Mark PryorU.S. Senator
[D] Arkansas, United States

Length: 3 minutes, 10 seconds

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Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, what this says in the committee report is that the 500-year flood notation should be sent out to everyone so everyone knows this property is in a 500-year floodplain. The problem is folks are not going to be able to get mortgage insurance, they are not going to be able to do real estate development; commercial real estate is going to hurt from that. They are not going to be able to have economic development projects in these areas because of the floodplain notation.

Also on page 8 of the committee report it talks about how they are going to spend about $400 million annually in [Page: S3408] doing this mapping. Well, if they are going to map out the 500-year floodplain, that is a lot more map than the 100-year floodplain. They can save quite a bit of money by doing that.

The bottom line is these levees are designed correctly, they are built correctly, they are maintained correctly, and they are certified that they are safe. What is the point of people having to get flood insurance in that area when it is not required right now? I also think this legislation requires a huge conflict of interest for FEMA. It is not FEMA's fault; they are not asking for this. It is what the Congress is trying to do. Basically under this law FEMA would write the regs, they will draw the lines, they will control the timing, they will set the standards, they will update the maps, they will maintain the maps. If there is an appeal, they would have to go to FEMA. They also set the rates, they collect the money, and they spend the money. Everything is done by FEMA.

Obviously FEMA is going to have an interest to make sure this program is adequately solvent and funded, and obviously they should. They have control of every aspect of this, with no checks and balances in the system. There are going to be millions of people who will pay in to make this solvent, I guess, but it will never need flood insurance.

With that, I wish to say I hope my colleagues who represent these States, when they look at section 107, will see what I see and we can all work together to either take out section 107 completely or get the 30-day extension so we can have time to take it out in the next few days.