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Key Vote

Key Vote No on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, S. 1926

As one of our over 6 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and urge them to vote NO on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, S. 1926. Sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), this bill would delay much-needed reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program and inevitably result in a taxpayer bailout of that program.

The federal government has effectively nationalized flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  As with any government monopoly, this means that the subsidized premiums being offered under the program are not subject to market forces, and are in many cases wildly out of proportion to the actual risk being incurred by the insured property.  

In a particularly egregious example of this market distortion, wealthier homeowners who have built expensive vacation homes in locations which flood frequently, such as the Florida coast, are paying far less than the risky placement of their home would normally dictate.  Thus, when those homes inevitably flood every time a hurricane hits, NFIP pays out more than it has taken in, and incurs debt. Because of flaws such as this, the program is already in debt to taxpayers by over $25 billion.

Congress finally stepped up to try to resolve this problem, by passing the Biggert-Waters reforms back in 2012. These reforms force FEMA to draw new floodplain maps and then draw down NFIP’s premium subsidies to more closely align prices with the real risk associated with each property – allowing for at least a semblance of market order within the program.  

Obviously, for some homeowners this process will result in a major premium increase, and Congress has responded to this reality by suddenly rethinking its own reforms.  S. 1926 would delay Biggert-Waters by four years – longer than the reforms are even scheduled to be in effect.  Delaying premium increases merely ensures that the next major Hurricane, like a Katrina or a Sandy, will cost the program more billions of dollars, and with NFIP already nearing its borrowing cap of $30 billion, this ensures that the insolvent agency will require a major taxpayer bailout.

Thus, I urge you to call your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, S. 1926.  We will count their vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating FreedomWorks’ Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2013. The Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.


Matt Kibbe,

President and CEO,