Speeches and Floor Statements

Scott Offers Amendment to Keep Flood Insurance Affordable at Financial Services Committee Markup

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Washington, June 15, 2017 | comments

Congressman David Scott (GA-13) gave the following statement at the recent House Financial Services Committee Markup of seven Flood Insurance bills.  Scott offered an amendment to eliminate installment plan fees for consumers who make monthly payments to purchase flood insurance:

Click here to watch video of Congressman Scott’s remarks.


"Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, a few years back, I along with ranking member Maxine Waters, led the fight to help make a contribution to making flood insurance affordable. And one of the things that we did was, we were able to successfully allow individuals to pay in a monthly installment, as opposed to one lump-sum—and that was a good move.

"Now, here we come with this effort, from you Mr. Chairman, to tack a fifty dollar fee on those who take monthly payments. Now, fifty dollars may not seem a lot, it comes to about four dollars per month, but the whole point is, it flies in the face of us doing something grand to reach out and help the poor.

"And then we come back and tack a fifty dollar fee on it and those who pay by the year, they have no fee attached. So if you pay by 12-month installments, that’s going to be the same as if you pay one lump-sum—so why do the poor or those people that are benefitting from this have to actually pay more?

"Now, Mr. Chairman, you and I have gone back and forward on this whole issue of affordability. This sends a bad message to the poor. It is really more of a shameful act. It’s as if you are saying on the one hand, here we’re going to help you with this, but on the other hand, oh, we’re also going to punish you for this. Now we know the industry has their standards and they’re going to come and say that they need to have something to pay for—but this is unusual. This is helping those families who need help the most.

"And let me just call to your remembrance Mr. Chairman about the man that went down the Jericho road, and he fell among thieves. And they beat him up, they kicked him, and left him for half dead. He was in a dire state. Then the priest came by, didn’t do anything for him, then the Levi came by, didn’t do any for him—but there was that certain man, a certain man that has the same sensitive capabilities of you, Mr. Chairman. Because I know you and I know where your heart is. But he went and he put that gentleman on his horse, took care of his wounds, and then took him to the end.

"Now, here’s where the point gets important: he didn’t stop there. You know, the man needed help, and he took care of him, paid the innkeeper, and he didn’t stop there.  He said, “If it costs more, please, put it on my bill, and I will pay you when I come back.”

"Now, Mr. Chairman, many of us on this side of the aisle and some on that side of the aisle recognize that this flood insurance issue is going to grow more and more. I don’t care how you feel about climate change or whatever—anyone with any common sense or awareness knows our winters are shrinking, and at the same time, our ice caps in the north and the south are melting. What that means is, there’s going to be more of this."

Congressman Scott's amendment was withdrawn, at the Chairman's urging and without prejudice to permit further consideration and discussion on how a bipartisan effort may help keep flood insurance affordable. The House Financial Services Committee will reconvene on Wednesday, June 21 to continue to markup the remaining flood insurance legislation.

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