WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 6, 2018 – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) no longer expires on Friday at midnight, but Congress extended the program for only two weeks – until Dec. 21, 2018, at midnight. A number of high-profile issues now come to a head only a few days before the Christmas holiday.
Congress also postponed a decision on government funding until Dec. 21, and President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t include money in that funding to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. If lawmakers have trouble finding common ground on the higher-profile funding issue, it’s unclear what might happen to NFIP.
However, a bipartisan group of senators from states that rely on flood insurance also filed a bill Wednesday for a 10-month NFIP extension. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill, S. 3703, to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 10 months – through Sept. 30, 2019.
Should Congress pass the bill after flood insurance expires on Dec. 21, the s. 3703 includes a provision that would make flood coverage retroactive in the event of a program lapse. However, it’s not yet clear whether the bill will pass in favor of more shorter-term extensions.
“While I am frustrated with the continued need for extensions, it has become clear that we need additional time to come to a consensus on bipartisan and bicameral reforms to the NFIP,” Rubio says. “Floridians who rely on this program cannot afford this uncertainty when we enter the 2019 hurricane season. I urge my colleagues to pass this important extension as soon as possible.”
“More than five million Americans depend on the National Flood Insurance Program,” Kennedy says. “For those of us who live along the Gulf Coast, the NFIP means we don’t have to worry every time it rains.”
“It’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable,” adds Menendez. “This (10-month) extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.”
Source: 2018 Florida Realtors®