FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - September 27, 2007)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, Madam Speaker, I am pleased to lend my support to two amendments to H.R. 3121, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act, that will help those Americans, including many in my congressional district, at risk of increased flood insurance premiums because of actions of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). FEMA is demanding that many towns and communities spend thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to certify levies and other mitigation devices. If the levies are not certified to FEMA's satisfaction, the residents of those communities will face higher flood insurance premiums. Many local governments are struggling to raise the funds to complete the certification in time to meet the FEMA-imposed certification deadlines.
Several communities in my own district have been impacted by these requirements. My office is working with these jurisdictions and FEMA to establish a more reasonable schedule for completing the certifications. My office is also doing every thing it can to help these local jurisdictions fund these projects. Unfortunately, even though there is never a shortage of available funds for overseas programs, there are no funds available to help countries comply with this new federal demand.
While FEMA has thus far been willing to cooperate with my office and the local officials in providing extensions of deadlines for certification, there remains a serious possibility that many Americans will see their flood insurance premiums skyrocket because their local governments where unable to comply with these unreasonable federal demands. In some cases, people may even loose their flood insurance completely.
The amendments offered by Mr. Cardoza of California will help alleviate this problem by providing a five-year grace period for homeowners whose flood insurance coverage is affected by decertification of a levy. During this five-year, these homeowners would receive a 50 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums. Another amendment, offered by Mr. GREEN provides a five-year phasing in of any changes for flood insurance premiums for low-income homeowners impacted by the updating of the flood maps. These amendments will benefit my constituents, and all Americans, whose flood insurance is endangered by FEMA's certifying requirements, and I hope my colleagues will support them. I also hope my colleagues will continue to work to help those communities impacted by the new mitigation requirements.
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