The Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Judy Biggert, approved legislation today to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). H.R. 1309, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Biggert, provides for long-term reauthorization of the NFIP and includes important reforms to improve its financial stability, reduce the burden on taxpayers, and provide avenues to increase private sector participation in the flood insurance market. The legislation was approved on a voice vote.
Subcommittee Chairman Biggert said, "I'm very pleased we were able to move this bill forward with bipartisan support. The current program is in deep financial trouble, and our bill places it back on sound footing by phasing in actuarially sound rates, and it addresses a broad range of concerns about new maps, as well as dams and levees. Together, these reforms will help ensure reliable protection for homeowners and businesses while shifting the burden of risk off American taxpayers."
Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus said, "Thousands of communities and millions of property owners depend on flood insurance to provide some measure of security. To protect them while minimizing the risk to taxpayers, the NFIP must be made more self-sufficient. I commend the Subcommittee for approving this reform bill."
The NFIP currently operates with a $17.75 billion debt, and the Government Accountability Office has listed the NFIP as high-risk since 2006. Last reformed in 2004, the program has been widely criticized for under-pricing risk and promoting development in flood-prone areas that are more suitable for conservation.