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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate today to urge his colleagues to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program and not abandon millions of Americans in the middle of hurricane season. 

The National Flood Insurance Program expires in less than a week on July 31.  There are more than 500,000 flood insurance policies in Louisiana.  Only Texas and Florida have more policyholders.


Click here or the photo below to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full remarks.

Highlights from the speech: 

Promises Need To Be Kept:  “Without Congressional action, ordinary Americans, the ones who get up and go to work every day, will suffer.  Our constituents work hard to earn enough to cover their mortgages, pay their insurance premiums, put food on the table and hopefully have a little extra when all is said and done.  The federal government made a promise to more than five million hardworking Americans, and half a million Louisianans, that we would have their backs.  It’s high time that Congress gets its act together.  The NFIP is just too important to be used as a political football.  For millions of folks in my state and elsewhere, this program is the only way that they can protect their most valuable assets.  At a minimum, we owe those hardworking Americans some peace of mind.”

Brink of Disaster: “The reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program has never been more urgent.  We are now fewer than five session days from the brink of disaster.  If the NFIP is allowed to expire on July 31, Congress will be sending a clear message to the five million hardworking Americans who count on the program: We don’t care.”

Poisonous Rhetoric: “Last September, when Texas and parts of Louisiana were still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, a member of Congress said, and I quote, “The federal government is encouraging and subsidizing people to live in harm’s way … at some point, God is telling you to move.”

We’ve Lived Near The Water Since Biblical Times: “Living near water is an economic necessity, and hardworking people have settled near water since the beginning of time.  It’s as true for us now as it was in biblical times that our economies and our livelihoods are tied to water.  Take the Mississippi River: Each year, it sustains 1.3 million jobs and generates more than $405 billion in revenue.  How many jobs are tied to the 12,000 miles of U.S. coastline?  What would the economic impact be if everyone who lived near one of the 3.5 million miles of rivers in this great country picked up and moved?  I hope, for the good of our economy, we never find out.”

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