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Public Statements

Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - September 27, 2007)

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Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate my colleague from the Show Me State for yielding, and I rise in support of the Berry-Ross-Hare-Emerson-Hulshof-Costello amendment.

We have tasked the Federal Emergency Management Agency with educating the public of the flood risks to their homes and businesses. I think we agree and support their continued efforts in the education campaign so long as it is done based upon the best modeling and sound science available.

But I do not support FEMA pushing homeowners into purchasing flood insurance when they don't need it. This is exactly what FEMA seems to be doing with the zone X shaded floodplain note. Zone X shaded is the area behind a certified 100-year or 500-year levee but still within the 100-year floodplain. Within these zones, FEMA attaches a note, the purpose of which I believe seems to intimidate homeowners into purchasing flood insurance through a very strongly worded suggestion.

Now, if you talk to FEMA, they will tell you those notes don't require individuals to purchase flood insurance; and I guess I can say my beautiful wife, Renee, doesn't require me to buy an anniversary present, but there are some things that just seem to be understood.

Of particular concern, as has been expressed, is that when you have certain lenders or others who see this warning, this stark warning, that they may in fact require homeowners when in fact the law does not.

Again, I acknowledge what my colleague and friend from Cape Giradeau has said. I am for floor insurance. It should be, for instance, mandatory in special flood hazard areas. But we have areas in this country where tremendous resources have been used to create a very adequate flood protection system. Mrs. Emerson's district is one of those, systems that are constructed and maintained and certified by the Federal Government.

So individuals that live behind these certified levees, whether they have been constructed by the Federal Government or constructed under the supervision of the Federal Government, they pay their due, they pay Federal taxes, and often they have participated in the levee districts themselves. I think this is a commonsense amendment, and I am proud to support it.

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