The time is still not right for NFIP reauthorization. The bonus is this also means I get 6 more months to be a pain in the ass to our current favorite U$ $enator, true blue friend to $ubprime king Angelo Mozilo and bona fide Pac Man Chri$ Dodd. If I left anything out rest assured there will be future posts on “$pike”.
Arthur Postal at the NU has the story:
The controversial National Flood Insurance Program would be extended in its current form until Sept. 28 under the omnibus spending bill revealed by House Democrats Monday.
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, earlier this month said the extension is designed to provide time for the House and Senate to reconcile their differences over the future of the program, especially the House demand that the program be expanded to include wind coverage.
The program was initially extended in its present form until March 6 after the House and Senate could not reconcile substantive differences between bills designed to reform and extend the program for several years.
The bill introduced by House Democrats would combine nine annual appropriations bills left over from last year until the end of the current fiscal year. Total spending on the programs would grow by $32 billion, or about 8.5 percent, from last year.
The House plans to vote on the measure later this week, and the Senate will consider it later.
I don’t know this money changing blowhard Eli Lehrer that Mr Postal used as a source for his story but he obviously does not have any appreciation for the current political realities in DC these days as the story continues:
The decision to extend the program without major changes was criticized by Eli Lehrer, a fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute. He charged that the decision merely kicks sensitive decisions down the road for a second time.
“Given the current economic crisis, it’s not surprising that Congress has decided to punt on this issue for now,” Mr. Lehrer said. “But I am disappointed. This simply puts off the absolutely necessary action of changing the program in a fundamental way.”
The omnibus extension fails to deal with several other controversies swirling around the NFIP, including the request from Florida officials for a $17 billion federal line of credit to help out its underfunded Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
Another controversial plan calls for the creation of a national catastrophe plan designed to aid Florida and other coastal areas that is under considerable criticism from outside groups.
One bill that passed the House in the last Congress, and is supported by coastal areas, would have created new federal natural catastrophe loan, insurance and reinsurance programs.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty met with representatives of two Palm Beach-area legislators Feb. 10 in an effort to secure a $17 billion letter of credit to help replenish the Florida catastrophe fund.
State officials are proposing a federal line of credit, for which the state would pay a premium and would recoup any advances through bonding and statutory assessments within Florida.
Under the proposal Commissioner McCarty is promoting, the line of credit “would be triggered only in the extremely unlikely event that a storm exceeding the claims paying ability of the Cat Fund were to hit Florida and the credit markets were still in disruption,” according to a department spokesman.
Critics complain that Republican Florida Gov. Charles Crist has become an outspoken supporter of federal aid programs, including the recently passed stimulus package, despite Republican opposition, because he is likely to need a lot of federal help if and when a major hurricane strikes the state.
Mr. Lehrer believes that is the case.
“Gov. Crist doesn’t have a choice but as to take every penny he can get from Washington,” Mr. Lehrer said. “Unless the state changes its property insurance system, Florida is, to use a technical term, screwed.”
Isn’t it wonderful the property insurance industry cares so much for US and Florida taxpayers while what was the largest insurer in the world has gobbled up $150 BILLION dollars of taxpayer money and counting. I don’t believe Mr Lehrer or Bobby Boy have an appreciation for the secular change in the political landscape that began with Wall Street’s implosion last year.
In fact President Obama well laid out his short term priorities involving the rescue of the overall economy last night and frankly taking on NFIP reform just isn’t important enough to get on the Mr President’s radar screen right now. We are told it will be President Obama who will break the stalemate and personally we at Slabbed relish to opportunity to continue educating people on the scam that is more politely known as coastal property and casualty insurance as we follow the money into the pockets of politicians like Chri$ Dodd or off$hore to $witzerland, the Cayman I$land$ and Bermuda. Plus the passage of time will certainly reveal more subprime skeletons like Merna Re, Willow Re and $wi$$ Re that will certainly continue to change perceptions as we advocate the only real solution to the coastal insurance crisis.