flood Insurance Program's own Write Your Own program. All are very 
vital.
  Finally, we have a broad coalition of stakeholders who support the 
bill, who support the 5-year extension, including industry insurance 
trade groups, floodplain managers, the Realtors who are holding their 
annual conference in Washington, D.C., this week, many other groups. In 
addition, FEMA's Administrator, Mr. Craig Fugate, recently sent a 
letter to Congress urging approval of the extension. So here we are, 
we've got to pass this 30-day extension.
  In conclusion, I just want to add that, thanks to Mrs. Biggert and to 
Ms. Waters, we were able to do something that was vitally needed. As 
many of you know, my State of Georgia was devastated with floods; and 
one of the things that did come out of this is, during the hardship 
times, very difficult for individuals to pay for the flood insurance in 
a lump sum. As we have made part of our extension effort, they can now 
pay in quarterly installments, and that's a great thing.
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Alabama (Mr. Bachus), the chairman of the Financial Services Committee.
  Mr. BACHUS. I thank the gentlelady.
  We're here on the floor discussing this bill for one reason and for 
one reason only, and that's that the Senate has not done their job.
  Ten months ago, Madam Speaker, this House passed a bipartisan, long-
term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Our bill 
passed unanimously out of committee and then passed the House, 
overwhelmingly, with over 400 votes, Democrats and Republicans joining 
together.
  Our bill not only included a 5-year reauthorization of the program, a 
long-term reauthorization, which is what's needed, but included many 
needed reforms that reduce the burden on taxpayers, increase private 
market participation, and help bring certainty to the housing market.
  We did our job, Madam Speaker, but the Senate's failed to do their 
job. Seventeen temporary extensions. Perhaps none of us should be 
surprised. After all, it's been 3 years since the Senate even bothered 
to pass a budget. Not to mention, at a time when millions of Americans 
are out of work, the Senate has failed to vote on 27 job-creating bills 
we passed out of the House, overwhelmingly.
  Now Majority Leader Harry Reid has failed to find time to schedule 
floor time, even though the Senate, under the leadership of Chairman 
Johnson and Ranking Member Shelby, unanimously passed a bill almost 
identical to the bill we passed 10 months ago.
  But because of a dysfunctional Senate that's not working, we're once 
again faced with the risk of having the flood insurance shut down, as 
the gentleman from Georgia said, right before hurricane season starts. 
I can't think of a worse time. A shutdown of flood insurance, even a 
temporary one, would do tremendous damage to our struggling economy and 
our Nation's fragile housing market.
  Specifically, what does it mean? I'd like to introduce a letter from 
the National Association of Realtors. It is already delaying close to 
1,300 house closings every day. If it expires, it will

[[Page H2785]]

stop all development dead in its tracks in 21,000 communities across 
America.
  Let me close by saying I want to commend our colleague, Mrs. Biggert. 
Congresswoman Biggert has done an exceptional job on this important 
issue. I'd like to commend Congresswoman and Ranking Member Maxine 
Waters. They've worked, over the last year, for a long-term 
reauthorization. We've come together and done our job.
  I would like to commend the Senate, but, unfortunately, the Senate is 
not working. It's time for the Senate to pass a 5-year bill, and it's 
time for them to pass it immediately. That's why, although we have 
passed a 5-year reauthorization, we're here. But we're only passing a 
1-month extension because the best they can do is another extension--
number 17--which would put it into December, when we all know that's a 
lame duck Congress and we're going to be confronted with tremendous 
other issues at that time.
  To the Senate I say: Let's get going.

                 National Association of Realtors,'

                                     Washington, DC, May 16, 2012.
     Hon. Spencer Bachus,
     Chairman, House Committee on Financial Services, House of 
         Representatives, Rayburn Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Bachus: The 1 million members of the National 
     Association of REALTORS' supports a temporary 
     extension of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 
     authority to enable the Senate to finish work on its long-
     term reauthorization and reform measure (S. 1940). The House 
     is scheduled to vote on H.R. 5740 to extend authority by 30 
     days to June 30, 2012. We urge a yes vote.
       NFIP authority is set to expire on May 31, 2012. 
     Consequently, property buyers in more than 21,000 communities 
     across the United States will no longer be able to obtain the 
     flood insurance required by law for the purchase of a home or 
     building. Each day that program authority lapses, more than 
     1,300 home sales will be delayed or cancelled. Allowing 
     another lapse only exacerbates the many serious economic 
     challenges facing a nation that relies on a vibrant real 
     estate market for its economy.
       Homebuyers, small business owners and local communities 
     urge the House to vote yes on H.R. 5740 to keep the NFIP from 
     lapsing. Your vote to extend authority will avoid further 
     market disruption while Congress works toward long-term 
     reauthorization and reform.
           Sincerely,

                                       Maurice ``Moe'' Veissi,

                              2012 President, National Association
                                          of REALTORS'.

  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters).
  Ms. WATERS. I'd like to thank Representative Scott for his leadership 
on this issue. I'd like to thank Chairman Bachus for his support for 
all of the work that has gone into flood insurance reform.
  I rise today in support of H.R. 5740, the National Flood Insurance 
Program Extension Act of 2012. But more than anybody, I'd like to thank 
Representative Biggert for her hard work on this bill and flood 
insurance reform, and I'm pleased to cosponsor this legislation.
  While this bill, by no means, is a substitute for the comprehensive 
set of reforms included in H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act, a 
bipartisan bill which passed the House last year, I believe that we 
must act to pass this bill so that the flood insurance program does not 
lapse.
  The flood insurance program provides valuable protection for 
approximately 5.5 million homeowners. Unfortunately, the lack of a 
long-term authorization has placed the program at risk. The program 
lapsed three times in 2010. These lapses meant FEMA was not able to 
write new policies, renew expiring policies, or increase coverage 
limits. Given the current crisis in the housing market, this 
instability in the flood insurance program is hampering that market's 
recovery and must be addressed.
  The current authorization for the flood insurance program expires on 
May 31. The next day, hurricane season begins. It is irresponsible to 
have our Nation's homeowners vulnerable to flooding at any time, but to 
allow such a lapse during hurricane season is especially troubling.
  Even though this bill only extends the program for 30 days, I hope 
that this brief window will give our counterparts in the Senate enough 
time to pass their flood insurance reform bill so that this program has 
all of the resources it needs to fully serve homeowners and the 
communities in which they live.
  I strongly urge an ``aye'' vote on this bill in the hope that the 
next flood insurance bill we vote on is a comprehensive reauthorization 
bill.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Michigan (Mrs. Miller).
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the 
gentlelady yielding time to me, especially because I am opposed to this 
bill. I would just have one question for my colleagues, and I would ask 
this: What in the world is the Federal Government doing in the national 
flood insurance business?
  And I would give the sponsors certainly of this legislation credit 
for the fact that they're trying to reform what I think is an 
unnecessary Federal Government boondoggle. But rather than reforming 
this, I think we need to eliminate this program.
  Let me just give you an example, Mr. Speaker.
  So many of us were very strongly opposed to ObamaCare, the government 
takeover of health care, because we didn't believe the Federal 
Government should be running the health care for our entire Nation. But 
apparently we have no problem with the Federal Government running a 
National Flood Insurance Program.
  This program was created in 1968. We started writing policies in 
1972, and today this program is almost $18 billion in debt. And FEMA 
says that this debt will never be paid for, never, never be paid off. 
So not only is the Federal Government improperly running a flood 
insurance program, it's operating a very bad flood insurance program.
  This program is not actuarially sound. It charges some of the highest 
risk areas subsidized rates and charges other areas of no risk 
astronomical rates to pay for those subsidies.

                              {time}  1800

  You can use my home State of Michigan as a great example where our 
residents have been forced into this program and have been charged 
thousands of dollars every year even though we have almost no risk of 
flooding. In Michigan, we actually look down at the water, not up at 
the water. We've paid multiple times more in premiums than we've ever 
received back in benefits. In short, Mr. Speaker, the people of the 
great State of Michigan are getting fleeced by this program.
  Obviously, we are a compassionate Nation. When we have a case of a 
natural disaster, or what have you, we need to make sure that we step 
up and give relief to our fellow Americans, but what we are doing here 
today is simply not fair. What we should have is a national 
catastrophic fund so that everybody pays, not just some who are being 
forced to subsidize others. That is not fair.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I would hope that my colleagues would join me in 
rejecting the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program 
so that we can get to work on a way to allow the private marketplace to 
move in and to replace it.
  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Hinojosa).
  Mr. HINOJOSA. Thank you, Congressman Scott.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the National Flood 
Insurance Program, and I urge support on both sides of the aisle for 
the 30-day extension today, H.R. 5740.
  I would like to thank my friend, Congresswoman Maxine Waters from 
California, and my esteemed colleague, Congresswoman Judy Biggert of 
Illinois, for their work on this bill and on H.R. 1309, which I proudly 
cosponsored. Ideally, we should be increasing certainty for homeowners 
by reauthorizing the program for 5 years, as effected by H.R. 1309, 
which passed the House last July with over 400 votes. Now it waits for 
Senate action. I respectfully urge our counterparts in the Senate to 
pass a longer-term authorization.
  Since 2008, the National Flood Insurance Program has operated on 
several short-term extensions, which only increase uncertainty in the 
housing market. As hurricane season approaches, Congress needs to act 
with all diligence to provide stability for the housing market and to 
give peace of mind to homeowners.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. At this time, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Dold), a member of the committee.

[[Page H2786]]

  Mr. DOLD. I certainly want to thank my good friend from Illinois for 
her leadership and for her giving me some time, and I want to thank the 
ranking member, Ms. Waters, for her leadership as well.
  Mr. Speaker, today I rise in strong support of H.R. 5740. The history 
of American flood disasters has clearly shown us two things:
  First, an effective and proactive National Flood Insurance Program 
with paid-in premiums is a much better deal for taxpayers than after-
the-fact Federal disaster assistance, which was the inevitable Federal 
response to flood disasters before this program's inception;
  Second, any lapse in the program's authorization irreparably damages 
our mortgage and real estate markets, and avoiding that irreparable 
damage is particularly important right now when those markets are 
already so seriously challenged.
  Although reauthorization is essential, we also recognize that the 
program needs meaningful reforms. We must gradually diminish taxpayer 
exposure to flood losses while improving the program's solvency and 
self-sufficiency; and we must work with the private sector to expand 
its role in protecting against flood disasters.
  Under Chairwoman Biggert's leadership, a long-term reauthorization 
bill with these necessary reforms, H.R. 1309, passed out of the 
Financial Services Committee unanimously, 54 0, and then the same bill 
received nearly unanimous bipartisan support right down here where over 
400 Members voted in its favor. With that kind of overwhelming 
bipartisan support, I must say that it's a little frustrating that 
we're here once again discussing a short-term reauthorization, largely 
because the other body hasn't considered the long-term bill, even 
though the long-term bill passed out of the Senate Banking Committee by 
voice vote.
  One thing that seems clear is that the strategy of short-term 
authorizations, the corresponding temporary program lapses and 
uncertainty do not work to minimize taxpayer risk or to expand the 
private sector's role, but we must deal with the existing realities. To 
properly reform and strengthen this program, we need to reauthorize 
this program on a long-term basis, and we need to do so promptly; but 
the Senate hasn't acted, and we can't tolerate any lapse in the 
program.
  So I strongly urge my colleagues to support H.R. 5740, which will 
avoid a destructive program lapse while we continue to work towards a 
long-term authorization.
  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. I yield myself such time as I may consume 
to respond very briefly.
  There is a great urgency here. There is a very serious cry coming 
from the American people. That cry is saying, Help us, and the kind of 
help we need is to prepare for the storm before the hurricane is 
raging.
  We live in storm alley. Now, I can tell you from firsthand experience 
that I represent a district in the State of Georgia where in 2010, I 
believe it was, we had the worst flood in over 500 years. I represent 
the Chattahoochee River, which overflowed. I represent one county in 
which we had 10 people who lost their lives, and seven of those people 
were from one county in my district, in Douglas County. Cobb County had 
losses. We got on, I guess we call it, Air Force Two with Vice 
President Biden, and we flew down with FEMA and Homeland Security, and 
we toured that place. I'm sure you all saw on CNN and Fox and MSNBC--
and on all the news stations--where Six Flags Over Georgia, the 
amusement park, was totally under water.
  So I can speak for my community and my area as those of us in the 
House have spoken--over 400 strong. Why in the world the United States 
Senate is sitting on the reauthorization is a mystery amidst the cry 
coming from the American people. Now our season is on us. Hurricane 
season starts in 2 weeks.
  Let me just tell you that I've heard from one of the individuals on 
the other side, and I wanted to respond to some of those concerns as to 
why this bill is so important.
  Our reauthorization bill would require annual notifications to 
homeowners who are living in flood zones about the risks in their 
communities. Many people move into these areas, and they don't even 
know they're in flood zones. What we've got in this bill is that they 
will be notified every year. They need that information so they can 
make the adjustments. I mentioned the affordable insurance coverage. I 
need not mention the flood maps, themselves, many of which all 
throughout this country are outdated, that leave many of your 
constituents and my constituents--I hope the Senate is hearing because 
they're their constituents as well--at risk for flood damage without 
even their knowledge.
  Let's hope that this message gets across to the Senate that we need 
action. The American people are crying for help, and we need to give it 
to them immediately. We've got 2 weeks to do it, and we dare not let 
this hurricane season come upon us with the National Flood Insurance 
Program's having expired.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Duffy), a member of the Financial Services 
Committee.
  Mr. DUFFY. I first want to recognize the gentlelady from Illinois 
(Mrs. Biggert) and the gentlelady from California (Ms. Waters) for 
their great and hard work on the reauthorization of the National Flood 
Insurance Program.
  While I rise today in support of this short-term extension, I have to 
be frank and honest and tell you that I am disappointed that we haven't 
found both Chambers coming together to reauthorize this program for 5 
years. What this does is to create uncertainty in the market. For the 
individual who may have a home in a floodplain or for a community that 
has many of its pieces of property in a floodplain, without having a 
long-term bill, it creates uncertainty for them.

                              {time}  1810

  It creates uncertainty in the housing market, which has obviously 
gone through some very strenuous times since the 2008 financial crisis. 
This legislation, a long-term fix, would help breed certainty in that 
market as well.
  As we look back at last summer, we passed this legislation with both 
sides of the aisle coming together. It doesn't happen very often. It 
was one of those great moments in the House where it was a vote of 406 
22. Both Republicans and Democrats joined hands in passing this 
legislation. Now we're just waiting for the Senate to act. It's a bill 
that's going to save $4.2 billion over the course of 10 years. It 
includes reforms that are going to save taxpayers money by eliminating 
unnecessary rate subsidies and encouraging the development of a private 
flood insurance market.
  I support the short-term extension, but I also encourage the Senate 
to act.
  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time. I would inquire if the lady from Illinois has any more speakers.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I think we have just one more speaker.
  At this time, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Mississippi (Mr. Palazzo).
  Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, once again we find that good legislation 
that was passed by the House has been taken hostage by the Senate.
  As we approach yet another deadline on the reauthorization of the 
National Flood Insurance Program, the Senate is refusing to take up our 
long-term solution.
  Ten months ago, we passed a 5-year bill that would bring much needed 
certainty and stability to the people depending on this program. The 
short-term package before us today fails to provide a long-term 
solution to a very real long-term problem.
  NFIP provides flood insurance to more than 20,000 communities across 
this Nation, including more than 50,000 families in my district. Many 
of my constituents in Mississippi are still dealing with the effects of 
Hurricane Katrina. They have experienced record flooding in recent 
years, and we are fast approaching another hurricane season. We have no 
other choice. We must act now. It is out of necessity that I support 
this short-term extension, but we must remain focused on a longer-term 
solution for the sake of those in the Gulf Coast States and high-risk 
flood areas. They depend on the National Flood Insurance Program.
  Between now and the next time this extension expires, I urge my 
colleagues in the Senate to revisit and embrace H.R. 1309, our 5-year 
solution.

[[Page H2787]]

  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I will close with my 
remarks.
  I'm hoping that perhaps Members of the Senate may be watching C SPAN 
and watching us in the House. If not, I just simply urge their 
constituents to give them a call and ask them to move. It would be 
great to move on H.R. 1309. Because even if you do this temporary one, 
it's 30 days and we're right back here in another 4 weeks at the time 
that hurricanes are raging. We are really playing with fire here, and 
we're not doing the American people justice, and we're not doing right 
here.
  As the gentleman from Louisiana just mentioned, vivid in our minds 
has got to be Katrina. We can talk about Andrew in Florida or you can 
talk about Hazel up in New York. Our whole country is coastline, and 
flooding is the worst natural disaster in our country in terms of loss 
of life, in terms of property. Folks need this financial assistance 
from this flood insurance program.
  I urge my colleagues in the Senate to move and do the right thing. I 
urge the American people to contact their Senators and let them know we 
do not need to be standing naked in the face of fierce hurricanes 
without help and without support simply because the United States 
Senate failed to act in the best interest of the American people.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Ross of Florida). Members are reminded 
to direct their remarks to the Chair and not to a perceived viewing 
audience.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott) for managing this bill 
and for all of his mention of how important this is. I also would again 
like to thank the gentlelady from California (Ms. Waters) for being a 
cosponsor.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish we did not have to be here on the floor once 
again with a short-term extension of the NFIP, but this program is too 
important to homeowners, to the housing market, and to the communities 
in the flood-prone areas for Congress to let it expire at the end of 
the month. It is also too in debt to continue without reform. And 
despite our best efforts in the House, the Senate has been unwilling or 
unable to pass a long-term NFIP reauthorization and reform bill.
  As has been mentioned over and over, the House passed our 5-year NFIP 
reauthorization reform bill, H.R. 1309, last July with an overwhelming 
bipartisan majority of more than 400 votes. It also won unanimous 
support in the Financial Services Committee. But the Senate has not yet 
approved any version of flood reform. So here we are once again on the 
verge of a lapse in NFIP.
  Mr. Speaker, the time has come to stop playing games with this 
important program and start enacting long-term reforms now. With 
today's bill, we begin that process. First, it extends the program for 
an additional month to spare property owners and the housing market 
from another lapse. In addition, it would initiate several 
noncontroversial reforms to develop private sector options in the flood 
insurance market. This is all part of the 5-year bill that we have.
  Reforming the NFIP is simply too important to ignore. Our extension 
will give the Senate time to act, and it will begin the process of 
fixing NFIP to protect taxpayers from unnecessary risk.
  With that, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 5740, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my 
disappointment that this House is once again considering a short-term 
extension to the National Flood Insurance Program.
  It has been nearly ten years since the program was last reauthorized, 
and the need for reauthorization has only grown more pressing. While a 
lapse in the program would be detrimental to countless homeowners, the 
program cannot continue to be sustained through a patchwork of short-
term extensions.
  Last July, the House of Representatives passed a long-term extension 
of the program with broad bipartisan support. Shortly after, the Senate 
Banking Committee reported its own reauthorization which is now simply 
gathering dust in the Senate. With the start of hurricane season only 
weeks away, now is not the time for the Senate's typical complacency.
  Floods affect every state in the Union, and all Americans deserve the 
comfort of knowing they will be able to continue to benefit from the 
security that the National Flood Insurance Program has provided 
homeowners and lending institutions since 1968.
  This program must be modernized and reformed to meet the realities of 
American homeowners and taxpayers. I urge my Senate colleagues to 
swiftly bring their reauthorization bill to the floor so that we can 
finally move a long-term reauthorization forward.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 5740.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas 
and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

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