Congress has approved yet another resolution to fund parts of the federal government including the nation’s flood insurance program on a short-term basis. This time the funding runs until Dec. 16.
The Senate passed the short-term funding bill on Thursday evening after the House passed it in the afternoon.
President Obama is expected to sign the measure.
Had Congress not acted, authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program would have expired today, Nov. 18.
The insurance industry is pushing for both branches to pass a five year extension of NFIP along with reforms. Legislation to to do that has stalled. The House passed its version in July and the Senate Committee on Banking has passed a version. But the bill must still be considered by the full Senate. Then, once the Senate passes its legislation, the two branches will still have to agree on a final bill.
In 2010, the NFIP lapsed four times and flood coverage could not be purchased or renewed for a total of 53 days.
Tom Santos, vice president of federal affairs at the American Insurance Association (AIA), said what many in the insurance industry have expressed: relief that the NFIP will not lapse but disappointment that a long term extension has not been passed.
“We’re pleased the NFIP isn’t going to lapse. However, this will be the third short-term extension in as many months. More certainty is needed and as such, AIA encourages Congress to pass a long-term extension with meaningful reforms that aim to strengthen the program,” Santos said.
“We are pleased that Congress was able to avert another lapse in the flood program,” said Tom Litjen, vice president of federal government relations for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “While we continue to urge a long-term reauthorization for the NFIP, our first priority is avoiding a program lapse.”