View Kennedy’s full remarks here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today attempted to pass his National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Extension Act of 2023 to extend the NFIP for one year, until September 30, 2024. Senators blocked Kennedy’s bill just days ahead of the scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2023.
Of the 5 million Americans nationwide who rely on the NFIP to protect their businesses and homes, roughly 500,000 are Louisianians.
Key excerpts from Kennedy’s speech are below:
“[The] Federal Flood Insurance Program is an economic and commercial necessity. It’s almost impossible to buy a home in an area that has the potential of flooding, which is everywhere now, without being able to get flood insurance.”
. . .
“If there is a threat—and there obviously is—that government is going to shut down, I do not want to risk allowing the NFIP to expire during hurricane season, which we happen to be in. I mentioned 5 million Americans depend on flood insurance—500,000 of those Americans are in my state of Louisiana.
“What would happen if we allow the NFIP, the National Federal Flood Insurance Program, to expire? Well, for one thing, the NFIP would be prohibited from issuing new policies during that period of time, which would shut down commerce and the real estate business.”
. . .
“If for some reason the flood insurance program expires, existing policies are still in effect until their expiration date, and claims will continue to be paid as long as FEMA has money.
“However, the federal requirement that you have to purchase flood insurance under certain circumstances to get a mortgage would be suspended, which means that many mortgage companies would not loan the money to homeowners.”
. . .
“I know the flood insurance program is not perfect. I will be the first to say that. I will lead the parade. A lot of work needs to be done on it, but the only thing worse than what we have is nothing.
“It will shut down commerce in terms of real estate in this country and in 17 days, on September 30 of this year, the National Flood Insurance Program expires. All my bill does is it extends it one year.”
. . .
“As imperfect as the program is . . . this is the worst possible time to allow our National Flood Insurance Program to expire from my state—imperfect as it is—because we're right in the middle of hurricane season.”
Video of Kennedy’s remarks is available here.