- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rep. Sean Duffy said Thursday that Tropical Storm Harvey will not stop his efforts to reform the national flood insurance program.

“The program doesn’t work right now,” the Wisconsin Republican said on Fox News. “Harvey is an opportunity to take care of Texas but also reform the flood insurance program and make it sustainable.”

Mr. Duffy has been working on reforming the national flood insurance program for months, having released a discussion draft of his proposal earlier this year. His goal, he said, is to make the program sustainable. Currently, the program is nearly $25 million in debt after both Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

“The reforms we are talking about are common-sense, gentle reforms,” he said. “You can’t shock people and have a premium one day and the next day the premium doubles. You have to put it on a gentle escalator where people start paying rates that are consistent with the risks.”

Part of Mr. Duffy’s bill would put more of the cost on homeowners. He said if people continue to build close to the water, they need to pay relative to the risk, but there’s “a compassionate way” to increase the rates.

“I think what you’re going to see is some opposition to this bill from Democrats and Republicans, but I think you’re going to see a lot of Republicans and Democrats support this common-sense reform,” he said. “But make no mistake, we’re going to take care of Texas.”

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