A Letter to the Honorable Harry Reid the Honorable Mitch McConnell

 

The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader Minority Leader
United States Senate United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leaders Reid and McConnell:
As we begin the Second Session of the 112th Congress, we the undersigned urge you to bring legislation to the floor to provide for a long-term reauthorization and meaningful reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as expeditiously as possible in February or very soon thereafter.

The National Flood Insurance Program was first established in 1968, and has since that time been instrumental in protecting America’s families, homes and businesses from financial ruin when flooding occurs. The program was last reauthorized in 2004. That reauthorization expired in 2008, and since then the program has been extended through a series of short-term measures. In fact, the program expired four times in 2010 resulting in lapses totaling 53 days. It has been estimated that those program lapses resulted in the delay or cancellation of more than 1,400 home closings per day, further damaging an already fragile housing market.

As you know, the House of Representatives passed its version of a long-term reauthorization on July 12, by an overwhelming vote of 406-22. The Senate Banking Committee has reported a committee print with overwhelming bipartisan support which is currently awaiting floor action. This bill makes essential changes to the program in an attempt to protect taxpayers and restore its solvency. We sincerely believe that, with a concerted effort on the part of Senate and Banking Committee leadership, as well as interested Senators, the bill can be brought to the floor of the Senate, debated and passed as soon as possible in order to ensure this process is completed before the NFIP expires at the end of May.

The Senate should take this opportunity to capitalize on the bipartisan efforts by both the Senate Banking Committee and the House of Representatives thus far to make major improvements to this important program. We believe that passage of a comprehensive, bipartisan flood reauthorization bill is within reach, and we respectfully urge you to schedule such a debate.

Sincerely,

Senator Jon Tester
Senator David Vitter

Senator Ben Nelson
Senator Mike Crapo

Senator Kay Hagan
Senator Scott Brown

Senator Deniel Akaka
Senator Johnny Isakson

Senator Michael Bennet
Senator Mike Johanns

Senator Thomas Carper
Senator John Boozman

Senator Amy Klobuchar
Senator Bob Corker

Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Saxby Chamblis

Senator Mark Warner
Senator Pat Roberts

Senator Herb Kohl
Senator Susan Collins

Senator Joseph Lieberman
Senator Daniel Coats

Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Jerry Moran

Senator Richard Blumenthal
Senator Lamar Alexander

Senator John Kerry
Senator Olympia Snowe

Senator Daniel Inouye
Senator James Inhofe

Senator Bernard Sanders
Senator Jack Reed

Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Al Franken
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Christopher Coons
Senator Mark Begich

Senator Richard Burr