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Rep. Waters Reverses Stance on Her Own Flood Bill

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored last year’s Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, is now leading a bipartisan group of 50 House members and 15 senators in filing a bill that would delay for up to four years some National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increases that her previous bill mandates...
November 15, 2013

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored last year’s Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), is now leading a bipartisan group of 50 House members and 15 senators in filing a bill that would delay for up to four years some National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate increases that her previous bill mandates.

The California Democrat spent the day this past Sunday in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, meeting with local leaders and homeowners to tell them she is doing all she can to fix the law she co-sponsored last year. That law was intended to make the NFIP more financially self-sustainable, but it did so by increasing premiums far more than many people had expected. “I’m back here because my name is on this legislation,” Waters said of the initial bill, called the Biggert-Waters Act. “I thought I have a responsibility to help make this right.”

Under the new bill, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be required to do a two-year study that will include remapping coastal areas and flood zones, identifying flood elevations and do an affordability study that will then be reviewed by Congress during the following two years. The last six months of the time frame will be for Congress to analyze the study results to make permanent changes to the NFIP. The timeline coincides with when the 2012 law would come up for renewal. Waters predicted the new bill reversing the rate increases should become law by the end of this year, but in a conversation with PIA on Tuesday a committee staffer softened that predication a bit. More>>

PIA National supports risk-based rates coupled with specific homeowner affordability solutions. While PIA National supports the overall intent of this legislation and many of its provisions, PIA National would caution against dismantling the much needed reforms that were included in Biggert-Waters.

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