Studies of Voluntary Community-Based Flood Insurance Optionsby Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer
Posted on 2013-03-12
LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass
the bill (H.R. 1035) to require a study of voluntary community-based
flood insurance options and how such options could be incorporated into
the national flood insurance program, and for other purposes.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 1035 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. STUDIES OF VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY-BASED FLOOD INSURANCE OPTIONS.
(a) Study.-- (1) Study required.--The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall conduct a study to assess options, methods, and strategies for making available voluntary community-based flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Considerations.--The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall-- (A) take into consideration and analyze how voluntary community-based flood insurance policies-- (i) would affect communities having varying economic bases, geographic locations, flood hazard characteristics or classifications, and flood management approaches; and (ii) could satisfy the applicable requirements under section 102 of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a); and (B) evaluate the advisability of making available voluntary community-based flood insurance policies to communities, subdivisions of communities, and areas of residual risk.
(3) Consultation.--In conducting the study required under paragraph (1), the Administrator may consult with the Comptroller General of the United States, as the Administrator determines is appropriate.
(b) Report by the Administrator.-- (1) Report required.--Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report that contains the results and conclusions of the study conducted under subsection (a).
(2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include recommendations for-- (A) the best manner to incorporate voluntary community- based flood insurance policies into the National Flood Insurance Program; and (B) a strategy to implement voluntary community-based flood insurance policies that would encourage communities to undertake flood mitigation activities, including the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of levees, dams, or other flood control structures.
(c) Report by Comptroller General.--Not later than 6 months after the date on which the Administrator submits the report required under subsection (b), the Comptroller General of the United States shall-- (1) review the report submitted by the Administrator; and (2) submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report that contains-- (A) an analysis of the report submitted by the Administrator; (B) any comments or recommendations of the Comptroller General relating to the report submitted by the Administrator; and (C) any other recommendations of the Comptroller General relating to community-based flood insurance policies.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Luetkemeyer) and the gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Moore) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri.
General Leave Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and submit extraneous materials for the Record on H.R. 1035.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Missouri? There was no objection.
Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today in support of H.R. 1035, legislation introduced by my Financial Services Committee colleague, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and chairman emeritus, Spencer Bachus.
H.R. 1035 would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency which administers the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, to conduct a study on the advantages and disadvantages of providing voluntary community-based flood insurance through the NFIP and report its recommendations for implementation to Congress within 18 months.
Additionally, H.R. 1035 requires the Government Accountability Office to analyze FEMA's report and submit its comments or recommendations to Congress within 6 months.
[[Page H1340]] Community-based flood insurance is an insurance technique where a risk assessment is made for all the buildings in the community, and then premiums to cover that risk are paid collectively by that community, rather than the current practice of assessing each building individually and having each individual owner pay a premium.
This innovative tool may represent a new and better way for some communities at risk of flooding to take the necessary steps to protect their citizens. In fact, FEMA has stated in congressional testimony that voluntary community-based flood insurance could help NFIP better account for the full cost of flood risk, as well as provide incentives to encourage communities to implement greater flood mitigation measures.
Thus, we think that it is appropriate to commission this study of the community-based flood insurance concept so that FEMA can understand how it could be put to its greatest benefit.
Congresswoman Moore's community-based flood insurance study provision was originally included as part of H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, the bipartisan, long-term NFIP reauthorization that passed the House with over 400 votes in 2011. It was also included as part of the long-term NFIP reauthorization efforts that passed the House three other times in different bills in 2012.
An identical bill passed as a stand-alone on September 10, 2012, by a vote of 346-11, so I think you can see that we've had this issue before us many times. It's always been supported. I urge the support for H.R. 1035.