|00:00:00||INSURANCE REFORM PRIORITIES ACT.|
|00:00:03||AND SINCE THE WORD PRIORITIES IS MENTIONED IN THE TITLE, I WANTED TO SHARE A FEW OF MY CONSTITUENTS' PRIORITIES.|
|00:00:11||ON BALANCE THEY WOULD SAY THIS IS A GOOD BILL, PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS I RECEIVED NUMEROUS CALLS FROM REALTORS AND WOULD-BE HOME BUYERS WHO COULD NOT CLOSE ON HOUSES BECAUSE OF THE LAPSE IN THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM.|
|00:00:28||WHILE THE SITUATION HAS BEEN TAKEN CARE OF TEMPORARILY AND THE HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT CLOSING DEADLINE WAS PUSHED BACK, I THINK MY COLLEAGUES CAN UNDERSTAND THE FRUSTRATION BACK HOME IN FLORIDA THAT THIS SIMPLY IS NOT HOW WE SHOULD BE HANDLING ISSUES IN WASHINGTON, D.|
|00:00:45||C. AS FOR THE BILL WE HAVE ON THE FLOOR TODAY, I WANT TO DRAW MY COLLEAGUES' ATTENTION TO ONE PROVISION IN PARTICULAR THAT GIVES ME PAUSE.|
|00:00:54||SECTION 5 OF THE LEGISLATION EFFECTIVELY RAISES HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE COSTS FOR STRUGGLING HOMEOWNERS.|
|00:01:00||THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT KEEP FLORIDIANS UP LATE AT NIGHT -- UNEMPLOYMENT, HURRICANE SEASON, THE SOLVENCY OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE, AND AMONG OTHERS HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PREMIUMS.|
|00:01:13||YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE NFIP WAS SELF-SUFFICIENT UNTIL HURRICANE KATRINA.|
|00:01:19||AND FRANKLY IT SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE.|
|00:01:21||BUT RAISING RATES DURING THIS RECESSION IN GULF STATES ALREADY DEVASTATED BY HURRICANES, OIL SPILLS, AND FAILED STIMULUS PLANS IS A HORRIFICALLY BAD IDEA.|
|00:01:32||I OFFERED AN AMENDMENT AT THE RULES COMMITTEE THAT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THESE INCREASES, BUT UNFORTUNATELY MY DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS AROUND THE COUNTRY WILL NOT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON THAT AMENDMENT.|
|00:01:48||WITH THAT, MR.|
|00:01:49||SPEAKER, I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.|
|00:01:52||THE CHAIR: THE GENTLELADY YIELD BACK HER TIME OF THE THE GENTLELADY FROM CALIFORNIA.|
|00:01:55||MS. WATERS: I'D LIKE TO YIELD ONE MINUTE TO THE GENTLELADY FROM|
Ms. GINNY BROWN-WAITE of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I rise today actually in support of H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act. And since the word ``priorities'' is mentioned in the title, I wanted to share a few of my constituents' priorities.
On balance, they would say this is a good bill, particularly given the fact that over the last few weeks I received numerous calls from Realtors and [Page: H5629] would-be home buyers who could not close on houses because of the lapse in the National Flood Insurance Program.
While the situation has been taken care of temporarily and while the home buyer tax credit closing deadline was pushed back, I think my colleagues can understand the frustration back home in Florida that this simply is not how we should be handling issues in Washington, D.C.
As for the bill we have on the floor today, I want to draw my colleagues' attention to one provision in particular that gives me pause. Section 5 of the legislation effectively raises homeowners' insurance costs for struggling homeowners. There are a lot of things that keep Floridians up late at night: unemployment, hurricane season, the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and among others, homeowners insurance premiums.
We have to remember that the NFIP was self-sufficient until Hurricane Katrina and, frankly, it should continue to be. But raising rates during this recession in Gulf States already devastated by hurricanes, oil spills, and failed stimulus plans is a horrifically bad idea.
I offered an amendment at the Rules Committee that would have prevented these increases, but unfortunately my Democrat and Republican colleagues in flood-prone areas around the country will not have an opportunity to vote on that amendment.