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Congressman Al Green on Financial Services Reform Bill and Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act

Congressman Al Green Supports Passage of The Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act He co-sponsored a bill that is particularly beneficial for Texas
Washington (DC)

Congressman Al Green (TX-09) voted to support the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010 (H.R. 5114), which passed the House by a vote of 329-90. Congressman Al Green is a co-sponsor of the bill, which amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program through 2015.

“This is a very important bill, particularly for those states which are more prone to becoming victims of hurricanes. Certainly my home state of Texas is one of those and, therefore, I know our residents need the security of having this flood insurance program,” said Congressman Al Green.

The bill delays, for a five-year period, the effective date for a requirement under which homeowners living in newly designated flood-hazard areas would have to purchase flood insurance and phases-in a new risk-rate schedule for those areas over the next five years.

Congressman Al Green praised the increases in the coverage limits proposed by the bill. Specifically, the bill increases the maximum aggregate amount of insurance coverage from $250,000 to $335,000 for certain single- or multifamily dwelling residential structures; from $100,000 to $135,000 for dwelling unit contents; and from $500,000 to $670,000 for nonresidential properties.

The new law would also develop outreach programs to educate the community. “It is crucial that communities learn about this kind of programs because being insured and, moreover, properly insured will make all the difference when it comes to the recovery phase that follows a hurricane,” commented the Congressman.

The bill creates an Office of Flood Insurance Advocate within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This office would assist insureds under the national flood insurance program in resolving problems with FEMA and would help communities and homeowners with interpreting, implementing, and appealing floodplain maps and floodplain map determinations. The bill is now pending further consideration in the Senate.

Congressman Al Green Categorizes Senate Passage of the Financial Services Reform Bill As Fair and Historic
Lauds the oversight features of the new legislation and the creation of an agency solely focused on protecting consumers

Congressman Al Green (TX-09) applauded the Senate passage of the Conference Report on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (H.R.4173), which passed by a vote of 60-39. According to Green, this bill is not only fair for the American people, but historic for the nation. For the past few months Congressman Green, who serves on the House Committee on Financial Services, has played a major role in the design of the legislation.

Congressman Green continued, “this legislation will change our country’s financial practices for the better because it provides much needed oversight that we did not have before.” Green also said “unfair practices combined with poor regulation enforcement drove us to the worst historic economic crisis since the Great Depression. The new rules will bring transparency and accountability.”

The new legislation creates an independent agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to protect Americans from anti-consumer abuses and closes the door on predatory lending. It also includes provisions to conduct oversight over the Federal Reserve, establishes new and strict rules for risky financial practices and enhances oversight for credit rating agencies.

“With this legislation, we will begin to address the issue of taxpayer bailouts of ‘too-big-to-fail’ firms and take additional steps to restore the foundation of our nation’s financial network,” indicated the Congressman.

The new rules develop a new process to dissolve failing large financial institutions in a way that does not affect the whole national economy and, with this resolution authority, federal regulators can more effectively shut down any failing institutions that pose a risk to the financial system.

“I am confident that instituting stronger consumer protections, improving market transparency, and rewarding responsible investing will lead to confidence in our financial sector, and growth in our economy, which will increase investment and entrepreneurship and, therefore, create more jobs,” concluded Congressman Al Green.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R. 4173 will reduce the deficit by $3.2 billion over 10 years.

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