Congressman Gonzalez Secures Language in Financial Services Bill to Reauthorize National Flood Insurance Program
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) secured crucial language in H.R. 3167, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Reauthorization Act of 2019, a House Financial Services Committee bill that would reauthorize the NFIP, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for five years. The bill passed 59 to 0.
Congressmen Gonzalez and Alexander X. Mooney (WV-02) identified a key missing piece of the nation’s federal flood program and made it their priority to supply the NFIP with more accurate mapping data standards. Chairwoman Waters incorporated their commonsense proposals, which provide affordable premiums for homeowners and reform flood maps, in the final legislation.
“We need to warn our citizens that flooding is not just a coastal problem,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “Accurate and complete flood maps are critical to protecting residential and commercial property in Central and South Texas and many other at-risk areas across the country. I thank the Committee for their bipartisan support and urge leadership to bring this legislation to the floor and pass this bill so it can be enacted into law.”
Reformed flood mapping will enable the NFIP and FEMA to work together toward new goals that promote national security, infrastructure planning and construction and natural disaster prevention.
"The mapping reforms incorporated into H.R. 3167, the NFIP Reauthorization Act of 2019, are critical to the effectiveness of this program. The integrity and timeliness of mapping is critical for the fair and accurate assessment of flood risks, and thus the protection of the public. The National Society of Professional Surveyors highly commends Representatives Vicente Gonzalez and Alex Mooney for their leadership on the mapping reforms included in the Act," said Pat Smith, RPLS, Chairman of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Government Affairs Committee, Senior Vice President of SAM, LLC, a national surveying and geospatial services firm headquartered in Austin, Texas.
"The mapping reforms in the NFIP Reauthorization Act recognize professional services and technology applications that will improve the quality, accuracy, and utility of FEMA flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs). The initiatives Representatives Gonzalez and Mooney provided in this legislation will provide a positive return on investment, save tax dollars, and improve the program for the benefit of taxpayers and flood insurance ratepayers," said John Palatiello, Founder of U.S. GEO.
Congressman Gonzalez has long urged his colleagues to recognize the need for improved emergency response updates and preparedness for the NFIP. The torrential hurricane season of 2017 that affected regions in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the June 2018 flooding in South Texas proved that the flood mapping reforms like those in H.R. 3167 will enable more informed natural disaster planning.
For more information on H.R 3167, visit Congress.gov.