(House of Representatives - July 24, 2018)

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[Pages H7125-H7130]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (S. 1182) to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint 
commemorative coins in recognition of the 100th anniversary of The 
American Legion, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 1182

       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 of 2018''.


       (a) Financing.--Section 1309(a) of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4016(a)) is amended by 
     striking ``September 30, 2017'' and inserting ``November 30, 
       (b) Program Expiration.--Section 1319 of the National Flood 
     Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4026) is amended by striking 
     ``September 30, 2017'' and inserting ``November 30, 2018''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Hensarling) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Maxine 
Waters) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.

                             General Leave

  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous material on the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor today to do something I do not often 
do, and that is: I have asked my leadership to put a bill on the floor 
that I do not support.
  I am talking about the bill that would provide for a non-reform 
reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program through the end 
of November. To make it very clear, Mr. Speaker, I believe this program 
needs to be reauthorized, and the House has done its work. The House 
passed a bill with reforms last November. Never underestimate the 
Senate's capacity to do nothing.
  Unfortunately, the Senate has done nothing. But this is a program, 
Mr. Speaker, that continues to be in dire need of reform. And now, we 
have reauthorized it without reforms, not once, not twice, not three 
times, not four times, not five times, but six times since the 
Financial Services Committee first reported this bill out. Enough is 
  Mr. Speaker, in America, we lost 116 lives last year to flooding, 
with billions and billions of dollars of property loss, and, yet, we 
have a program unreformed that incents people to live in harm's way. We 
should not be doing this, Mr. Speaker.
  I went and I visited with those who survived Hurricane Harvey, people 
that were close to your district, people whose homes had flooded three 
times in the last 8 years, and I heard harrowing tales of survival. 
And, yet, we have a program that says, you know what? We are going to 
help rebuild your same home in the same fashion in the same place. Hope 
you survive next time. That is just wrong, Mr. Speaker.
  And, yes, we need more mitigation money. We need better flood control 
projects. The House bill had more flood mitigation money than any other 
reform bill, but this bill before us has no reforms.
  Finances: This is a program that the taxpayer has subsidized so far 
by $40 billion. Some of the debt has been forgiven, but it runs a 
billion-and-a-half dollar deficit every single year, Mr. Speaker. It is 
unsustainable. The Congressional Budget Office says it, the GAO says 
it, the OMB says it. It is an unsustainable program. The finances do 
not work.
  And then last, but not least, Mr. Speaker, it is a government 
monopoly. It is a government monopoly when people could, through a 
competitive marketplace, actually get more affordable flood insurance. 
And that is just not a theory. That is happening as we speak.
  In the small little bit of the marketplace that is open to 
competition, people are saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in 
places like Pennsylvania, and in places like Florida. We had testimony 
in our committee. And so it is just rather disappointing that, again, 
we face the seventh time of not reforming a program that has no market 
competition, and that is fiscally unsustainable, and, yet, we continue 
to see premiums skyrocket in the government monopoly.
  Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Royce) and the gentleman on the other side of the aisle, Mr. Blumenauer 
from Oregon. They tried to put together a reform package with the most 
minimal level of reforms, and, unfortunately, it did not appear to 
carry the day.
  I suspect we will soon cast, with an overwhelming vote, a clean 
reauthorization, but I don't think they are going to take it up in the 
Senate. Maybe I am wrong, in which case, we will have to deal with 
this. And I would just simply again ask, particularly for the people on 
my side of the aisle--I think it helps maybe once or twice a month if 
we ask ourselves Ronald Reagan's eternal question: ``If not us, who? If 
not now, when?''
  Mr. Speaker, I invite somebody to answer that question for me, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.

[[Page H7126]]

  Mr. Speaker, since the National Flood Insurance Program's multiyear 
authorization expired on September 30, 2017, ideological differences 
have led Congress to pass six short-term extensions, and have even 
allowed the program to briefly lapse twice since the government 
  More than 5 million families rely on the NFIP for affordable flood 
insurance coverage. Communities rely on the NFIP for flood maps and 
mitigation assistance, and small businesses rely on the NFIP to pick up 
the pieces when the inevitable storm hits. Yet, the long-term stability 
of this critical program continues to fall victim to partisan politics.
  Mr. Speaker, 2017 was an absolutely catastrophic year in terms of 
hurricanes and other national disasters. In 2017, for the first time on 
record, three Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the United States, 
serving as painful reminders of the importance of affordable and 
accessible flood insurance.
  While Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria may be a distant memory for 
some, families affected by these storms are still just beginning their 
long road to recovery, and we continue to learn about the challenges 
that families in Puerto Rico face with no signs of leadership from the 
Trump administration.
  We are here today in the midst of the 2018 hurricane season with no 
credible plan to do anything differently from the partisan gamesmanship 
that has brought the NFIP to the brink of a lapse several times already 
this Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, I am deeply disappointed that Congress continues to miss 
opportunities to responsibly help homeowners, businesses, and renters 
who all need access to affordable flood insurance by taking sensible 
steps to stabilize flood insurance premiums, deal with the NFIP's debt 
and invest in up-to-date and accurate flood maps.

  Instead, the House has passed controversial and ideological reforms 
that make flood insurance more expensive, less available, and less 
fair, which is, obviously, going nowhere in the Senate.
  Given the critical importance of the NFIP to our housing market, I am 
pleased that we are taking the small step today of reauthorizing the 
program for 4 months to at least provide some level of certainty to 
businesses and families, but let us not be fooled into thinking that 
our work is done. I have led the effort for years to provide long-term 
reauthorizations of the NFIP that also ensure the affordability and the 
availability of flood insurance, and I will continue to do so when this 
latest short-term extension expires in November.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I am now very pleased to yield 2 minutes 
to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise), the majority whip.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas for 
yielding, and I really want to thank my colleague, Mr. MacArthur from 
New Jersey, for his leadership in bringing this amendment forward, 
which would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program on a 
short-term basis through hurricane season.
  Why are we here, Mr. Speaker? We are here because, first of all, the 
House did take strong action to pass a 5-year reauthorization of NFIP 
that included really important reforms, reforms that I was happy to 
work with the chairman on to pass through the House.

                              {time}  1730

  But, ultimately, as the bill went over to the Senate, we kept hearing 
story after story that the Senate was going to pass something, and then 
a month would go by and another month would go by, and, ultimately, the 
Senate still hasn't passed anything to reauthorize this program. So it 
leaves us here literally days before the program expires.
  Mr. Speaker, we can't play some game of chicken with the lives of 
millions of families that represent, by the way, all 50 States. All 50 
States participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. This isn't 
something that just applies to coastal communities. You have got every 
inland State as well that have families that rely on this program to 
  Mr. Speaker, what kind of program would we like to see? I would love 
to see a vibrant marketplace with private sector company after private 
sector company that would offer options to families just like we have 
with car insurance or homeowners insurance. But we don't have that 
today. So what we need to do is usher in reforms like the Ross-Castor 
legislation, Mr. Speaker, that I am a cosponsor of. Ross-Castor, by the 
way, was included in the House-passed bill.
  There are other important reforms that encourage communities to get 
better mapping from FEMA. Some of those reforms were included in the 
Royce-Blumenauer legislation which, was also in the House-passed bill.
  So we could talk about the reforms that are needed, and I encourage 
us to get those kind of reforms done. But at the midnight hour, let's 
at least keep this program going for a few more months while we 
continue negotiating, and let's get a long-term deal that actually has 
the reforms that will make this a sustainable program with private 
sector involvement for years to come.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to 
the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Cleaver), who is the ranking member of 
the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee of the Financial Services 
  Mr. CLEAVER. Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to support the House 
amendment to S. 1182, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension 
Act of 2018. This bill would provide a clean, 4-month extension for the 
  Now, I do plan to vote in favor of this bill, but I do so with deep 
consternation that we are, yet again, passing a short-term 
reauthorization. This will be the seventh short-term extension for the 
NFIP in the last 10 months. This is somewhat embarrassing, or should 
be, to all of us.
  If we fail to reauthorize the program, the NFIP will not be able to 
issue new policies, and borrowing authority would be limited. A lapse 
in authorization during the height of hurricane season could have 
serious ramifications for communities that have already weathered last 
year's severe storms.
  When the Financial Services Committee began to consider the NFIP 
reauthorization, I had advocated for a long-term reauthorization. I met 
with Mr. Duffy many, many times. We discussed that a long-term 
reauthorization of 5 or even 10 years would provide policyholders and 
stakeholders with certainty. It would give industry stability, 
communities a chance to develop mitigation plans, and policyholders 
peace of mind.
  Affordability must remain a central component of any long-term plan 
to revamp the NFIP. Rates are already increasing for many 
policyholders, and we need to ensure that homeowners who rely on the 
NFIP for protection are not priced out of the program.
  Additionally, I have urged my colleagues to consider the forgiving of 
the NFIP's debt. Though the NFIP has been self-sustaining for many 
years, extreme and unexpected damage following Hurricane Katrina and 
Superstorm Sandy left the NFIP with a $20 billion debt. Now the NFIP 
continues to pay over $400 million a year in interest, and this is 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman 
from Missouri an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. CLEAVER. The NFIP continues to pay over $400 million a year in 
interest. That is money that could go towards making improvements in 
the program or helping enhance affordability. We need to wipe the slate 
clean and give the NFIP a fresh start.
  Lastly, enhancing mapping technology and increasing litigation 
resources will go a long way in improving the program and preparing 
communities for prevention and recovery efforts.
  To be sure, I am pleased that we are voting to keep the NFIP up and 
running for the next 4 months, but I remain concerned that we have been 
unable to agree on a long-term plan. I again urge my colleagues to come 
to the table in a bipartisan manner for a solution and for the updating 
of the NFIP.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Huizenga), who is the chairman of our Capital Markets, 
Securities, and Investments Subcommittee.

[[Page H7127]]


  Mr. HUIZENGA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with deep hesitation in 
supporting another clean extension of the National Flood Insurance 
Program through November of this year. While I completely agree that 
letting this program lapse in the middle of hurricane season is deeply 
problematic, it is inconceivable to me that even extremely modest 
reforms to this troubled program are not included in this legislation.
  The House amendment to S. 1182 is a simple piece of legislation with 
a simple extension. What is notable, however, is the fact that the 
legislation contains none of the reforms passed by this House in a 
bipartisan manner in November, nor does the legislation contain any of 
the more modest reforms recently introduced by my colleagues from 
California and Oregon, Representatives Royce and Blumenauer.
  Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman from Missouri said, this will be 
extension number 7 in less than a year. This is even after Congress 
forgave that $16 billion in NFIP debt, all while fewer than 2 percent 
of the 5 million policies that are out there have absorbed more than $8 
billion in payments.

  These numbers are staggering. Instead of passing clean extension 
after clean extension, the Senate should--no, wait a minute--the Senate 
must do its job and take up bipartisan reform that we passed in 
  I urge my colleagues to be responsible and work toward crafting a 
long-term reauthorization of this, a program that needs to shift 
towards risk-based rates, increasing private sector involvement in the 
program, and to address repetitive loss properties, all of which will 
put the program on a more sustainable financial path.
  I grew up in a floodplain in Michigan right along Lake Michigan and 
the Great Lakes. This is real for those of us in west Michigan. But at 
the end of the day, with this legislation, a ``no'' vote is not a lack 
of willingness or interest to address this issue, as it may be 
portrayed; but, equally, a ``yes'' vote should not be acceptance of the 
status quo. Hopefully, by this bill moving forward, there may be action 
in the Senate.
  Frankly, at the end of the day, Members are being put in an 
impossible no-win situation; not for us, Mr. Speaker, but for our 
constituents, the taxpayers, it is a no-win situation.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to 
the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Al Green), who is the ranking member of 
the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Financial 
Services Committee.
  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I, too, am not enthralled with 
the idea of a temporary fix. My preference is a long-term remedy.
  While we have different reasons for being opposed to a temporary fix, 
the truth is we have no choice at this point. In about a week, the 
program will expire.
  I know what happens when we are, unfortunately, coping with 
hurricanes such as Katrina, which cost us $160 billion. I saw what 
happened in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Katrina. The ranking member 
and I were there on the ground to see how people who had been quite 
prosperous were now having to abandon what was their home, and they had 
to move to other places. The Astrodome in Houston, Texas, became the 
home for many thousands of people who were fleeing the aftermath of 
  I saw what happened after Harvey and how people were suffering and 
trying to go back into homes that were completely devastated. They had 
nowhere else to go.
  So we have no choice. We must reauthorize. And 4 months, while it 
seems like it is an inappropriate amount of time, does give us some 
additional time. My hope is that we will come to some conclusion that 
will be acceptable such that we can have a long-term extension.
  The Realtors are constantly calling to my attention the need for 
certainty in this program. It helps the economy to have certainty. My 
belief is we can have certainty, and we must extend.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman 
an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. My belief is we must have certainty and we 
must extend. My belief also is this: If not us, who will extend it? If 
not now, when will we extend it?
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce), who is the chairman of the House Foreign 
Affairs Committee and a very senior member of the Financial Services 
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, we stand here doing what we 
have done, I guess, 38 times now since 1998, and that is passing an 
extension of the National Flood Insurance Program without the much-
needed reforms that should be in that program. This is unacceptable.
  Subsidized flood insurance represents what economists call a moral 
hazard, and let me tell you why. We tell Americans that if you buy 
flood insurance from Uncle Sam, no matter how many times your house 
floods, we will give you money to rebuild it.
  We haven't worked to decrease that moral hazard through reform; 
rather, we have embraced and refueled it, and we make it more difficult 
for people to move than rebuild.
  We fail to encourage communities to mitigate flood risk. We continue 
to build in high-risk areas. The clearest sign of moral hazard is the 
number of repeatedly flooded properties that are rebuilt with little 
deference to mitigation.
  I will give you some examples:
  A $90,000 home in Missouri has been flooded, now, 34 times, at a cost 
of more than $600,000;
  A $56,000 home in Louisiana flooded more than 40 times at a cost of 
  A $72,000 home in Texas that flooded again last year cost taxpayers 
over $1 million in payouts.
  I came to the floor today hoping to support a bill that Mr. 
Blumenauer and I authored that would have extended the flood program 
with what The Wall Street Journal called de minimis policy changes that 
have broad, bipartisan support, which would do something about the fact 
that you have got fewer than 2 percent of the 5 million policies that 
have absorbed more than $8 billion of the payments because we don't 
have these reforms. That is not in this bill before us.
  Unfortunately, I oppose this can-kicking exercise, and I urge my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to 
the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer), who has long pushed for 
reducing flood risk in this country.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentlewoman's courtesy 
in permitting me to speak on this, and I am pleased to follow my friend 
from California (Mr. Royce).
  This is troubling for me, his reference here to 38 extensions without 
reform. I have been working on this for 20 years. This is the 41st 
time, and we had one back in 2004 with my friend, Doug Bereuter, where 
we had some small steps, but they were anticipatory of being able to 
make greater reforms.
  I am vexed that we continue to move forward and dodge some hard 
facts. We are subsidizing too much for people who grow complacent.
  I am concerned about affordability. There are things we can do to 
deal with affordability, but that doesn't mean to have massive 
subsidization for people who don't need it and, in fact, encourage 
people to be in harm's way and, in fact, after they are flooded out, to 
go back, putting them in harm's way again.
  There are simple, commonsense steps we can take. There were things 
that Mr. Royce and I had that are sort of the lowest common 
denominator. I am deeply troubled that we are going to do this again 
without dealing with the problems.
  I just want to say that it is not just financial hardship and it is 
not just wasting of money. Our failure to reform the Flood Insurance 
Program puts people at risk. Every one of these massive events shows 
that people will go back, trying to deal with a family member; they are 
dealing with their business, or they are dealing with a pet.

                              {time}  1745

  People die because we fail to take steps to reform and make it work 
  I appreciate the ranking member, the chair, Mr. Duffy, and Mr. Royce. 
There is a path forward. This bill is not the path forward.

[[Page H7128]]

  I don't want it to lapse. I don't want disruption. But it is hard for 
me to sit here and vote ``yes'' for something that doesn't do the 
minimum. We don't do anybody any favors along this path.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Luetkemeyer), the chairman of our Financial Institutions 
and Consumer Credit Subcommittee.
  Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, the National Flood Insurance Program is 
critical to millions of Americans who need access to affordable flood 
insurance, but it is also in desperate need of reform. The current 
construct of the NFIP doesn't serve anyone well. Taxpayers are left 
unprotected, and the program continues to offer antiquated policies and 
provides insufficient coverage. FEMA continues to hold a monopoly in 
the flood insurance space, leaving policyholders with no freedom to 
choose a policy that works best for them.
  Mr. Speaker, last year, we came together as a body and passed 
comprehensive NFIP reform. Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to do 
anything with those even modest reforms that we had in that bill. 
Tomorrow, we are probably going to pass another bill and kick the can 
down the road. We will probably do the same thing in November.
  Mr. Speaker, I oppose this bill because I think it is time to make 
some reforms. It is time to take a stand and do something to protect 
the taxpayers who are on the hook for all of what I call the 
mismanagement of this agency and for these continued risks to 
individuals who are policyholders of these policies who continue to 
live in dangerous areas.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to 
the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Graves), who has been a true leader 
on the National Flood Insurance Program. He comes with a very, very 
important background. He was chairman of Louisiana's Coastal Protection 
and Restoration Authority. So I am pleased to have worked with him, to 
have talked with him, and to understand that we need him when we are 
working on the reforms that we will work on after we pass this bill.
  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlewoman 
for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, this discussion needs to have a reset. It needs to have 
a reset because I keep hearing people sit here talking about repetitive 
floods and how there is a certain set of these flood victims who are 
costing this program all sorts of problems and money.
  Mr. Speaker, do you really believe people want to be flooded? Do you 
think people want to have everything they own underwater and have to 
throw it all out?
  Anybody who believes that has obviously never stepped foot in a 
flooded home, never spoken to a flood victim.
  Do you really think people intentionally want to build their home in 
a place that is going to flood so all their family heirlooms are 
flooded and lost? That whole concept is irrational.
  Mr. Speaker, the reality is that all of us want this program to be 
solvent. We all want to have a solution. We all want to have reforms. 
The things that are being pushed aren't the reforms that are going to 
result in solvency. The reforms that are being pushed are strictly a 
defense. You don't go out on the field and just play defense.
  We need to lean forward. We need to integrate some of our efforts on 
mitigation, some of our Corps of Engineers levee projects, some of our 
hazard mitigation grant program funds through FEMA, look where we can 
protect areas and where that is the most cost-effective solution, and 
not tell everyone: You are out of your house, or we are going to charge 
you unaffordable rates.
  Mr. Speaker, think about this for just a minute. I represent the 
State of Louisiana. We drain from Montana to two Canadian provinces to 
New York. All that water comes and drains down through our State. It is 
one of the largest watersheds in the world. More water is coming to us 
  So, yes, we are more vulnerable. But the people who live in these 
homes and businesses are innocent. Folks are trying to charge them more 
for something they have no control over. That is not American. That is 
not okay.
  We are in hurricane season right now, Mr. Speaker. We are in 
hurricane season, where we need to provide people certainty. Let's be 
crystal clear on what this bill is and what it is not. A ``yes'' vote 
provides people certainty during hurricane season. It provides 
certainty to Realtors, homeowners, and homebuilders. A ``no'' vote 
kills the National Flood Insurance Program and leaves people with 
complete uncertainty and in limbo.
  I want to thank the gentleman from New Jersey for proposing this bill 
and for bringing it up, because this is so important. We have had 220 
disasters, each costing more than $1 billion since 1980. In total, we 
spent approximately $1.5 trillion responding to these disasters.
  Mr. Speaker, there are similar programs that exist. Right now, there 
is Price-Anderson for nuclear power plants and TRIA for terrorism risk 
insurance, where the government provides a safety net. I agree that we 
nee to reform these programs, but we need to do it in a way that does 
not penalize the innocent. Until we get to that point, we need to do an 
extension to provide certainty and to ensure we make it through 
hurricane season, and we have a rational debate.

  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. MacArthur), who is also the author of the 
legislation for the reauthorization bill before us.
  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, I spent about 30 years in the insurance 
industry. A good deal of that time, I worked on this program. I know 
it, I would guess, better than anyone here, and I know what it does for 
people. I know its weaknesses as well.
  Mr. Speaker, 140 million Americans live in coastal counties today. 
They are ordinary Americans, mostly of moderate means. I represent many 
of these folks in Ocean County, New Jersey. These are the victims of 
disasters like Sandy, and they absolutely depend upon this program.
  In October, the House passed a bill that I worked on and I supported, 
a 5-year reauthorization with modest increases in premiums, increased 
mitigation dollars, and instilled some accountability at FEMA. It was 
too much reform for some, not enough for others. But it was absolutely 
necessary that we do that. The Senate has totally failed to act.
  So, what do we do today? We hold every homeowner along the coast 
hostage? We cannot do that.
  The NFIP program has $30 billion of borrowing capacity. That drops to 
$1 billion if this lapses. That is a modest event in this country. How 
do we look the American people in the eye after a storm and say: We 
don't have the money that you have been paying premiums for. How do we 
do that? How do we shut down the real estate market?
  If you can't get a mortgage, you can't buy a home. And you cannot get 
a mortgage in coastal counties without flood insurance.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from New Jersey an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. MacARTHUR. Mr. Speaker, we cannot pull the rug out from 
underneath the people depending on this program.
  I will continue to work with the committee, with our chairman, and 
with the Senate, which needs to get off their back sides and do 
something. They have done nothing on this. I will continue to work. But 
in the meantime, we must continue this program until the end of 
hurricane season. That is why I chose the date November 30 on this 
bill. That is the last day of hurricane season.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues, whatever your reservations, 
support it, and we will keep working on reforms.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to 
the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Palazzo), continuing in this 
bipartisan effort to pass a clean bill. He has long been a champion of 
the National Flood Insurance Program.
  Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  We are 1 week away from July 31--that is 7 days--which means the 
deadline to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program is nearing 
very fast.
  I would like to thank Mr. MacArthur for understanding the importance 
of avoiding a lapse in the NFIP

[[Page H7129]]

program and for introducing legislation that will continue coverage for 
millions of policyholders.
  We know that flooding always has been and will continue to be the 
most costly natural phenomenon humanity faces.
  I support this amendment to extend the National Flood Insurance 
Program through the end of the 2018 hurricane season and urge my 
colleagues to do the same.
  Policyholders who rely on the program to insure their homes from 
flooding should not be caught in limbo while Congress works on coming 
together in a bipartisan manner to reauthorize the program.
  While I, along with many of my colleagues, support reform in the 
program, the time to enact bipartisan reforms is gone for now. We have 
to take immediate action. If the NFIP lapses, policyholders will not 
have the opportunity to renew their policies and tens of thousands of 
home sale closings would be negatively impacted by a program lapse. We 
are in the middle of the 2018 hurricane season, and a major disruption 
in the program will be detrimental to homeowners in every corner of the 
United States.
  It is our duty to ensure that flood insurance remains affordable and 
available to our constituents. Since 1968, this program has helped 
protect against flooding. Since its inception, the NFIP has saved the 
government billions of dollars.
  We are providing our constituents with certainty by supporting this 
bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to extend the NFIP 
through the end of the 2018 hurricane season.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus), the vice chairman of the Financial 
Institutions Subcommittee.
  Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the House amendment to 
S. 1182, the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act.
  This summer has been a challenging time for western Pennsylvania, 
where summer storms have caused devastating floods. Residents are still 
recovering from the damage. At the same time, the NFIP, the National 
Flood Insurance Program, is close to lapsing. That is because, like so 
many things we have done in the House, the Senate has failed to act.
  We know the NFIP is in need of reform. As a member of the Financial 
Services Committee, I applaud Chairmen Hensarling and Duffy for their 
work to craft a bipartisan bill that we have passed. Many of these 
reforms in this bill are bipartisan. They are noncontroversial. 
Pennsylvania's own insurance commissioner, a Democratic appointee, even 
testified before our committee in support of the private flood 
insurance provisions that are essential to improving consumer choice. 
Unfortunately, the Senate is stalled. We should continue urging 
Senators to take action, in the meantime.

  I urge my colleagues to support the passage of this temporary 
extension, and I urge the Senate to get back to work.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Babin).
  Mr. BABIN. Mr. Speaker, I represent a working coastal community. Our 
communities in Texas District 36 were hit very, very hard by Hurricane 
Harvey, and our Nation's energy security relies on those communities.
  Coastal energy and petrochemical refining facilities like the 150 
that I represent cannot function without a steady and reliable 
workforce, and that workforce cannot exist without a stable housing 
  I am hopeful that my House colleagues will have the wisdom to see the 
necessity of passing S. 1182, so that we can maintain this national 
security issue.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve 
the balance of my time
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Abraham).
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. Speaker, allowing the NFIP to expire is simply not 
an option. It would be catastrophic on financial markets. But more 
importantly, for that family sitting around the table, it would be 
  Chairman Hensarling and Majority Whip Scalise had a good reform bill, 
but the Senate needs to act. Until that happens, we have to reauthorize 
this, so that the next hurricane doesn't have a devastating effect on 
the economy and families.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Higgins).
  Mr. HIGGINS of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I have a map in my office that 
shows the areas of the United States that have been impacted by flood. 
It is virtually the entire country.
  This is the House of ``We the People.'' This is an easy ``yes'' vote. 
I urge my colleagues on my side of the aisle to try to explain to the 
American people how you can vote ``yes'' six times on an extension and 
``no'' the seventh time.
  We did our job in November. We passed some comprehensive reforms to 
the NFIP, a 5-year authorization. The Senate has failed. We serve the 
people. This is right for the people.
  I urge my colleagues to step up and vote ``yes'' on this extension. 
We don't like it, but we serve the people. This bill is for the people.

                              {time}  1800

  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Duffy), the chairman of our Subcommittee on Housing and 
Insurance and the author of the real flood reform bill.
  Mr. DUFFY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding. This is a 
rich conversation. I am hearing my colleagues saying: We are almost out 
of time. We have to reauthorize the program. We can't let it expire.
  The truth is, we have known for months that this program was going to 
expire. We have known. And many of us have tried to go to those who 
have disagreed on any kind of flood reform to craft a deal, to craft a 
compromise, but, lo and behold, there was no willingness to come 
together and find a compromise on flood reform.
  It was: No, no. We want to come to the very end and pretend like it 
is a crisis and we have to extend the program because we can't put 
people in harm's way.
  By the way, this program puts people in harm's way. We know that 
people don't want to flood, just like people don't want to get in a car 
crash and they don't want their house to burn. But if 2 times, 4 times, 
10 times someone's house burns, we might say: Hey, we have got a 
problem with that. Maybe we should look at where you are living.
  If someone gets in a car crash 2 times, 5 times, 10 times, 15 times, 
we might say: Hey, you have got a problem, maybe, with your driving.
  But with flood insurance, we say: Listen, you can flood 1 time, 5 
times, 10 times--and guess what? You can flood 10 times, 15 times, and 
your premiums don't go up at all. You are grandfathered in.
  When my daughter crashed our car twice, guess what happened to my 
premiums? They went through the roof. But with flood insurance, your 
premiums don't go up.
  Let's fix this program. There are commonsense reforms that we can 
implement. We are not asking for the bill that I introduced last year. 
We have said: Hey, maybe we can look at the severe repetitive loss 
properties, the ones that are only 3 percent of those in the NFIP but 
account for 25 percent of the losses. Maybe we could address those 
  Maybe we could find some little bit of reform that could make the 
program work better. It is $20.5 billion in debt, and we already 
forgave $16 billion in debt. It is under water, to use a pun.
  Let's work on fixing it. Let's help people get out of harm's way. 
Reform does that, Mr. Speaker. Let's get it done.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to hear 
that some of my friends on the opposite side of the aisle are going to 
cooperate in a reauthorization bill, taking into consideration many of 
the concerns.
  I do want you to know that I sent a letter out just July 18, Mr. 
Speaker, 61

[[Page H7130]]

Members signed this letter for reauthorization. I want you to know that 
I understand that we have differences, and I understand that I am 
focused on affordability as one of the important aspects of any 
reauthorization bill.
  I do know that some on the other side are concerned about how many 
times flooding will take place where people will have to be 
reestablished, the homes rebuilt, repairs done, how many times. I know 
all of that. We know all of that. But we are here now, and we have no 
choice. We have got to pass this bill this evening. A clear bill that 
will reauthorize for 4 months, and then let's have Mr. Duffy have 
another shout out loud about how we are going to do a long-term 
reauthorization bill when we take up the bill after the 4 months.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. I am prepared to close, Mr. Speaker. I think I have 
the right to close.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I have no more 
speakers, and I am prepared to close.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remainder of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, partisan gamesmanship and harmful reforms passed out of 
the house stalled the NFIP's long-term reauthorization for long enough. 
While I would prefer a longer term reauthorization of this important 
program, I strongly support today's 4-month extension to provide 
homeowners, businesses, renters, and communities with the certainty 
they deserve.
  But make no mistake. This short-term reauthorization does not absolve 
Congress of its responsibility to reauthorize the flood insurance 
program for the long term. It is past time for Congress to do its job 
and pass a long-term reauthorization that will ensure Americans are 
protected this and every hurricane season to come.
  Mr. Speaker, flooding is truly a humbling and equalizing force. It 
brings out the best of America during the worst of times, with everyone 
putting aside their differences to come together to help one another in 
our time of need.
  Now it is time for Congress to do the same thing. We must put 
partisanship and ideology aside and ensure the continued affordability 
and availability of coverage for millions of Americans. The long-term 
reauthorization of the NFIP that ensures affordable flood insurance 
continues to be available to communities across our country must be 
Congress' priority when we return from the August recess.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas has 1\1/2\ minutes 
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, deja vu all over again. This House has been here many 
times before. In fact, we have had 41 reauthorizations of this program, 
38 with no reforms.
  So, a vote for S. 1182 is a vote for the status quo. And what is the 
status quo? The status quo is people in harm's way who have homes that 
flood five, six, seven, and eight times, putting their lives in danger 
and burdening the taxpayer at the same time.

  A vote for S. 1182 is a vote to ensure that we continue to have more 
red ink as far as the eye can see. Mr. Speaker, $40 billion of taxpayer 
subsidies to the program already. A vote for S. 1182 is a vote to 
protect a government monopoly.
  The ranking member spoke about affordability. Well, the irony is, if 
we had market competition, we would have more affordable flood 
insurance, but we don't have market competition.
  When is enough enough? When do we finally act? If we can vote down 
this, we can vote in favor of reforms, which is what we should have 
done in the first place. For us to do the same thing over and over 
again and expect a different result, we all know, Mr. Speaker, is the 
very definition of insanity.
  I have no doubt this thing will be voted ``aye,'' but it shouldn't 
be, and it is a sad day for the House.
  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 Texas (Mr. Hensarling) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, S. 1182, as amended.
  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. HENSARLING. 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.