House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Discusses Flood, ACA

During his tenure in the Louisiana state legislature, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) encountered enough flood issues to account for a decade.

At the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference breakfast this morning, Rep. Scalise discussed the legislative battles his home state faced after Hurricane Katrina and the flood insurance reform issues the country continues to face today.

“There were a lot of proposals that sounded real populist that would have depleted our insurance market in our state,” Rep. Scalise said. “We were able to hold back on those and bring more insurance companies to help write policies. It was critical to the rebuilding and recovery from that terrible disaster.”

Now holding the No. 3 leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Scalise is using his experience to help reform the National Flood Insurance Program. “We were able to change [Biggert-Waters] and put real stability in place with those reforms,” Rep. Scalise said of the congressional coalition that came together more than a year ago. “We’re already starting to meet with Republicans and Democrats to work on the next iteration of the renewal of the flood insurance program.”

In addition to flood insurance reform, Rep. Scalise emphasized the importance of legislation to remedy some of the problems associated with the Affordable Care Act, which contains provisions he said have prompted a large shift in full-time to part-time employees.

“The Cadillac tax is something that’s going to ultimately make it harder for people to provide the good health care they provide for their employees,” Rep. Scalise said, urging agents to pay close attention to the upcoming King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision. “If the Supreme Court does what I think they should do, in saying the federal government can’t subsidize a federal exchange in the health care marketplace, it will provide a great opportunity for Congress to come back and replace what is broken with a real free market reform.”

And Rep. Scalise isn’t ready to give up. “We’re going to reign in this whole navigator process that’s created all kinds of problems and let you be back in charge of working with people to find the best plans for them and their families—and at the best cost,” Rep. Scalise said.

Noting that these big issues affect real people and real families, Rep. Scalise added that he hears from small businesses that their biggest challenges involve federal rules and regulations.

“As we come up with alternatives and solutions to solve problems, we want to know what the things are that we can do to help you just go do your jobs, get more clients and generate more opportunities for people,” Rep. Scalise said.

Morgan Smith is IA assistant editor.