Below are excerpts from the POLITICO article showing Rep. Hensarling’s House Flood Insurance bill losing steam;

  • Coastal state Republicans are bucking Congressman Hensarling’s proposed House Flood Insurance bill  teaming up with Democrats as lawmakers struggle to salvage an agreement to keep the National Flood Insurance Program alive.

  • Dozens of Republicans from New York to Mississippi have fought proposals by the House Financial Services Committee that they say would make flood insurance unaffordable.

  • A member of the House leadership, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, is among those uneasy with the panel’s plans.

  • In the Senate, Republicans are joining with Democrats to find a deal before the program lapses at the end of next month.

  • “America, the American economy, Louisiana and the Louisiana economy cannot operate without the National Flood Insurance Program,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told a roomful of local reporters last week at an event marking the anniversary of dramatic flooding in the Baton Rouge area. “Write that down. Take it home to mama. It’s the truth.”

  • Senator Kennedy is so far opposed to fellow Republican Hensarling’s bill that he has drafted his own bill, S. 1368, with a senior Democrat, Senator Menendez,  on the Senate Banking Committee.

  • Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) warned against rubber-stamping any party or president’s agenda in Washington.  Taking a shot at Hensarling’s flood insurance bill.

  • Graves took aim at a Hensarlings proposal again by coming out against the Republican-led Financial Services Committee – capping annual premiums at $10,000 per year.  “How many of you can afford that?” Graves stated. “It’s outrageous.”

  • On July, 26 Republicans from states including New York, Texas, Mississippi and Florida told House leadership that one iteration of the committee’s package would make flood insurance unaffordable for their constituents.  “Many believe everyone’s rates should go up just to make sure it can fund outlier events like Hurricane Katrina,” Rep. Steven Palazzo, who signed the letter, later wrote in Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper. “I will not let this happen.”

  • Hensarling is still facing resistance – even within his own party, which has cast doubt on the bill’s prospects for House passage next month.  This partisan bill has NO support by any of the democratic congressmen.

  • Flooding from Harvey will further weaken support of Hensarling’s bill.  Rep. Pete Olson, a Republican who represents the Houston area, said his constituents “are at the mercy of both nature and the NFIP.” Rep  Olson also stated “the end package must ensure that we uphold the promise we’ve made to homeowners.”

  • The prospect that the proposal would raise costs for homeowners is a concern for Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican stated.

  • Kennedy, Louisiana’s junior senator, is one of the committee’s newest members but has emerged as one of its loudest voices on flood insurance.  He drafted a six-year reauthorization bill with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). Back home, he touts how the proposal has attracted bipartisan support.

  • At a press conference in Denham Springs, La., Kennedy told reporters . We’re going to take some measures to stabilize the program. But we’re not going to do it on the backs of the policyholders.

  • Kennedy said in an interview that the coalitions that have formed to address flood insurance “defy” political parties.  “It’s not just Louisiana,” he said. “If you get 20 inches of rain in three days, you’re going to flood. I don’t care if you’re on Pikes Peak. You’re going to flood, and that can happen in any state, in any community, at any time, and I think most of the senators are starting to understand that.”

You can read the full Politico article here


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