Velázquez’s Floor Speech against GOP Flood Insurance Bill
Washington, DC –Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) spoke today on the House floor in opposition to HR 2874, the 21st Century Flood Insurance Reform, a bill that would cheat working families out of quality flood insurance. Below are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“I rise in opposition to HR 2874. This bill makes flood insurance more expensive, less available, and less fair for millions of working families. And, this bill all but abandons Hurricane Sandy victims.
“Sandy made landfall in New York and New Jersey five years ago causing approximately $60 billion in damage. More than 50 people lost their lives. Today—half a decade later—more than 1,000 homeowners still have not obtained proper resolution of their flood insurance claim.
“That’s why I worked for almost a year-and-a half on legislation to improve FEMA’s claims processing system and to bring proper oversight and management to the Write-Your-Own program. While some of my recommended changes were included in this bill, language was also included that blows a direct hole in these reforms. This bill requires policyholders to “exhaust all administrative remedies” on any disputed claim before having their day in court.
“However, we have already seen that FEMA’s administrative system is broken – and this bill would enable dishonest insurance providers to continue hiding behind an unreachable threshold --- meaning policyholders will never be made whole.
“After more than five years, with more than 1,000 families still awaiting resolution of their Sandy claim, we must seek to meaningfully reform the claims process -- not make it harder for families to return to their home.
“A vote for this bill is a vote to abandon Sandy victims. Vote “NO”. I yield back.”
To watch a video of the Congresswoman’s speech, click here.