What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Victims of Natural Disasters : (H.R. 1309) On an amendment that would eliminate a provision in a flood insurance bill that directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to designate areas behind levees and dams as “residual risk” floodplains. (Such a designation would have required local residents to purchase more expensive flood insurance.) (2011 house Roll Call 556)
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(H.R. 1309) On an amendment that would eliminate a provision in a flood insurance bill that directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to designate areas behind levees and dams as “residual risk” floodplains. (Such a designation would have required local residents to purchase more expensive flood insurance.)
house Roll Call 556     Jul 12, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) that would eliminate a provision in a flood insurance bill that directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to designate areas behind levees and dams as “residual risk” floodplains. (Such a designation would have required local residents to purchase more expensive flood insurance.)

Cardoza urged support for his amendment: “I'm offering this amendment because large areas across the country, such as large parts of the Central Valley and Los Angeles and Orange Counties, are already protected by existing levees and have no history of flooding, but would find themselves in newly designated ``residual risk'' floodplains under H.R. 1309 [the underlying flood insurance bill]. Such a policy would essentially map the entire area in the new residual risk flood zone as though the levee that had been protecting the community for years had never existed. This would have a significant economic impact, and in many cases more than double the insurance premiums of those regions throughout the country.”

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) opposed Cardoza’s amendment: “Under H.R. 1309, FEMA is required to update its flood maps…As part of the new standard for the flood insurance rate maps, FEMA must include in any rate map areas of residual risk, including areas behind levees, dams and other manmade structures. I'm afraid that the Cardoza amendment would fail to provide homeowners with a real assessment of their risks, thereby impairing their ability to prepare for such natural disasters….  The amendment I think would weaken these new mapping standards that are designed to give homeowners and the NFIP an accurate portrait of flood risk, and I would oppose the amendment.”

The House agreed to Cardoza’s amendment by a vote of 261-163. Voting “yea” were 158 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 103 Republicans. 135 Republicans and 28 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment that would eliminate a provision in a flood insurance bill that directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to designate areas behind levees and dams as “residual risk” floodplains. In order for this amendment to become law, however, it would have to pass the Senate.

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