A picture of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Kirsten G.
Democrat NY

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  • Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013

    by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    GILLIBRAND. Madam President, I rise today to join my colleagues from Louisiana and New Jersey--who know as well as anyone about all the struggle of rebuilding after a major disaster--in calling on the Senate to pass the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act before the Senate adjourns next week. I am deeply dismayed that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have objected to allowing the Senate to vote on this common-sense and bipartisan bill to help homeowners.

    I want to especially thank Senator Landrieu for her strong leadership and support for families who took the worst of Superstorm Sandy--a massive storm that claimed the lives of 61 New Yorkers, shattered countless others, [[Page S8805]] damaged or destroyed 300,000 homes, and hurt a quarter million businesses.

    While the road to recovery is long and hard, New Yorkers are strong. I know we will rebuild better and stronger. But we in Congress have to continue to do our part. And to this day, more than a year later, homeowners are still struggling to rebuild, facing costly repairs to storm damage and what could be even costlier flood insurance premiums.

    They survived Sandy, are trying to put their lives back together, but the premium increases mandated by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is what threatens to force many New Yorkers out of their homes and the communities they love.

    We can and must prevent this--by passing our legislation to prevent a spike in flood insurance premiums until after FEMA fulfills its responsibility, and reports to Congress with a plan to make these rates more affordable. That's just common sense, and it's the right thing to do for homeowners across the Northeast, who are still putting their lives back together in the wake of this storm. The last thing they need is another burden like this.

    I hope our colleagues reconsider their objection, and allow us to vote on this bipartisan bill and join us in helping these families rebuild and stay in their homes.


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