Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today introduced comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for six years while making much needed reforms to address the waste and abuse in the program.  Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) have signed on as original cosponsors.

The legislation, entitled “The Sustainable, Affordable, Fair, and Efficient (SAFE) National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2017,” protects policyholders from excessive rate hikes, prevents a program lapse that could shake local economies and reauthorizes the NFIP for six years.  On Sept. 30, 2017, the NFIP will expire; only Congress can reauthorize the program.

“More than five million Americans depend on this vital program to protect their homes and businesses.  This is an essential program, not just for Louisiana, but for the entire U.S,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “We have to ensure that families and businesses in flood-prone areas are protected.  This bill will reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program while making common sense reforms to maintain its solvency.”

“Americans deserve a National Flood Insurance Program that is sustainable for taxpayers, affordable for homeowners, and accountable to everyone,” said Sen. Menendez.  “If we want a more sustainable system, the answer isn’t to slam homeowners with even higher premiums.  This legislation puts the lessons we learned after Superstorm Sandy into action, levels the playing field for policyholders, and attacks the NFIP’s rampant waste and abuse to create real savings and greater investment in mitigation and resiliency efforts to make our residents and communities safer.”

“The National Flood Insurance Program is vitally important to my home state of Florida, which is a major contributor to the system,” said Sen. Rubio.  “This bill helps ensure long-term stability, while providing much needed reforms to protect the program’s policyholders.  It is past time for the federal government to take a more proactive approach in addressing the underlying risk affecting flood prone communities.  I am proud to have worked with this bipartisan group to make our National Flood Insurance Program more viable, sustainable and accountable.”

“It's time to come together to pass a long-term, bipartisan NFIP reauthorization that makes much-needed reforms to the flood insurance program,” said Sen. Warren.  “Our bill will make changes that extend affordable flood insurance protection to everyone who needs it and that places more emphasis on better flood mapping, prevention, and resiliency."

“Policyholders in Mississippi and around the country know the National Flood Insurance Program needs to be reformed.  This legislation is a solid starting point to make the program more affordable and accountable.  We want to return emphasis on flood control infrastructure, and fully recognize the physical and financial protections gained from these cost-shared investments,” said Sen. Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  “I look forward to working to pass bipartisan reforms that offer better flood protection and more effective coverage for homeowners, businesses, and communities.”

“From Ellicott City to the Eastern Shore, flooding impacts communities across Maryland,” said Sen. Van Hollen.  “We need to reform the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure that families and businesses have the affordable coverage they need, our flood maps are based on the most update-to-date science, and the NFIP program has long-term stability for communities across the country.”

Sen. Kennedy spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate this afternoon about “The Sustainable, Affordable, Fair, and Efficient (SAFE) National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2017.” Click the photo below to watch his speech.