FEMA's new flood insurance program will be tweaked, U.S. Senate learns

WASHINGTON — In between near-constant pummeling by Republicans, Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed at a congressional listening to final week {that a} new federal system for setting flood insurance coverage premiums wants extra tweaking than anticipated.

The system, dubbed Threat Score 2.0, is likely one of the few federal initiatives that has drawn bipartisan opposition in Louisiana. Since its inception in 2021, lawmakers of each events have demanded — with out success — that the Federal Emergency Administration Company clarify simply what variables go into its pricing components. They’ve additionally stated the revamp gave Louisiana quick shrift.

In the meantime, the feds have defended the brand new system, which was unveiled after many years of complaints from the nation’s inside that FEMA’s older system unfairly sponsored coastal areas. The federal government has stated Threat Score 2.0 is geared toward higher aligning premiums with particular person properties’ precise flood dangers.

However the Division of Homeland Safety, which oversees FEMA, is now rethinking its strategy, Mayorkas stated to the U.S. Home Homeland Safety Committee as he introduced his company’s funds Wednesday. The company can be contemplating grants to assist some companies and householders, he stated.

“We're reviewing our grant applications to make sure that once more they depart no group disenfranchised … We're reviewing and have to proceed to evaluate the Threat Score 2.0 given the considerations which have been expressed,” Mayorkas stated.

Louisiana Congressman Troy Carter stated the takeaway from Mayorkas’ testimony is that Threat Score 2.0 is “not a achieved deal, like we had been advised, and that there will probably be some revisiting of the components particularly geared towards equity and granting reduction.”

Carter, whose 2nd Congressional District stretches up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to north Baton Rouge, was one of many solely committee members to ask questions that deviated from the committee’s obvious theme: that Mayorkas is liable for what the GOP sees as a multitude on the border with Mexico. He stated after the listening to that he did so as a result of flood insurance coverage is way extra necessary to Louisiana than are the nation’s issues on the border.

In distinction, Louisiana’s different consultant on the Home panel, Republican Clay Higgins, of Lafayette, railed at Mayorkas over border safety. Throughout the listening to, Higgins accused Mayorkas of abetting Mexican criminals to kill 225,000 People with fentanyl and of “herding teenage women into prostitution intercourse slave networks.”

Higgins stated Mayorkas had an obligation to inform President Joe Biden that the administration’s immigration insurance policies had failed, in his estimation.

“We’re achieved, achieved, achieved, together with your lies to America. It’s shameful what you introduced upon our nation,” Higgins stated. He had no questions for Mayorkas.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, was subsequent up and he or she provided Mayorkas a few of her 5 minutes of talking time to reply Higgins. He declined.

Lee then famous that the issues on the border existed lengthy earlier than Biden appointed Mayorkas to his submit.

“My Republican colleagues have been portray fairly the image as we speak, and to listen to them inform it, you inherited a safe orderly state of affairs on the border,” Lee stated. The 73-year-old former choose represents a district that has been the last word vacation spot for many individuals getting into the nation illegally for the reason that metropolis’s namesake defeated Mexican invaders close to there in 1836.

“I do know that many members of Congress solely take note of the most recent information cycle and whether or not the clip of their 5 minutes at this listening to will go viral,” Lee added.

As quickly because the listening to ended, Higgins tweeted a video of his assertion. It had 11,221 “likes” by Friday morning.

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