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Public Statements

Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. MATSUI. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, this conference report includes a transportation bill that will help put Americans back to work and rebuild our infrastructure. It will also
ensure that students will not see an interest rate hike on their loans. This package also includes a much-needed 5-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. This comes after 17 short-term extensions.

Mr. Speaker, I represent Sacramento, which is the most at-risk metropolitan area for major flooding, as it lies at the confluence of the American and the Sacramento Rivers.

Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 25,000 homeowners in my district have been remapped, and flood insurance is now mandatory for them. The average homeowner in Sacramento that has been remapped currently pays about $350 for a PRP policy. That's a preferred-rate policy. Beginning in 2013, they were set to pay $1,350 once the PRP rate expired. However, that is no longer the case.

This bill contains a number of important provisions, including a flood insurance phase-in amendment offered during debate on the House NFIP bill last July. Instead of overnight sticker shock for homeowners, the provision allows for the price of flood insurance to be phased in at 20 percent per year over 5 years to the full policy price, when preferred-risk policies are no longer available in their community.

Specifically, it will effectively allow homeowners

next year, in 2013, residing in Sacramento and the rest of the country, to pay close to if not the same amount they're currently paying. Each year after that, the price of flood insurance will continue to be both affordable and predictable, only rising by 20 percent until it reaches full price in year five. This provision will save the average policyholder in a remapped area hundreds of dollars, if not a few thousand, over the next 5 years.

Mr. Speaker, this provision offers real savings, especially in these trying economic times, whether it's for a senior citizen on a fixed income or a family struggling to make ends meet.

Finally, I would like to commend Chairwoman Biggert and Ranking Member Waters for working with me, for their continuous efforts to preserve this amendment and work towards achieving this 5-year extension.

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