Flood Insurance

Letter to House Financial Services Committee: Support National Flood Insurance Program reform legislation

Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters and members of the committee, We write to express our support for the package of bills set to come before the committee to reform …

Testimony on flood insurance reform: a taxpayers perspective

Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters and members of the committee, My name is R.J. Lehmann, and I am the editor-in-chief, co-founder and a senior fellow with the R Street …

Florida’s insurance market is a template for the country

The National Flood Insurance Program is in deep debt. A handful of big storm years, particularly in 2005 and 2012, along with the artificially low rates charged to …

Letter: Support private flood insurance as an alternative to NFIP

Dear Members of Congress, On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations and taxpayer advocates, we write to encourage you strongly to support efforts to promote the availability of private …

Lehmann talks NFIP reform on NPR’s Marketplace

In the wake of devastating floods in Missouri, R Street Editor-in-Chief and Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann was a guest on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" to discuss why reforms …

‘Conservative’ environmental protection shouldn’t mean ‘less’

"Conservative" environmental protection shouldn't mean "less." We're great at rejecting imbalanced, heavy-handed environmentalism, but we often come up short putting forth policies that demonstrate genuine concern for our …

State watchdog agency points to flaws in bond oversight

The Oroville Dam’s near disaster has ignited a long-overdue debate about the condition of California’s infrastructure, and the need for additional investments in its creaky system of dams, levees, …

When it comes to Louisiana floods, how much does a foot really matter?

The following op-ed was co-authored by William Booher, interim executive director of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy in New Orleans. One foot can make a lot of difference …

With old warnings unheeded, Oroville Dam problems threaten valley

  A Sacramento Bee story published Monday succinctly described the disaster unfolding at the nation’s tallest dam, where flaws in the Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway are forcing water onto …

SmarterSafer National Flood Insurance Program reform proposal

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides critical insurance coverage to those at risk, is up for reauthorization this year. The program must be reauthorized and reformed …

Stormy Weather: Brown’s budget holds infrastructure hostage

My neighbors and I just survived a week of flood dangers, as something called an “atmospheric river” led to massive rains throughout northern California. The warmth of the …

SmarterSafer comments on private flood insurance standards

SmarterSafer is pleased to submit this letter of comment on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s joint notice of proposed rulemaking on Loans in Areas Having …

Subsidizing Disaster: As seas rise, why is government promoting coastal development?

Sometimes it seems like everything is underwater. In Galveston, Texas, sea levels have risen by more than a foot since 1983. So-called “superstorms” like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina …

What Louisiana’s floods say about America, and America’s future

While most of America is focused on the Olympics or the latest campaign controversies, Louisiana is in crisis. Flooding in parts of the state during the last week is …

Subsidized insurance increases vulnerability to climate change

Texas’ coastline is a source of economic strength and vitality. From oil-and-gas production to shipping to tourism, the region provides billions in economic value to the state. But …

Coalition opposes Section 236 in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill

Dear Representative, We, the undersigned groups, representing professional floodplain managers, insurance companies, fiscal conservatives, and environmental groups oppose inclusion of Section 236 in the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development …

Floridians cannot afford to see their flood insurance wash away

Nearly 2 million Floridians depend on the National Flood Insurance Program for their flood insurance coverage, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all policies issued by the federal …

R Street Institute urges Congress to vote yes on H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015

Dear Representative, The R Street Institute urges all members to vote yes on H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015, sponsored by Reps. Dennis …

Why Congress mustn’t postpone vital flood insurance reforms

A new measure introduced by U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Gus Bilirakis, both R-Fla., that would postpone vital reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program, while well-intentioned, also would …

5 environmental topics a new GOP working group should tackle

At what would prove to be the final presidential primary debate in which he'd participate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked to respond to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado’s …

R Street commends House committee for expanding private flood insurance options

WASHINGTON (March 2, 2016) — The R Street Institute today commended the House Financial Services Committee for its markup of H.R.2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, …

R Street to Congress: Support H.R. 2901, “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015”

Feb. 24, 2016 Dear Member, We commend the House Financial Services Committee for taking up H.R.2901, Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015, sponsored by Reps. Dennis Ross …

Taxpayer advocates and industry to Congress: Oppose the president’s proposal to alter reinsurance tax provisions

February 9, 2016 Dear Chairmen Brady and Hatch and Ranking Members Levin and Wyden: The undersigned members of the Coalition for Competitive Insurance Rates and others are writing to express …

R Street welcomes proposed reforms to FEMA disaster assistance program

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2016) – The R Street Institute welcomed the announcement, published in today’s Federal Register, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking to make reforms …

SmarterSafer reform priorities for the National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is up for reauthorization in 2017, and the SmarterSafer coalition believes the program should be reauthorized and reformed to ensure it is …

An open letter to Congress: Beware of reinsurance tax hikes as ‘pay-fors’

Dear Member of Congress: As the 2015 session winds down, lawmakers are seeking a variety of "pay-fors" to offset the costs of legislation whose passage is deemed urgent. Although …

Letter to congressional leadership on federal flood standards

Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Reid: SmarterSafer, a coalition of environmental organizations, taxpayer advocates, insurance representatives, housing organizations and mitigation experts that advocates for environmentally …

Federal government should follow Florida’s lead on flood insurance crisis

Hurricane Wilma’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 24 came and went without much fanfare. But for Floridians, it’s a marker that divides two very different chapters in our state’s …

Reforms needed for troublesome Prop 103

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2015) – Reforming California's Proposition 103 regime to promote a competitive auto-insurance system would lead to a healthier and more consumer-friendly insurance environment, finds a new …

‘Jersey Smart’ is better than ‘Jersey Strong’

Earlier this week, I covered South Carolina's "1,000-year storm," questioning whether we can actually say with any kind of certainty that such events are, in fact, all that …

A ‘1,000-year flood’ almost certainly isn’t

Over the weekend, the nation saw the horrific toll of massive flooding across South Carolina, which has left at least nine dead. The Charleston area got nearly a …

Florida insurance chief calls on NFIP to hand over its data

In his ongoing efforts to foster a competitive private flood insurance market in Florida, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, recently requested help from the state's Office of …

In midst of drought, Sacramento needs to prepare for flood

In the midst of a serious drought, it's time to become concerned about a coming flood. Orbiting high above the Pacific Ocean, a Japanese weather satellite has spied …

How conservatives should deal with climate change

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery Climate of Confusion: How Should Conservatives Think About Climate Change? Co-Hosted by The R Street Institute and National Affairs The Rayburn Building Washington, D.C. July 6, 2015 In 1980, …

R Street welcomes bipartisan bills to encourage private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2015) — The R Street Institute welcomed today's introduction of bipartisan legislation streamlining the process for private companies to begin offering, and states to begin regulating, …

Wharton study finds disaster aid displaces property insurance

Federal disaster aid granted to communities hit by natural catastrophes causes demand for property insurance to fall by six times as much, according to a new issue briefing …

Federal storm policies put Florida in danger

The following piece was co-authored by Jay Liles, a policy consultant with the Florida Wildlife Federation, and Gary Appelson, policy coordinator of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Andrew. Charley. Wilma. …

New study shows how Florida Citizens subsidizes the rich

The policy subsidies offered by Florida's state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. flow disproportionately to the wealthy and, in concert with similarly regressive subsidies from the National Flood Insurance …

Why disaster policy matters

A major plot point of the most recent season of Netflix's House of Cards saw fictional President Frank Underwood try to exploit the Stafford Act's vague definition of …

Bracing for the storm

The attached report was co-authored jointly by members of the SmarterSafer Coalition. Hurricanes, floods, fires, and heat waves resulting in millions of dollars of damage are no longer unusual …

Lehrer talks flood insurance on Morning Edition

R Street President Eli Lehrer joined reporter Charles Lane recently to discuss pending flood insurance rate increases on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program. The full audio of …

TNCs, state flood insurance among hot topics at NCOIL spring meeting

For those whose travel plans weren't interrupted by the inclement weather, the spring meeting of the tri-annually convened National Conference of Insurance Legislators – held in Charleston, S.C. …

Building houses on sandy ground

In the summer of 2004, I packed all of my worldly belongings into a small U-Haul trailer and made the trek from Central Texas to the Florida Panhandle. …

Lehmann talks extreme weather on NPR’s On Point

With record snowstorms crippling New England, R Street Institute Senior Fellow and Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann was a guest this week on the nationally syndicated public radio program On …

Rocking homeowners

“California Rocks.” That’s the clever slogan for a new advertising campaign by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), the state’s privately funded, publicly managed earthquake insurance fund. The message is …

Before the Flood: Reducing Louisiana’s vulnerability to severe weather through market-based insurance reforms

This paper will examine Louisiana's vulnerability to severe weather and suggest market-based reforms to adapt to extreme inherent risks, which could be exacerbated by a changing climate. It is …

Testimony to House Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance

R Street Senior Fellow Don Brown testified today before a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance hearing on "Opportunities for a Private and Competitive Sustainable Flood …

Our work speaks for itself

One of the more dispiriting trends of the political left in recent years has been the growing tendency to do battle, not by engaging with ideas, but through …

R Street responds to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2014) – Congress should heed today's warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pursue effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to counter the risks …

Slowing the rise of the oceans

From Al Gore to the leadership of groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, environmentalists long have warned that global disaster is certain unless we do something about …

Address flood insurance and the environment with RESTORE Act funding

Many Alabamians may find it hard to believe that July 15 of this year marked four years since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was capped in the Gulf …

R Street’s Adams on flood insurance in Sacramento

R Street Associate Policy Analyst Ian Adams joined host Bruce Maiman yesterday on KFBK radio in  Sacramento, Calif. to discuss the National Flood Insurance Program. In particular, Ian …

It’s time for a conservative global-warming agenda

Conservatives should adopt a new strategy in the battle over global warming. Rather than falling back on the claim that global warming isn’t a problem, conservatives should take …

Sacramento’s soggy redevelopment plan

Those unfortunate enough to have attended California Gov. Leland Stanford's 1862 inauguration likely had to commute to the Capitol Building as he did – by boat. Sacramento is, if …

R Street praises Gov. Rick Scott for signing private insurance marketplace bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 16, 2014) - The R Street Institute welcomed Friday's signing of SB 542 by Gov. Rick Scott, approving rules guiding the state's emerging private flood insurance market that …

Will the NFIP survive this year’s hurricane season?

This Sunday, June 1, marks the start of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. And though experts are predicting a relatively quiet one this year, our dutiful representatives in …

R Street welcomes federal bill to encourage private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2014) -- The R Street Institute today welcomed introduction of legislation streamlining the process for private companies to begin offering, and states to begin regulating, …

R Street welcomes passage of private flood insurance bill in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 1, 2014) – The R Street Institute today welcomed the vote by the Florida Legislature to approve rules guiding the Sunshine State's emerging private flood …

WORKING PAPER: Conservation in the 113th Congress

With no major storm events and few environmental catastrophes in the United States in 2013 or thus far in 2014, it's been easy for policymakers to lose a …

R Street argues for keeping Coastal Barrier Resources System intact

WASHINGTON (April 8, 2014) - Removing units from the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CRBS) will have the adverse effect of raising taxes and forcing more customers into Florida’s …

R Street advocates investment in new coastal mitigation program

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2014) – The R Street Institute today called on Congress to make a major public commitment to fund research into alternative technologies to aid citizens …

R Street mocks Senate climate “talkathon” as hypocritical

WASHINGTON (Mar. 10, 2014) - The R Street Institute today mocked the Senate Democrat “talkathon” on climate change as a publicity stunt. Though R Street is unique on …

R Street deeply disappointed by House flood insurance bill

WASHINGTON (Mar. 4, 2014) - The R Street Institute is deeply disappointed by today's passage of HR 3370 in the House of Representatives. The bill represents a significant …

R Street deeply disappointed by House bill gutting flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2014) -- The R Street Institute is deeply disappointed by U.S. House leadership's introduction of legislation that would completely repeal significant portions of the Biggert-Waters …

R Street responds to planned House flood insurance vote

  WASHINGTON (Feb. 13, 2014) – With U.S. House leadership announcing it will take up consideration of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, the R Street Institute expressed optimism …

Don’t encourage risky development

The Jan. 30 editorial, Mapping our future, is right to commend South Florida’s governments for doing more to “tackle the threat of climate change” and rising sea levels. …

Flood insurance and the phantom real estate crash

To hear proponents tell the tale, the reason the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to gut reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program that it had approved overwhelmingly just …

R Street optimistic House will preserve responsible NFIP reform

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2014) – The R Street Institute is disappointed by today's U.S. Senate vote gutting reforms of the National Flood Insurance Program, but expressed optimism that …

Toomey flood insurance amendment would protect taxpayers

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – As the Senate prepares to vote on a measure that would gut reforms of the deeply indebted National Flood Insurance Program, the R …

Flood-bill vote could put lives, careers at risk

If a plan to delay the phase-out of some federal flood insurance subsidies is successful, Congress could be setting itself up for a nasty pre-election “October surprise.” Should …

SmarterSafer letter to Speaker Boehner on flood insurance reform

The Honorable John Boehner Speaker U.S. House of Representatives H-232 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 January 23, 2014 Dear Speaker Boehner, In light of your comments last week about the need to modify the Biggert-Waters …

GAO finds delaying Biggert-Waters would discourage private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2014) – Delaying the phase-out of federal subsidies for flood insurance would discourage private insurers from writing the coverage and moving more risk from the …

R Street disappointed by delay language in omnibus appropriations bill

WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2014) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment today at language included in the omnibus appropriations bill that would delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood …

Florida moves forward on private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's unanimous vote by the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee of legislation clarifying the regulatory treatment …

R Street urges Senate not to gut flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (Jan. 7, 2013) – As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, the R Street Institute urges an open process …

RESTORE Act is key to flood insurance affordability

The following was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, passed as part of 2012's transportation bill, is an important step forward …

Letter to the Tampa Bay Times: Sifting flood program data

"Flood insurance rhetoric ignores reality," Dec. 15 This column on the National Flood Insurance Program's subsidized properties takes my organization, the R Street Institute, to task for asserting that …

Alabama’s coast needs wise RESTORE Act investments

Early next year, a federal judge will decide how large a fine BP must pay for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. No matter what …

R Street welcomes Florida bill to authorize private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's introduction of legislation creating a statutory definition of private flood insurance that may be written by …

R Street applauds Florida for fast-tracking private flood insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2013) – The R Street Institute applauded the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation's timely approval of a request by Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty …

Effort to gut flood insurance reform fails in Senate

WASHINGTON (Dec. 11, 2013) – The R Street Institute welcomed today's news that an effort to gut vital flood insurance reforms has failed in the U.S. Senate. S. 1610, …

Taxpayers still face storm threats

Last Saturday, the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season came to a close, not with a bang but with a whimper. While in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan was responsible for …

Doing the wrong thing

After a decade-long run of bad weather that included Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Ike, and a host of other river valley and storm-surge floods, the 45-year-old National Flood …

Letter to federal banking regulators on flood insurance

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Parts 22, 172 [Docket ID OCC-2013-0015] RIN 1557-AD67 And FDIC, NCUA, Farm Credit Administration and Federal Reserve Board Re: Comments on "Loans in Areas …

Free-market groups urge banking regulators to accept private flood insurance

WASHINGTON (Dec. 2, 2013) -- Federal rules requiring flood insurance coverage to secure certain mortgaged loans should include a safe harbor for equivalent coverage offered by private excess …

Another flood insurance canard washed away

When the cause of flood insurance reform is advanced, one immediate bit of pushback that one tends to hear is that reform is unfair. The reasoning usually goes …

Free-market groups urge Congress not to delay flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2013) – Efforts to delay reform of the National Flood Insurance Program must be resisted to protect taxpayers, the R Street Institute and 15 other …

Don’t gut flood insurance reform by extending subsidies!

November 7, 2013 An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Don’t Gut Flood Insurance Reform by Extending Subsidies! Dear Member of Congress, On behalf of the millions of members of …

Florida should encourage private flood insurance market

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2013) -– As Florida lawmakers ponder potential legislative responses to rising flood insurance rates, it is crucial no additional catastrophe risk burdens be placed …

A state approach to flood insurance reform in Florida

With various provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 taking effect this year, there is growing concern that scheduled rate increases by the National Flood …

About those ‘huge’ flood insurance rate increases

Recent news reports on the roll-out of reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program have focused on astronomical increases in rates faced by some home and business owners. …

The GOP’s insurance hypocrisy

For most of last month, a group of committed tea party Republicans helped shut down the government to hold back a wave of subsidies and regulations set to …

R Street warns Congress not to gut crucial flood insurance reforms

WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2013) -- Legislation set to be introduced by House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would gut crucial reforms passed by Congress last …

Keep act on course

Tribune columnist Joe Henderson is wrong to call for delays in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program ("Fair play needed in flood insurance debate," Oct. 1). Although …

Sept. 24 telepresser on flood insurance

Our friends at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who recently published a fascinating report on how climate change and rising sea levels could impact the flood insurance, held …

Groups oppose delaying flood reforms for commercial properties, real estate sales

WASHINGTON (Sept. 26, 2013) -- A proposal forwarded by the Massachusetts congressional delegation to delay phasing out federal flood insurance subsidies for commercial properties and properties that are …

The conservative case against flood insurance

In the recent Hammer Horror film The Woman in Black, lawyer Arthur Kipps (played by erstwhile Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe) undertakes the project of sorting through the possessions of …

Needed insurance reform

The following letter to the Tampa Bay Times was written in response to the editorial "Slow down flood insurance rate hikes" that appeared in the Sept. 17 edition. The …

Don’t gut flood insurance reform by extending subsidies

September 18, 2013 An Open Letter to the United States Congress: Don’t Gut Flood Insurance Reform by Extending Subsidies! Dear Member of Congress, On behalf of the millions of members of the …

Conservative groups urge Congress to resist gutting flood reforms

WASHINGTON (Sept. 18, 2013) -- In a open letter to Congress, the R Street Institute and a coalition of conservative, libertarian, free-market and taxpayers groups urge members to …

R Street paper looks at barring federal subsidies to development

WASHINGTON (Sept. 6, 2013) – Expanding and strengthening the Coastal Barrier Resources System would offer a unique opportunity to protect both taxpayers and the environment in a way …

Opportunities for the expansion of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982

Current government policy incentivizes behavior that both harms the environment and wastes taxpayer dollars. Rooting out these policies and finding ways to dampen their negative effects offers an …

Flood insurance cost starts to reflect risks

Flood-insurance rates are indeed rising for some ("Flood Insurance Prices Surge," U.S. News, Aug. 13), but only because rates are finally reflecting risks that the rest of the …

When it comes to flood risks, population shifts trump climate change

Draft versions of a forthcoming working group report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- set to be formally released Sept. 27 -- have already …

Sen. Landrieu’s plan: Handouts for vacation homes

No matter their stated ideologies, overwhelming majorities of Americans would agree in principle that the government should try to help the vulnerable and poor before it lifts a …

Bill would raise flood insurance for some and subsidize others

This piece was co-authored by Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Tucked into the Department of Homeland Security spending bill the Senate Appropriations Committee approved this …

What’s really going on with flood rates? FEMA provides some clarity

In recent months, a group of lawmakers from the Gulf Coast -- led by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. -- in concert with some of their colleagues from Sandy-hit …

Comments to Federal Insurance Office on natural catastrophes

June 21, 2013 Director McRaith, The R Street Institute welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Federal Insurance Office’s study of natural catastrophes and insurance. R Street is a non-partisan, …

FEMA report highlights need for flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2013) – New projections from the Federal Emergency Management Agency showing a long-term increase in flood risks across the country underscore that Congress must not …

Reagan’s free-market environmentalism

Nearly a quarter century after he left the White House, President Ronald Reagan’s legacy still looms large in many areas. His successful effort to win the Cold War …

Strange bedfellows: SmarterSafer.org and the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012

  PDF Download Text This paper by R Street President Eli Lehrer, which originally appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum,  focuses …

Reagan, the environmentalist

Mention Ronald Reagan to an avowed environmentalist, and you’ll generally elicit a groan. In the conventional telling, the Gipper appointed right-wing extremists to key environmental positions and proceeded …

Landrieu’s attempt to gut flood reforms she voted for spikes Farm Bill improvements

The U.S. Senate ground to a halt yesterday amid a hailstorm of objections to various Farm Bill amendments, both germane and non-germane to the legislation. Roll Call had …

Oppose Landrieu Farm Bill Amendment #1113: Gutting flood insurance reforms

June 3, 2013 Dear Senator, On the heels of increasing the insolvent National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority by $9.7 billion as part of the Superstorm Sandy supplemental spending package, …

No one has a ‘right’ to be subsidized

In a new blog post, our friend Daren Bakst at the Heritage Foundation argues against returning to the Reagan administration policy of linking federally subsidized crop insurance to …

Landrieu bill would delay, undo vital flood insurance reforms

WASHINGTON (May 22, 2013) – New legislation introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., would delay indefinitely vital reforms to the deeply insolvent National Flood Insurance Program that were …

R Street concerned by proposal to delay flood insurance reform

WASHINGTON (May 8, 2013) – The R Street Institute today expressed concern about a proposed amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 that would delay important …

Risky business

Buried deep in the recesses of President Obama’s budget are two items that could have vast and potentially devastating consequences for millions of Americans involved with dozens of …

Jersey pols shill for the NFIP’s three-card monte

My home state of New Jersey has been the scene of a number of historic events over the years, both famous and infamous: the invention of the incandescent …

Should the National Flood Insurance Program be privatized?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), in a sense, is responsible for the modern American suburb. Construction of the Interstate Highway System, easy mortgage insurance from the Veterans …

SmarterSafer.org unveils new Disaster Assistance Framework to protect American families, taxpayers and the environment

WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2012) -- SmarterSafer.org today introduced its new Disaster Assistance Framework and urged Congress to pursue a holistic approach to federal disaster response so the government …

Dead in the water

Of course, the same can be said for dozens of other federal efforts. What sets the NFIP apart is that, in looking to address what was at the …

Rep. Wilson’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea

Rep. Frederica Wilson's recent comments about disaster recovery rank among the most wrong-headed and poorly thought-out pieces of commentary ever to come from a sitting member of Congress. …

Something for everybody (to hate): Rep. Wilson’s beach house bailout

If nothing else, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., has learned how to bring people together: by proposing to resuscitate a zombie-like bill called the Homeowners Defense Act, the U.S. …

R Street welcomes Chairman Hensarling’s call for NFIP privatization

WASHINGTON (Jan. 4, 2013) -- The R Street Institute today welcomed the commitment by incoming House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to craft legislation during the …

White House seeks $10 billion NFIP bailout

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2012) -- As Congress considers a White House request to raise the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority to $30.4 billion, the R Street Institute …

Nov. 29 SmarterSafer letter on flood insurance

SmarterSafer.org -- a coalition that includes R Street as well as industry, environmental and taxpayer groups that favor fiscally and environmentally responsible public policy solutions to the problems …

Heartland’s Stanek on the ‘Beach House Bailout’

Our old colleague at the Heartland Institute, Steve Stanek, has a great piece this week in The Washington Times on the laughably named "Taxpayer Protection Act," the latest …

Eli Lehrer featured on the Insurance Journal podcast

R Street President Eli Lehrer was interviewed by Andy Simpson of Insurance Journal for IJ's podcast about the results of the 2012 elections and how they bode for …

For NFIP, when is a loan not a loan?

The White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are expected to come forward in the coming days or weeks with a request to raise the National Flood …

Congress should insist on risk transfer before raising NFIP borrowing

WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2012) -- As the White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security prepare to ask Congress to raise the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority, …

Response to The Nation’s Naomi Klein

This letter to The Nation magazine was submitted in response to the Nov. 5 article "Superstorm Sandy—a People's Shock?" by Naomi Klein. Naomi Klein describes me as a …

Catastrophe fund risky

Your suggestion that Hurricane Sandy should force lawmakers to reconsider enacting a national catastrophe fund actually helps make the point against one ("Time for national catastrophe fund," Nov. …

When does mitigation make sense?

There is little doubt that free, sensibly regulated insurance markets provide the best incentives to encourage people to prepare their properties against nature’s worst. Given limitless resources to …

‘Super Storm’ underscores danger of encouraging people to live in harm’s way

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2012) –- As much of the eastern United States begins the work of assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy –- even as its remnants …

R Street marks 30th anniversary of landmark Coastal Barrier Resources Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 18, 2012) –- The R Street Institute today commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, a landmark piece of legislation that continues …

Wind-water dispute reform arrives too late for Isaac claims

As the Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Isaac, one hopes the region will avoid not only the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, but also …

What is insurance, anyway?

A friend involved in the crop insurance industry recently wrote to me taking issue with a reference I had made proposed shallow loss “insurance”  (my words) program in …

Hoeven’s flood bill derailed in U.S. House

In what turned out to be very good news for taxpayers, the environment and anyone concerned about risk mitigation, the speeding legislative train that was Sen. John Hoeven's S. …

Hoeven flood bill would set terrible precedent

WASHINGTON (July 23, 2012) -– One week after it was pulled from the calendar due to protests from taxpayer and environmental groups, U.S. House leaders have once again …

The awful Hoeven levee bill

Mid-morning tomorrow, I’ll be attending a meeting in the office of Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., to debate be "educated about" the senator’s bill to exempt his state from …

House pushes off North Dakota flood properties vote

S. 2039, Sen. John Hoeven's bill to exempt flooded North Dakota properties purchased with federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds from the open space requirements of the Stafford …

Carve-outs for North Dakota flood properties bad for taxpayers and the environmen​t

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2012) -- Legislation set to be taken up today by the U.S. House would gut taxpayer protections and key environmental restrictions for flood-damaged properties in …

R Street welcomes congressional agreement on National Flood Insurance Program reforms

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2012) -- After nearly eight years of debate, Congress is finally set to bring a measure of fiscal sanity and sound insurance principles to the …

BREAKING: Senate leaders strike deal on flood insurance reform

(See UPDATE below) In a briefing today with interested parties, the Senate Banking Committee’s chairman and ranking member confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader …

Green Scissors 2012

PDF Download Text Green Scissors 2012 recommends nearly $700 billion in cuts to wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. It is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for …

This is it: Senate flood insurance bill vote coming up

It’s almost time. After 17 (count ‘em) short-term extensions, almost a half dozen lapses in the program, and tons of political wrangling, a flood insurance reform bill–a real …

R Street, Taxpayers for Common Sense urge Senate to learn lessons from Katrina

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2012) -- In a joint letter, the R Street Institute and Taxpayers for Common Sense are warning members of the U.S. Senate not to gut …

Letter to Sen. Tim Johnson and Sen. Richard Shelby on Hagan amendment

Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Shelby: Thank you for your continued efforts to pass S. 1940, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2012. As this important …

Federal flood program gets 60-day extension

The National Flood Insurance Program will be extended an additional 60 days beyond its scheduled May 31 expiration, after the U.S. House late May 30 approved by voice …

Letter from Washington: Why we should mend, not end, federal flood insurance

As the staff of the Heartland Institute’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate transitions to R Street, Out of the Storm News is going to be transitioning …

May 9, 2012 testimony to Senate Banking Committee

This written testimony from R Street Public Affairs Director R.J. Lehmann was submitted on behalf of the Heartland Institute to the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Economic Policy …

FIRE Podcast- J. Robert Hunter: Insurers’ disappearing cat risk

[podcast]http://redesign.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/fire022912.mp3[/podcast] It isn’t often that we find ourselves in agreement with J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America. The former Texas insurance commissioner and …

Letter from Washington: 41 senators ask for flood vote

Later today, Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., will join Heartland Institute CEO Joe Bast and the heads of several other major organizations—National Wildlife Federation, American …

Letter from Washington: Flood reform a rare opportunity for bipartisanship

On issues ranging from heath care to financial regulation, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have almost nothing in common. And since most Americans say they want their political …

Former realtors’ lobbyist calls flood program a ‘boondoggle’

The National Association of Realtors, the largest U.S. trade association and one of its most powerful, has historically played a key role in blocking efforts to bring about …

Letter from Washington: Finance and insurance predictions for 2012

Happy New Year! It’s time to take down the holiday decorations, finish the eggnog, and get back to work. It’s also time for some predictions about what’s going …

Letter from Washington: Feeling out FIO, government insurers and a farewell to Hitchens

This past week, CFIRE Deputy Director (and OOTS editor) R.J. Lehmann and I met with new director of the Federal Insurance Office: Michael McRaith. I had met him …

House passes tax bill that includes flood insurance reforms

With just two more days before the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire, the U.S. House voted to reform and extend the program for five years …

Senate flood bill filed; still no floor vote in sight

After months of backroom negotiations, the Senate Banking Committee has at last filed its conference report for the flood insurance reform bill it passed back in September. The …

FIRE Podcast- R.J. Lehmann: Capitol Hill update

[podcast]/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FIRE111711.mp3[/podcast] In this week’s edition of the FIRE Podcast, I offer updates on major insurance issues brewing on Capitol Hill, including delays in getting a Senate floor vote on …

NFIP reform floated to ‘Super Committee’

Sean Carr of rating agency A.M. Best’s BestWeek and BestWire publications is reporting (subscription required for the link) that both Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Financial …

When the levee breaks…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has yet to schedule floor time for consideration of the National Flood Insurance Program reform bill the Senate Banking Committee passed unanimously …

A flood floor vote, corporate taxation and Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

The U.S. Senate, riven as always by internal dispute, continues to sit on one of the few major bills—flood insurance reform—where a rough sort of bipartisan consensus appears …

NFIP Direct dispute dogs flood insurance reform

The Hill is reporting that a dispute between State Farm and other P&C insurers over the fate of some 800,000 former State Farm flood insurance policies threatens to …

Green Scissors 2011

PDF Download Text This report, co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer, was issued in August 2011 as a joint project of the Heartland Institute, Friends of the …

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