Watch Kennedy’s remarks here.
WASHINGTON—Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today questioned David Maurstad, the Senior Executive of the National Flood Insurance Program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on the algorithm FEMA uses to set new, higher flood insurance rates.
Below are key excerpts from the exchange.
Kennedy: “I believe that FEMA and the Biden administration have made their decision with respect to flood insurance. I regret that, but I believe that’s a fact. And most of my people in Louisiana understand at this juncture that the only place they’re going to find lower food prices, cheaper gas, a cleaner, safer environment and affordable insurance is in the voting booth. Because my people, most of them, and I think most Americans, have concluded that Republicans aren't perfect but the other side is crazy.
“Now, about 500,000 people in my state have flood insurance. And despite what some people say, these are not multimillionaires in multimillionaire homes on the beach. These are working people. And there are people in the United States Congress who claim to be for the little guy, but they don't really like him or her very much.”
. . .
Kennedy: “Why won't FEMA share its algorithm with the American people?”
Maurstad: “Thank you, sir. And, you know, we look forward to continuing to work with you. We've shared the algorithm. We've put forward on the on our website, the methodology—”
Kennedy: “No, you haven’t. No, you haven’t, Mr. Administrator.”
. . .
Kennedy: “Well, if I sent you a [public information] request, and I said, ‘Look, I want the algorithm so I can hire somebody to review this algorithm to see what clairvoyant people are telling us about climate change and what's going to happen in America over the next 150 years,’ would you give me that algorithm?”
Maurstad: “As I said, we already have, and we responded to a letter—”
Kennedy: “No, you haven’t. I want the algorithm so I can hire some experts to look at it and either say ‘This thing is watertight,’ or, ‘It’s grossly political,’ or somewhere in between.”
Video of the full exchange is here.