This was a vote on passage of legislation authorizing $476 million for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance coverage to property owners. (Coverage is provided to property owners in communities that agree to adopt practices intended to reduce the risk of future flooding.)
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) spoke in favor of the bill: “…There is nothing more devastating, more heartbreaking than for individual families to lose their homes and all of their possessions. And if there ever was a time that the role of government plays its most important role, it is to come to their rescue immediately, quickly, and help them to recapture their lives as quickly and to make sure that they have the insurance that is needed.”
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) argued the bill “helps us to stabilize the housing market. There are many persons who seek to buy homes who have not been able to buy homes because the flood insurance was not available, yet required, to make the purchase. “
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) argued the bill would widen the country’s social safety net in an irresponsible manner: “I wish we would leave, given the state of the national debt, I wish we would leave the safety net where it currently is…
This bill adds to the tab. And the Congressional Budget Office has projected this bill will increase spending by roughly a half-billion dollars over 10 years. Even by Washington standards, I hope we still consider that to be significant funding.”
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) argued the bill was unfair to states that did not experience flooding: “…In Michigan, we actually look down at the water. We don't look up at the water. And we are very sympathetic…to areas of other parts of the country that are prone to floods, that are prone to hurricanes, et cetera. We appreciate the challenges that they face, but I don't think it's fair that citizens in a State like Michigan have to pay for those kinds of things.”
The House passed the flood insurance bill by a vote of 329-90. 244 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted “yea.” 89 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation authorizing $476 million for the National Flood Insurance Program.