07.15.2011 1

Why Do Republicans Support the National Flood Insurance Program?

By Adam Bitely –

38 Congressman stood up for liberty on Tuesday night when they supported Rep. Candice Miller’s amendment to the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, which would end the Federal government’s role as an insurance company and pass the ability to run such programs down to the states.

Rep. Miller said it best, “Why in the world is the federal government in the flood insurance business?”

Only 35 House Republicans had the conviction to vote in support of ending this wasteful program.

The amendment offered by Rep. Miller would have brought an end to the federal government’s role as a flood insurance provider through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by January 1, 2012. Further, the amendment would have allowed the states to form interstate compacts to provide flood insurance.

Limited government supporters should have been behind such commonsense measures.

What is most troubling about the failure of Rep. Miller’s amendment is that 201 House Republicans voted to keep the federal government in the flood insurance business. And these are the same folks that we are told will bring an end to ObamaCare.

If they couldn’t end a boondoggle like the NFIP, which is $18 billion in debt, why should we believe them when they say they will fight the federal government’s role in the health insurance industry?

Rep. Miller was right when she pointed to the utter failures of the NFIP. We have seen government programs just like this one time and again, and they always work the same. Money is wasted, taxpayers bail the program out, and then more money is wasted.

But what makes the NFIP even worse than the regular program is that it is designed to be bankrupt. The government is insuring people that would not be insured in the private insurance market because they would not be able to afford the premiums that a private companies who have a fiduciary responsibility to be solvent would have to charge to insure their property.

If the federal government was not encouraging folks to live in these flood zones by providing insurance when no one else would, then the government would not have to shell out billions of dollars because they are insuring extremely risky choices. Essentially the NFIP exists to redistribute the wealth of people that live above sea level to those that live near or below it.

The NFIP is nothing more than a bottomless pit of government waste.

At a time when Congressional Republicans are clamoring for government spending cuts, the NFIP was a perfect place to stop wasting taxpayer money. It makes the Republicans in Congress look as if they are staging an elaborate act when they fail to stand in support of such measures.

If Congressional Republicans are serious about shrinking the size of government, they would be wise to start voting in favor of legislation that returns the government to the size intended by the Founders. The hope that this Congress could do anything at all to roll back the overstep that the previous Congress took when it passed ObamaCare is dimmed when considering the results of this vote.

Congressional Republicans would be wise to start practicing what they preach, and put the government back to its constitutionally allowed size. Or else they just might find themselves out of power again at some point in the not too distant future.

The below chart shows the 38 members of the House of Representatives that supported the amendment (italicized names are Democrats):

Amash
Bartlett
Barton (TX)
Benishek
Broun (GA)
Brown (FL)
Chaffetz
DesJarlais
Duncan (TN)
Flake
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Gallegly
Goodlatte
Graves (GA)
Hensarling
Higgins
Holden
Huelskamp
Labrador
Lamborn
Mack
McClintock
McHenry
Miller (MI)
Mulvaney
Myrick
Nunes
Paul
Petri
Price (GA)
Quayle
Rohrabacher
Royce
Sensenbrenner
Walsh (IL)
Westmoreland
Woodall

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

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