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Public Statements

Cap and Trade Revenue

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Cap and Trade Revenue -- (Senate - May 07, 2008)


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under previous the order, there is now 2 minutes for debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment No. 4722 offered by the junior Senator from Louisiana. Who yields time?

The junior Senator from Louisiana is recognized for 1 minute.

Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, this amendment is very simple and modest. It simply updates the coverage limits available for a flood policy which have not been updated at all since 1994. It does not even take into account all inflation since then, just most inflation. It is what the House did. And under the CBO study of the House bill, the CBO said it does not increase the cost of the bill because people will obviously pay significantly higher premiums for the higher limits.

This is a very modest updating of the limits. I ask for the support of my colleagues.

I reserve the remainder of my time.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. CASEY). The Senator from Alabama.

Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I oppose the Vitter amendment. The purpose of the Dodd-Shelby bill is to increase the actuarial soundness of the flood insurance program. This amendment by Senator Vitter would undermine greatly that effort. The amendment would extend flood insurance subsidies, crowd out private markets, and lead to larger program losses down the road.

I urge my colleagues to join Senator Dodd and me in opposing the Vitter amendment.

Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, reclaiming the remainder of my time, again I think it is very important to note the CBO analysis, with regard to this issue in the House bill, said it does not cost any more. It does not get in the way of actuarial soundness at all. This is only updating the limits for less than inflation since 1994.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.



Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, periodically new flood maps are issued by FEMA. When a new flood map comes out, some properties that used to not be in a flood zone may now be in a flood zone, or move from a lesser to a more severe part of a flood zone.

This amendment would simply say we are going to charge higher premiums, absolutely, but we will transition that over 5 years instead of the 2 years in the bill. The 5 years is the same provision as in the House bill. I think it is a reasonable transition, still getting to that new higher premium.

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