Homeowners across the country are facing flood insurance rate increases as a result of reforms in the Biggert-Waters Act, made to address the solvency and affordability of the National Flood Insurance Program, which protects homeowners from flood losses. Because of FEMA’s implementation of Biggert-Waters, premiums were expected to increase up to tens of thousands of dollars. Thankfully, through hard work and bipartisanship, Congress found a long-term solution to ensure flood insurance remains affordable for both current and future homeowners, and passed H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. This legislation subsequently passed the Senate, and was signed into law on March 21, 2014.
Prior to the introduction of H.R. 3370, Congressman Bilirakis introduced the Homeowners Flood Insurance Relief Act, to substantively address the flood insurance rate increase. He heard from my constituents, and was involved in this process from the beginning. Representative Bilirakis was proud to be part of the core group of bipartisan legislators who worked with Majority Leader Cantor to get H.R. 3370 passed in the House of Representatives.
H.R. 3370 includes common-sense reforms that not only continue the intent of the NFIP – to protect homeowners from devastating floods – but also ensures the program is able to cover its costs. It is important to stress that the reforms made to the NFIP were not intended to cause the dramatic increases that homeowners are currently experiencing.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 is the result of bipartisan hard work. H.R. 3370 is a fantastic first step in addressing the immediate needs of so many Americans, but it is not the end of the process. FEMA must be held accountable. To that end, Congressman Bilirakis introduced H.R. 4352, the Flood Insurance Integrity Act.
This legislation will require a review of the NFIP, and will provide transparency and shed much needed light on how flood rate maps are updated. The NFIP must be administered with integrity. H.R. 4352 is a good government bill. The constituents of Florida’s 12th District who need flood insurance should be able to know how those costs are calculated, and should be able to trust the integrity of those calculations. The Flood Insurance Integrity Act guarantees oversight and transparency – the American people deserve nothing less.
More on Flood Insurance
Tropical Storm Hermine caused significant destruction throughout the Tampa Bay area. Official estimates indicate that the storm left almost $89 million in damages throughout Pasco County alone. After personally visiting flooded areas throughout my District, I contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Commander Kirk to ask that their agency serve as a resource in helping to craft a workable solution to provide relief. It is important that leaders at the federal, state and local levels work together to find solutions.
Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) have introduced legislation to protect Florida homeowners from impending increases in flood insurance rates. The Flood Insurance Rate Increase Suspension Act (H.R. 4866), which was filed on March 24 by the bay area Republicans, would delay any increase in flood insurance premium rates for certain properties for 12 months.
Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) is delighted to announce that his efforts to help flood victims in Pasco County continue to yield positive results. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently approved an initial $50,000 investment to prepare the Federal Interest Determination (FID) for the Pasco County infrastructure project. This is the first step in obtaining implementation dollars from the Corps.
Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, Congressman Bilirakis issued the following update to constituents in Congressional District 12 regarding the availability of flooding relief:
“It is an honor to receive this award, because I believe in conservative values and principles. Limited government, fiscal responsibility, and individual freedoms are all ideals in which I strongly believe. The American Dream is not dead,” Bilirakis said. "I believe in giving all Americans the opportunity to lift themselves up, and I believe in the virtue of hard work. This is the slowest economic recovery in American history, and too many women and men across the country still feel like we are in a recession. The recovery is the product of the failure of big government policies.
“CMS is clearly subverting the intent and letter of the law passed by Congress by needlessly inserting themselves into the Medicare Part D program,” Bilirakis said. “CMS justifies their intrusion as a cost-saving measure because they claim their proposed rules will reduce fraud and abuse, among other aspects. Medicare Part D is a wildly successful program, and there are better ways to save money in the Part D program than enacting rules that will reduce seniors’ access to affordable medications and increase premiums.”
“The Obama Administration continues to ignore the provisions of its own law,” said Bilirakis. “The dates of implementation for the Employer Mandate were written into the statute. The Obama Administration has simply ignored these provisions. This is tacit confirmation and incontrovertible proof that the law is unworkable. When the Obama Administration starts ignoring its own deadlines, it is a clear sign this law was never ready for prime time.”