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Harvey damage adds urgency to flood insurance debate


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Hurricane Harvey’s devastating flooding comes as Congress scrambles to keep the federal flood insurance program running past Sept. 30. 

Lawmakers in both chambers are working on renewing and revamping the debt-riddled National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before it expires at the end of September, with billions more in payouts likely on the way.
Despite progress on several bipartisan bills to cut costs and modernize procedures at the NFIP, a bill to keep to program funded past Sept. 30 faces concerns from both parties over caps to flood insurance premiums.
Hurricane Harvey’s massive toll on Texas and the related cost for the NFIP gives fodder to both the program’s critics, who want a quicker transition to private flood insurance, and its defenders, who consider NFIP a critical safeguard for coastal communities.:snip:

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Was the Houston Disaster Man-Made?

John Hinderaker

August 29 2017


Hurricane Harvey wasn’t man-made, obviously, but the scale of the destruction was, in large part, an unintended consequence of government policy. Michael Grunwald reports at Politico: “How Washington Made Harvey Worse.”




People have been talking about the perverse consequences of federal flood insurance for a long time, but nothing has been done. Congress enacted a semblance of reform in 2012, providing for premiums that more closely reflect the risk of flooding of flood plains. But political pressure led Congress to retreat in 2014. Hurricane Harvey will most likely result in more federal spending on flood relief, and more unintended consequences in the future, rather than fewer.






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