April 14, 2010

Reed, Whitehouse Urge Republicans to Stop Obstructing Flood Insurance Extension

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to ensure Rhode Islanders have full access to disaster relief provided by federal flood insurance, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today joined with Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) calling for Republicans to stop blocking passage of critical legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through May 31st.

The NFIP expired March 28th due to Republican obstruction of a measure that also includes a short-term extension of jobless benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies. This afternoon Republicans used a procedural vote to once again stop the bill from moving forward. A revote will be held this week.

“Too many Republicans think blocking flood insurance is their way to become the majority party in Congress. This afternoon Republicans dealt yet another blow to Rhode Islanders by using procedural posturing to prevent an extension of flood insurance, jobless benefits, and COBRA. These political stunts are harmful and avoidable obstacles that are needlessly delaying relief, hurting families and businesses, and undermining our nation’s economic recovery,” said Reed.

“After seeing the damage wrought by flooding in Rhode Island, I can tell you firsthand the importance of the National Flood Insurance Program,” said Whitehouse. “And so, coming back to Washington after seeing that damage, it strikes me as not only frustrating and ill-advised, but downright inexcusable that our Republican friends have been blocking the re-authorization of this vital program which is helping so many in Rhode Island.”

The NFIP provides flood insurance coverage to more than 5 million property owners across the country. Each day that this critical program is not extended, the policies of an estimated 12,600 renewal customers in good standing will lapse, leaving them without coverage.

The lapse is preventing many Americans, including Rhode Island homeowners and businesses, from getting the full amount of disaster assistance loans from the Small Business Administration.

In addition, many potential homebuyers seeking to purchase a home in a designated flood hazard area cannot close on the sale without flood insurance, which further impedes economic recovery.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921