SmarterSafer has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell urging them to pass Legislation re-authorizing the National Flood Insurance Program which is due to expire on September 30.
SmarterSafer thinks the bill needs strengthening, even though the Senate Banking Committee has already taken steps to reforming the nation's flood insurance program. It said "We urge the full Senate to quickly pass this needed reform to the NFIP so that the House and Senate can begin to resolve the differences and quickly get a bill to the President's desk."
At the moment the NFIP is in debt to federal taxpayers to the tune of nearly $18 billion, and that figure looks set to increase due to recent flooding. The program needs significant reforms in order to be sustainable, as otherwise the American taxpayers will end up continually having to bail out the program. The coalition would like to see a short-term "clean" extension of the NFIP to the end of 2011 enabling the program to continue while the Senate and US House of Representatives workout longer term reforms and re-authorization.
SmarterSafer went on to say "We believe that the differences in the house and Senate bills can be quickly resolved; however, it is unlikely there will be an agreement on broader reform in the next two weeks. If Congress is unable to conference and passed a bill by the 30th, there could be significant disruptions in the housing market and flood victims will experience unnecessary delays in flood claim processing and payments."
The US House of Representatives passed legislation in July re-authorizing the NFIP until the end of September 2016. The Senate Banking Committee reported at the beginning of September that a number of reforms were needed to put the flood insurance program on a sound financial footing, and these reforms would enable risky subsidies to be phased out and would allow the NFIP to purchase reinsurance helping to pay for future claims.
Smarter Safer.org is a coalition which exists to support environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches that promote public safety. It opposes legislative proposals encouraging people to build a homes in environmentally sensitive or hurricane prone areas by creating new programs which indirectly or directly subsidize homeowners insurance.