March 14, 2017

Brown Opening Statement on Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s hearing  entitled, “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Part I.”  

Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow.

Senator Sherrod Brown - Opening Statement

Hearing: “Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Part I”  

March 14, 2017 

Thank you, Chairman Crapo, for calling this hearing today on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. 

The most common and costly natural disaster facing our constituents is flooding.  And yet it is hard to insure against.  There was almost no private market before the advent of the NFIP almost 50 years ago.

With a growing population and a changing climate, our entire nation will continue to grapple with this issue in the years ahead. 

It will have a direct impact on Ohioans and all other Americans who experience flooding.

It will also have an indirect impact on all taxpayers no matter where they live, as the country seeks to help families and communities recover from these events. 

The NFIP is a critical component of our nation’s response to the threat of flooding.

NFIP seeks to combat the effects of flooding through four interrelated components:

•           Flood insurance - to help property owners recover quickly after a flood and reduce the need for federal emergency appropriations

•           Floodplain management - to minimize damage to people and property through the adoption of local ordinances and building codes; 

•           Floodplain mapping – to identify flood hazards and communicate that risk to homeowners and communities; and

•           Mitigation – to help remove property from harm’s way through property-level and community investments that reduce our overall level of flood risk 

Today, Mr. Wright will share FEMA’s views about reauthorization and the path forward for the NFIP.

To help inform this process, I’d like to get a sense of where FEMA is in implementing reforms Congress enacted in 2012 and 2014.  

I would also like to hear about FEMA’s progress in implementing its administrative “Transformation” effort to improve the NFIP following Superstorm Sandy. 

I look forward to working with Chairman Crapo and the members of the Committee to strengthen the NFIP and the country’s comprehensive approach to mitigating flood risk through a timely reauthorization.

With that, I welcome Mr. Wright back to the Committee.  I look forward to hearing your testimony on this important topic.