"Mr. Speaker, I think this program needs to be eliminated, not be reformed. And I would start with this basic premise, why in the world is the federal government in the flood insurance business?
"If you read the Constitution, what does it say? Actually in Preamble it says that the first and foremost responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the common defense. I can't seem to find anywhere in the Constitution where it says that we are supposed to be in the federal flood insurance business -- I just can't find it. I know we are trying to reform what I think is an unnecessary boondoggle, ridiculous program but rather than reforming, as I say I think it needs to be eliminated.
"This program started in 1968, we started writing policies in 1972, and the FEMA Administrator recently testified, I believe before the Financial Services Committee, had said this federal insurance program is in debt -- as it has been mentioned here, almost $18 billion in debt -- and we have to raise the debt ceiling for the federal flood insurance program to about $25 billion and the FEMA Administrator was telling us that the program is always going to be in debt. Forever, massive debt.
"The biggest issue facing the Congress today is about what are we going to do about the $14 trillion in debt we are currently faced with, and raising the debt ceiling for that. And as we are struggling with all of this, it is almost ludicrous to me that we are talking about raising the debt ceiling on a program that the federal government should not be involved in.
"And one of the reasons that it is not doing particularly well is guess what a big surprise -- the federal government is probably not the best insurance agent in the world. I mean, when you see that one percent of policy holders are getting forty percent of the claims, something is seriously wrong. And I am going to be offering an amendment shortly to eliminate this program and I'll speak more to at that time. "