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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham blocks Obama floodplain expansion order

July 11, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, announced Monday that the U.S. House of Representatives passed his legislation to block an executive order from the Obama Administration that could drive up the costs of building in Louisiana communities.

On Thursday, July 7, the House passed HR 5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. Included in the base language of the bill is Dr. Abraham’s effort to defund President Obama’s Executive Order 13690, which establishes a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS.

The FFRMS scraps the 100-year base flood commonly used to determine flood risk and replaces it with new determinations that take into account future flooding from climate change. The new determinations will expand the amount of area subject to a floodplain and impose stricter building standards on projects that receive any sort of federal assistance. This will drive up the costs of new transportation, housing, mitigation and flood protection projects, and it could have unforeseen consequences on flood insurance and other federal programs.

The executive order was issued without any public engagement on the need for a new standard, without any documentation on the scientific justification for the new standard, and without any consideration of the long-term costs. Dr. Abraham’s legislation in HR 5485 would prohibit the administration from implementing the FFRMS until it can provide Congress and the American people with details on how it will affect federal programs and an analysis of the economic costs and benefits. Dr. Abraham’s legislation also ensures that the FFRMS will have no effect on the flood insurance rates or on programs carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The FFRMS is yet another example of this administration circumventing the public and imposing new, unjustified regulations in the name of combating climate change. This order is bad for Louisiana and all those who wish to build and invest in our state. I applaud my colleagues who helped pass this important legislation so that we can prevent hard-working Americans from bearing the costly impact of this standard on their homes and communities,” Dr. Abraham said.