(House of Representatives - December 21, 2018)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages H10581-H10582]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              {time}  1730

  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (S. 3628) to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 3628

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


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


       (a) Financing.--Section 1309(a) of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C.

[[Page H10582]]

     4016(a)) is amended by striking ``November 30, 2018'' and 
     inserting ``May 31, 2019''.
       (b) Program Expiration.--Section 1319 of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4026) is amended by striking 
     ``November 30, 2018'' and inserting ``May 31, 2019''.
       (c) Retroactive Effective Date.--If this Act is enacted 
     after November 30, 2018, the amendments made by subsections 
     (a) and (b) shall take effect as if enacted on November 30, 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Pursuant to the rule, the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. MacArthur) and the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Maxine Waters) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, this is an unfortunate day where we are once again 
extending the National Flood Program for--I don't know how many times 
we have done this. We have been unable to get to the basic reforms that 
this program demands.
  But, Mr. Speaker, there are 140 million Americans who live in coastal 
counties, millions of whom depend on this program to protect them from 
flood risk. Without this program, they cannot buy or sell homes. If 
their policies lapse because we allow the program to lapse, they will 
not be able to buy a new policy, and if, God forbid, a storm like Sandy 
or like the storms that ravaged the Southeast recently, if one of those 
storms comes along during that lapse, those people will have no 
coverage. We simply cannot allow our failure to so negatively affect so 
many millions of Americans.
  So, today, we are here to extend the program for another 6 months to 
give a new Congress time to get to some reasonable bipartisan reforms 
that will put this program on a solid footing for the future.
  I am asking that we pass this bill, this extension. It is not 
perfect, obviously, but it is better than the alternative, and we need 
to get this done before this Congress recesses.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise in support of this legislation, S. 3628, 
and the gentleman, Tom MacArthur, is absolutely correct. We have to do 
a short-term reauthorization. And because of the previous vote, some 
people are a little bit confused, but they do not have to worry.
  The previous bill that we voted on was one where Chairman Hensarling 
was attempting to add some language. That failed. So now we have a 
clean bill before us with one little correction in it, and I would 
simply ask for an ``aye'' vote so that we can get on with ensuring we 
have short-term reauthorization.
  And I am pleased to say that we have the support on both sides of the 
aisle to begin to work on a long-term reauthorization, and I think we 
are going to have good agreement on that. So I would simply ask for an 
``aye'' vote today and get this out of the way so that we can move on.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, I agree with everything the ranking 
member said except she turned me into an Irishman. It is ``MacArthur'' 
like the general, not ``McCarthy'' like the majority leader.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. 
Graves), who has been keenly focused on this issue.

                              {time}  1745

  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I just want to quickly say that 
I also regret that we are in a situation where we have to once again do 
a temporary extension, but it is important that we do not let this 
program lapse.
  Whether it is Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael, Hurricane 
Harvey, Irma, Maria, or many other disasters we have had, Mr. Speaker, 
we have flood victims that are trying to rebuild their homes, that are 
trying to get their lives back in order, and to not have a flood 
insurance program that gives them the confidence and security that they 
can reinvest back in their homes and businesses is a dangerous thing 
for us to do, especially right now during this Christmas season.
  Mr. Speaker, I also want to say, at a 50,000-foot level, we have been 
myopically focused on flood insurance and only flood insurance policy.
  Thinking about the fiscal irresponsibility of continuing to allow 
this program to run the debt that it has, while completely ignoring the 
fact, Mr. Speaker, that we have spent $1.5 trillion on 220 disasters 
since 1980, ignoring the fact that thousands and thousands of lives 
have been lost as a result of our lack of bringing an offense to the 
table and actually bringing resilient projects to the table, and just 
focusing solely on flood insurance, which is a reactive policy, it is 
fiscally irresponsible.
  We need to bring an offense and a defense to the table. This program 
needs fundamental reform, but we cannot do it just by cutting checks to 
people every time there is a disaster. We have got to bring the 
resiliency measures to the table as part of a package deal here.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption.
  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. MacArthur) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, S. 3628.
  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. MASSIE. 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 motion will be postponed.