Executive Sessionby Senator Bill Nelson
Posted on 2013-12-11
NELSON. Mr. President, before the Senator from New York departs,
I want to say this is a real-life example. In Pinellas County, FL,
which is the county that houses Saint Petersburg and Clearwater, a
current flood insurance premium for a homeowner: $4,000. A new flood
insurance premium--10 times as much--$44,000.
Do you think that homeowner can afford that? Do you think that homeowner can now sell their house since that is the flood insurance premium that is facing a potential buyer? And, of course, the real estate market dries up.
So it is a question of affordability, and I merely underscore what the Senator has already said and what the great Senator from Louisiana is going to talk about; that is, that you have a pause, you get FEMA to do an affordability study, and then you phase this in over time.
It just so happens that 40 percent of these policies are in my State of Florida. We have more coastline than any other State, save for Alaska, and they are not afflicted by the same things we are, and they do not have a population of 20 million people. Lo and behold, our people are hurting, and we have to give them relief.
So I beg anybody in the Senate: Please, when this unanimous consent request comes up, we have to have this relief for our homeowners and for the real estate market.
The maps are a different question, and eventually we need to address the issue of the maps because they are obviously drawing some areas that are not flood prone. They are well above the flood stage, and somehow these maps have gotten misaligned. We can address that. But right now we have to address the affordability question.
This is no fooling time, and I beg the Senate to let this legislation go by unanimous consent. I am anxious to have my colleagues make their statements.
Mr. President, I am chairing the Aging Committee hearing right now. I look forward to the Senator from Massachusetts joining us after her statement.
So with that, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from New Jersey is recognized.