U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor has never been one to mince words. Back in June 2008, we ran this headline:
Taylor blasts FEMA;
' Buttheads,' he says of no-ice plan
It stood out to me because I had to run over to FEMA headquarters in Biloxi for a news conference the same morning. A Sun Herald newspaper rack with that headline stood at the front door. I told the folks at FEMA I was a reporter from Milwaukee. Just joking. Accustomed to such abuse, they never said a word.
As Coast residents know, Taylor is equally outspoken about insurance companies and the National Flood Insurance Program. He wants to end the inherent conflict private companies face in adjusting their own claims while also being paid to adjust NFIP claims in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
The insurance companies, Taylor said at a forum last week, will lay off damage to the flood program every time. Taylor's senior policy advisor, Brian Martin, has spent many long hours on the mechanics of adding wind insurance to NFIP. Although Taylor's House colleagues supported the measure, it has gained no traction in the Senate.
In fact, NFIP is now being reauthorized on a short time basis only, while a bill to continue it long-term languishes in a conference committee.
Taylor continues to argue at every opportunity that optional wind coverage should be offered through NFIP. He shared this presentation with an audience of about 100 business and community leaders at the insurance roundtable, sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker.