Six New Jersey Democrats Demand Action on Long-term Flood Insurance Solution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) urged the House to take action on H.R. 3285, the Sustainable, Affordable, Fair, and Efficient National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SAFE NFIP) of 2017. The bill protects policyholders from skyrocketing premiums and reauthorizes the NFIP for six years, while also enacting reforms that would make the program more affordable and create greater transparency. This approach is preferable to the short term, four-month extension being considered by the House of Representatives today.
“While we are relieved that the National Flood Insurance Program will not expire on July 31, we are deeply disappointed that the Congress has not passed a long-term solution. Our constituents need a lasting solution that will improve the program before the next disaster hits our shores,” the members said.
“It’s also upsetting that members of Congress, including in the New Jersey delegation, are championing short-sighted approaches that will create further uncertainty for policy holders. Instead of working towards real reform for the flood insurance program, Republicans have spent this Congress attacking New Jersey families by removing crucial tax deductions in the GOP Tax Scam, slashing Gateway tunnel funding, holding federal funding for law enforcement hostage, and demanding drilling off New Jersey’s coast. Through the SAFE NFIP Reauthorization Act we have offered a serious path forward to provide certainty, accountability, and efficiency in the program.”
The SAFE NFIP legislation would take concrete steps to improve quality and accountability in the National Flood Insurance Program by implementing the following policies:
- Long-term certainty by reauthorizing the NFIP for six years.
- Protecting policyholders from excessive rate hikes, capping annual premium increases to 10 percent.
- Reinvesting in proactive mitigation efforts that have a 4:1 return on investment, with some projects enjoying a 54:1 return on investment.
- Funding new Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology for more accurate mapping of flood risks across the country.
- Providing FEMA with greater authority to terminate contractors that have a track record of abuse.
- Reforming the claims process using lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy.