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Senate Proceeding on May 6th, 2008 :: 5:17:59 to 5:32:27
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Christopher Dodd

5:17:59 to 5:18:11( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 90, the nays are 1. three-fifths of the senators duly chosendu and

Christopher Dodd

5:17:59 to 5:32:27( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Christopher Dodd

Christopher Dodd

5:18:11 to 5:18:17( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: sworn having vote ed in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. mr. dodd: mr. president, move to reconsider. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: move to lay on the table. the presiding

Christopher Dodd

5:18:17 to 5:18:33( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, i understand that there now be a period of 30 hours to debate on

Christopher Dodd

5:18:33 to 5:18:42( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the motion to proceed. my understanding is shall -- and my friend and colleague from alabama will correct me if i mis misspeak at all -- over the next evening people will be discussing the amendments.

Christopher Dodd

5:18:42 to 5:18:53( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: we've actually had discussions with a number of our colleagues who have amendments on this bivment our sincere hope is that awful those amendments will be considered. i've been informed -- as senator

Christopher Dodd

5:18:53 to 5:19:03( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: shelby has -- by the authors of these amendments, their intention is to take whatever limited amount of time is needed to make their case. my hope is that we'll be able to vitiate the 30 hours, get

Christopher Dodd

5:19:03 to 5:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: right to the bill in the morning and move forward on these various ideas ideas that are going to be offered by our colleagues with the goal in mind by completing this by tomorrow. there are a number

Christopher Dodd

5:19:13 to 5:19:24( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of amendments out there. but i think, as the authors of these amendments have indicate ed, they won't necessarily take a lost time to gaivment let me also take advantage, mr. president, if i can in offering

Christopher Dodd

5:19:24 to 5:19:34( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to our colleagues on this side of the aisle -- we've heard from several members -- senator landrieu has some strong interest in this legislation but others may as well. and i'd ask them to come

Christopher Dodd

5:19:34 to 5:19:46( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: forward forward, if they would, either this afternoon or early this evening and let our staffs know what these amendments are so we can try and set up some orderly process by which we can consider

Christopher Dodd

5:19:46 to 5:19:58( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the amendments over the course of business tomorrow as well. so i'm -- i make that request of our colleagues. if you have amendments to the flood insurance reform and modernization act, would you please

Christopher Dodd

5:19:58 to 5:20:06( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: let us know as soon as possible what those amendments are so we can consider them or at least set up a time frame for you to offer them on the floor. let me just offer some initial thoughts, if i

Christopher Dodd

5:20:06 to 5:20:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: can. first of all, let me thank the majority leader. we're here today because the majority leader has create ed some time for us to do this. this is an interest in which all of us should have a

Christopher Dodd

5:20:21 to 5:20:35( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: deep concern and deep interest. i'd note with obvious importance to my colleague from alabama and others in gulf state areas, flood insurance is a crit carl issue for the gulf coast area. this is

Christopher Dodd

5:20:35 to 5:20:45( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: a vitally piece vitally important piece of lels. this is the flood insurance reform and modernization act. it is a strong, bipartisan bill that enhances the long-term viability of the national flood

Christopher Dodd

5:20:45 to 5:20:56( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: insurance program helping to provide critical insurance coverage for millions of homes and businesses throughout the country. the substitute amendment which will a offer later -- to be offered by

Christopher Dodd

5:20:56 to 5:21:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: myself and senator shelby -- contains two parts, both of which passed the committee on banking, housing, and urban urban affairs with the support of every member of the committee, democrat and republican.

Christopher Dodd

5:21:09 to 5:21:20( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the substitute amendment contains the flood insurance reform package exactly as was passed by the committee, as well as a bill to establish a commission, a natural cat catastrophic risk and insurance issues.

Christopher Dodd

5:21:20 to 5:21:29( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: this is a very important issue, i might point out, to members. the unanimous votes on these bills clearly show the importance of flood insurance and the strength of the bill that we're considering. senator

Christopher Dodd

5:21:29 to 5:21:41( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: shelby and i have joined together to urge our colleagues to support our efforts to strengthen flood insurance for three key reasons, mr. president mr. president. the first reason is, this bill provides

Christopher Dodd

5:21:41 to 5:21:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: much-needed relief to hard-working americans who have paid flood insurance premiums for years and through no fault of their own will now face steep premium increases to reduce the massive debt owed

Christopher Dodd

5:21:54 to 5:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: by fema as a result of hurricanes katrina, rita, and wilma. this bill is fiscally responsible, number two, and greatly reduces the exposure of the federal taxpayer under the flood program. and, three,

Christopher Dodd

5:22:09 to 5:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: this bill creates viertally al createsenvironmentally sound flood policy which is needed. i want to touch on each of these three points, mr. president, because i think too often we get into the details

Christopher Dodd

5:22:21 to 5:22:34( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and we miss the larger picture that's involved with a piece of legislation like this. this bill is complicated. it makes a number of significant reforms, but taken all together, it contains key policy ies that

Christopher Dodd

5:22:34 to 5:22:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: truly will help millions of our fellow citizens. as i said, this bill is needed to provide relief for those who suffered flood losses as a result of the 2005 hurricanes. these homes and business owners

Christopher Dodd

5:22:47 to 5:22:59( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: did exactly what they were supposed to do. they purchased flood insurance and paid premiums. some had done so for decades to cover their losses in the event of a flood. if we lay the entire $17 billion

Christopher Dodd

5:22:59 to 5:23:14( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: debt n owed by fema at their feet, these people, we will force many of them out of the program. to pay the interest on debt alone, rates would have to nearly double and they would have to increase many

Christopher Dodd

5:23:14 to 5:23:24( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: times over to make a dent in that debt. skyrocketing premiums would create massive disincentives to purchasing flood insurance at exactly e time we need to en encourage participaon. at this time of increased

Christopher Dodd

5:23:24 to 5:23:36( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: hurricane activity, our efforts efforts should be focused on getting as many people to purchase flood insurance as possible so that they'll be able to rebuild after a storm and not have those larger costs

Christopher Dodd

5:23:36 to 5:23:46( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: be spread out, of course, to people across the country. discourage the purchase of flood insurance would also increase the future liability of the american taxpayer, those who flood will be underinsured and

Christopher Dodd

5:23:46 to 5:23:59( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: have no insurance at all, and theyill turn to the federal government for disaster assistance. prior to the inception of the national flood insurance program program, that is exactly what happened year

Christopher Dodd

5:23:59 to 5:24:11( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: after year after year. after several flood -- severe flooding in the 1950's, congress established the federal flood insurance program because there was no private flood insurance and the lack of coverage

Christopher Dodd

5:24:11 to 5:24:23( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: result resulted in significant federal disaster aid payments. the flood program is designed to provide insurance while requiring safer development so that the people were better protected from nature's

Christopher Dodd

5:24:23 to 5:24:37( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: wrath and while we're now looking at a significant debt, i want to underscore the fact that the flood program has historically been self-sustaining, paying claims for the most part through the premiums.

Christopher Dodd

5:24:37 to 5:24:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: hurricane katrina and the storms that followed devastate ed the entire gulf region and produced flooding unlike any in any other sphorm in our lifetime. -- --any other storm in our lifetime. many

Christopher Dodd

5:24:54 to 5:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: were driven from their homes and many hundreds were killed. the fema borrowed funds from the u.s. treasury to meet those obligations and ensure that families in louisiana, mississippi, texas, florida

Christopher Dodd

5:25:07 to 5:25:19( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: rs and alabama could rebuild. we now face -- we are a now faced with a choice: forgive the debt so that flood insurance continues to be able to homes and business owns throughout the country or

Christopher Dodd

5:25:19 to 5:25:29( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: substantially raise premiums on all policy holders holders, an action which would hurt the very people who are trying to desperately re rebuild their lives after those hurricanes. the bill makes what

Christopher Dodd

5:25:29 to 5:25:41( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: i believe is the right choice. the second reason this bill is necessary is that it establishes fiscally responsible policy ies to ensure that flood insurance will continue to be available while reducing

Christopher Dodd

5:25:41 to 5:25:54( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: the likelihood that taxpayers would be on the hook for those losses -- flood losses losses. this bill strengthens flood insurance so that the next time a hurricane hits, whether it be in nighs miss,

Christopher Dodd

5:25:54 to 5:26:05( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: florida, texas, alabama, connecticut, any other state that borders on our coast, floodplains can be -- flood claims can be paid without re relying on taxpayer funds from across the country. it does this

Christopher Dodd

5:26:05 to 5:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: by requiring flood insurance in additional at-risk areas moving the program towards actuarial soundness and requiring the program to build up reserves to pay for losses. these changes will help

Christopher Dodd

5:26:20 to 5:26:32( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: guarantee additional premium income while maintaining afford affordability for most homeowners. as i also indicate ed, this bill contains environmentally sound flood policy ies. these reforms especially to the flood mapping

Christopher Dodd

5:26:32 to 5:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: program will allow communities and homes and businesses throughout the country to accurately assess their flood risk and will en encourage responsible and environmentally friendly development decisions.

Christopher Dodd

5:26:44 to 5:26:58( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: communities cannot make decision decisions to protect fragile areas along our coast and river riverbeds if maps are not accurate and risks are unknown. the mapping provisions contained in this bill

Christopher Dodd

5:26:58 to 5:27:07( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: ensure that flood maps will be accurate, up to date and readily available. no longer should communities and homes and businesses have to rely on outdated and inaccurate information. senator reed

Christopher Dodd

5:27:07 to 5:27:18( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of rhode island is to be commented comment commended for his mapping provisions on this bill that are critical to the flood insurance program. that is strong and needed bill, mr. president, which will

5:27:18 to 5:27:30( Edit History Discussion )

extend the flood insurance program for five additional years, phut on a financial position to be able to continue to make flood insurance available to the millions of families at risk throughout our nation

Christopher Dodd

5:27:30 to 5:27:40( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: while at the same time reducing the risk of taxpayer assistance. i want to take a moment to let me colleagues know the range of support for this bill. it is a very diverse and somewhat unique coalition

Christopher Dodd

5:27:40 to 5:27:52( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of organizations that has come out in support of this piece of legislation. these organizations, i believe, are worth mentioning because of their diversity, and we have the support of the following: the consumer

Christopher Dodd

5:27:52 to 5:28:04( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: federation of america, the arican insurance association, the council for citizens against government waste, defense defenders of wild liervetion the environmental defense fund, the financial services

Christopher Dodd

5:28:04 to 5:28:16( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: round table, freedom works, friends of the earth, the national association of mutual insurance companies, the national wildlife federation, property casualty insure ers of america, the reinsurance association

Christopher Dodd

5:28:16 to 5:28:25( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of america, and the taxpayers for common sense. that's not normally a coalition that you put together around a piece of legislation and covering the financial service industry as well as environment

Christopher Dodd

5:28:25 to 5:28:35( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: environmental groups and consumer groups as well. and i commend all of them for working with us, going through the long process, mr. president, of developing this bill and the way that we figure

Christopher Dodd

5:28:35 to 5:28:46( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: -- in a way that we figure does comprehensive deal with this issue. i realize these groups are not normally united in the support of a single piece of legislation but they have all come out in favor

Christopher Dodd

5:28:46 to 5:28:56( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: of a reasonable, balanced approach that we have taken to the flood iurance program. as i said earlier, the substitute amendment that we'll be offering also establishes a commission on natural catastrophic

Christopher Dodd

5:28:56 to 5:29:07( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: risk management and insurance. there's been a good deal of discussion about adding wind and other risks to the flood insurance program. these are arguments hard to answer because there's a very strong

Christopher Dodd

5:29:07 to 5:29:19( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and legitimate claim to be made. however, it was the judgment of the banking committee that while these ideas have merit -- and i strongly indicate and support that -- they deserve further study

Christopher Dodd

5:29:19 to 5:29:31( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: so that we can understand the implications of what a major shift would be in this program and how the natural catastrophes are to be insured. to that end, the committee unanimously passed legislation

Christopher Dodd

5:29:31 to 5:29:41( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: to establish this blue-ribbon commission that would in very short order examine the availability, affordability of natural catastrophic insurance and make recommendations post- post-haste to the congress

Christopher Dodd

5:29:41 to 5:29:53( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and to the administration on whether and how and to what extent additional federal action in this area would be appropriate. but until we have that information, mr. president, i honestly could

Christopher Dodd

5:29:53 to 5:30:04( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: not stand before my colleagues here and give you any idea of the magnitude of cost of this program. we would literally surely would be in the dark entirely if we tried to expand it. that is not to

5:30:04 to 5:30:14( Edit History Discussion )

suggest there's not legitimacy to the request. but we ought to deal with it in as thoughtful a manner as we possibly can so we're not back here again in the next year, the year after once again forgiving

Christopher Dodd

5:30:14 to 5:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: debt, trying to come up with another program to deal with the result of massive taxpayer infusion of dollars to deal with the as doessters people are coping with. so so to that end, the committee unanimously

Christopher Dodd

5:30:26 to 5:30:37( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: passed the legislation to establish this commission. what is clear is that millions of americans, some of whom were devaate ed by hurricanes, have seen increased premiums and constrained availability of insurance.

Christopher Dodd

5:30:37 to 5:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and we're all committed to doing everything we can to ensure that people at risk are able to insure their homes and businesses and we believe that this commission will provide the information we

Christopher Dodd

5:30:50 to 5:31:03( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: need to undertake that effort in a sense ible and effective way.| i want to thank senator shelby once again and his staff who have worked so closely with us on this bill. senator shelby has been

Christopher Dodd

5:31:03 to 5:31:15( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: a very strong advocate of flood insurance. under his leadership, mr. president, the banking committee passed a similar bill in the last congress. i also want to thank senators reed of rhode island,

Christopher Dodd

5:31:15 to 5:31:26( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: senator bunning and senator carper for their help on the legislation. the status quo on flood insurance is not an option. families in every state rely on flood insurance to rebuild when they're flooded

Christopher Dodd

5:31:26 to 5:31:38( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: out. the national flood insuran program must be reformed and strengthened, and i would urge my colleagues to support this legislation so that our constituents can continue to rely on the strong and stable national

Christopher Dodd

5:31:38 to 5:31:47( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: flood insurance program. and, again, let me urge colleagues who have amendments and ideas to offer to this legislation, to please let us know these ideas immediately so that we can consider them

Christopher Dodd

5:31:47 to 5:31:58( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: and put them in a proper order for consideration when we resume consideration of this legislation tomorrow. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. shelby: mr. president? the presiding officer: the

Christopher Dodd

5:31:58 to 5:32:10( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: senator from alabama. mr. shelby: mr. president, i rise today in support of the managers' amendment. it is a bill that combines the flood insurance reform act of 2008 with the catastrophic commission

Christopher Dodd

5:32:10 to 5:32:27( Edit History Discussion )

Christopher Dodd: act of 2008 that senator dodd has just outlined. mr. president, senator dodd and i worked very closely to develop this important legislation on the banking committee, which the senate banking committee,

Richard Shelby

5:32:27 to 5:32:41( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Shelby: by the way, unanimously passed last year. the legislation, mr. president, places the national flood insurance program on a stronger financial footing because it requires thoseiving and working in areas vulnerable

Richard Shelby

5:32:27 to 5:41:07( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Shelby

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