May 9, 2013 - Issue: Vol. 159, No. 65 — Daily Edition113th Congress (2013 - 2014) - 1st Session
WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 65
(Senate - May 09, 2013)
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[Pages S3352-S3353] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I wish to continue and again thank the majority leader for his kind comments and assure him I am working with the Republican leadership as well to try to find a way forward to minimize the impact on many businesses and homeowners who will be negatively affected by the new requirements of the Federal flood insurance program. I have an amendment which has been filed. It is amendment No. 888. I will be offering it for myself and Senator Vitter. Senator Schumer and Senator Lautenberg are also cosponsors of this amendment. Hopefully we can get a vote. I do not mind trying to meet the 60-vote threshold. I understand that would be a requirement should we be able to move to a vote next week on this amendment. We will be working very hard over the weekend to get additional cosponsors on the first amendment I filed, which had a multimillion- dollar cost to it. We had 62 people who had committed to vote. So we have a strong network of Senators, Republicans and Democrats, who are very supportive of the effort Senator Vitter and I are leading to try to mitigate some of the harshest provisions of this bill that passed last year. The bill never was voted on in this Chamber. It came out of the Banking Committee. A separate bill came out of the House with a strong bipartisan vote. Then what happened was both bills never went to a formal conference. It got pushed inside of a larger bill. A few things did not get pushed in the correct way, at least from the perspective of those of us who believe that, yes, our flood insurance program should be cost-effective, should be affordable, and should not run at deficit levels any longer. But there are certain ways to do that that are more equitable and fair than others. So my amendment now--we have worked all throughout the day. I thank Senator Crapo. Senator Johnson's staff has been helpful as well. We are not quite there yet, but we are working on a fix to delay the implementation of some of these rate increases to give our communities--this is not just for Louisiana. Texas is affected, Florida is affected, the east coast is affected. California is No. 3 in terms of policies that are related to flood insurance. It will give us some time to give our people a little bit more breathing room until we can get our levees constructed, until this new mapping can be put into place, as not to shock homeowners and owners of commercial real estate with these very high premiums we hope to be able to avoid. Again, it is amendment No. 888. There is no score attached to it. We will accept a 60-vote threshold. I hope my colleagues will look at this. I thank Senator Vitter for his leadership. It is a Landrieu- Vitter amendment, again with Senator Schumer and Senator Lautenberg and their staffs giving us plenty of help and assistance throughout the day. We will work on it over the weekend. Hopefully, we can come to a final resolution early next week, and then get to [[Page S3353]] the passage of the WRDA bill which is so extremely important to people in Louisiana. I am very grateful for Senator Boxer's leadership. Senator Vitter is the ranking member. This bill came out of the EPW Committee with a fairly strong bipartisan and overwhelming vote. We have millions of dollars of projects that are authorized in this bill. We have corps reform. It is important for us to be able to build our levees more quickly, more efficiently, to avoid some of the terrible devastation that has happened. It is very important to get the WRDA bill passed. I am going to ask any colleagues, if you can join in helping on this flood insurance bill, please do. I look forward to working with people over the weekend on it. I yield the floor. ____________________