WASHINGTON, D.C.–Compassionate flood insurance rates: That’s what Cong. Steven Palazzo says a bill coming up for a vote Wednesday in the U.S. House will bring if it passes. It would counteract some of the expected huge insurance increases that are coming with the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012.
Palazzo spoke with News Mississippi from his Washington office before he had his corn flakes Tuesday.
“Tomorrow I believe it’s on the calendar to bring up out flood insurance bill that’s going to, basically, put a cap on these rate increases that have had a lot of people in Mississippi concerned, homeowners who could see drastic rate increases,” he said.
Palazzo said the bill has to have a two-thirds majority to pass.
“I think we should have those numbers. The only reason we wouldn’t is if some of my colleagues decide to put politics in front of people or sound policy.”
He said some parts of the bill include what he called “compassionate rate increases”, moving the National Flood Insurance Program toward financial stability and challenging the mapping methodology of FEMA, who put together the flood maps that ended up with the huge rate increases.
“We think they’re flawed and I think they think they’re flawed, as well, they just need Congress to interact and provide some direction. We’re gonna force upon them the affordability study that was supposed to conducted in 2012.”
He said he believes that when that affordability study is conducted that FEMA will realize the new rates are unfeasible and will admit the mapping methodology is wrong.
“If FEMA would have done the affordability study like we mandated them to do it would have been very apparent that it’s gonna be impossible to maintain a solvent insurance program and at the same time provide insurance that is affordable to the people who need it.”
Palazzo also had some thoughts on the new military cuts proposed by Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel, that could have some tough consequences for Mississippians who depend on military bases or an actual job with the military.
“I think today the greatest threat to our national security is the president and this administration,” he said candidly.
“It’s like “Groundhog Day”, over and over again. The administration is proposing efforts to reduce our national security and to balance the budget on the backs of our men and women in uniform. It’s despicable.”
He said a strong economy and a strong military go hand in hand.
“It will put our national security at risk. And then we in Congress fix it so we can maintain our national security priorities.”
He said he doesn’t believe defense spending is the problem.
“Defense spending isn’t bankrupting this country. What’s bankrupting this country is out-of-control mandatory spending. That’s where this president has failed to be honest with the American people and has failed to lead this nation out of this financial train wreck we’re headed towards.”