WASHINGTON (7/13/11)--The U.S. House Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a continuation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for an additional five years. The legislation (H.R. 1309) preserves the rights of credit unions and others to protect their collateral from flood hazards and would clarify that flood insurance purchases "would date back to the date the existing policy lapsed or became insufficient in coverage amount, including any premiums or fees incurred during the 45-day notification period." The Credit Union National Association has backed these changes. The NFIP was set to expire on Sept. 30. Legislators from both bodies of Congress and both sides of the aisle have called for reforms to the NFIP, which provides more than $1.2 trillion in coverage to Americans in flood-prone areas. Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have both cited the need for reforms in recent weeks, with Shelby saying that every part of the NFIP "must undergo significant revision for it to survive and continue on a sustainable path." The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) late last month said that Congress should act to increase the financial stability of NFIP and limit taxpayer exposure.