Congressman Tom MacArthur, R-3rd, is again pushing to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which will run out Nov. 30 if not reauthorized or extended.
NFIP has faced several such deadlines in the past year alone, each time being extended for a short period rather than reauthorized with meaningful reforms.
“Under no circumstances will I allow the NFIP to lapse on November 30th,” MacArthur said of the national program, which was already more than $20 billion in debt before Hurricane Florence hit last month — and that was after Congress forgave another $16 billion in debt.
Analysts are estimating Hurricane Florence may cost the program another $6 billion.
Critics have long said the program must be reformed to again become sustainable, and that those in the highest-risk areas must pay more.
But each time such reforms are proposed, there is an outcry from coastal property owners and changes are avoided.
MacArthur said he urged colleagues to consider provisions that limit premium increases, increase mitigation coverage and require more accountability at FEMA.
“Those in South Jersey know all too well the need for the flood insurance program after a devastating storm,” said MacArthur, whose district was hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “Making the NFIP more reliable for my constituents is a main reason why I sought a seat on the Financial Services Committee.”
In July, MacArthur led a bipartisan effort to extend the NFIP through hurricane season, Nov. 30.
Last fall, the House passed a five-year reauthorization of the program that included many policies favored by MacArthur. But the Senate failed to vote on the bill.