WASHINGTON (5/18/12)--Legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until June 30 passed the U.S. House by a 402 to 18 vote yesterday, and will now move on to the Senate.
The NFIP is scheduled to lapse on May 31. In the past the program has lapsed for brief periods, and these lapses have caused significant disruption in the mortgage underwriting process for some prospective homeowners.
The one-month extension, if it passes the Senate, would give members of Congress more time to craft a long-term extension with some program reforms. A vote on the month-long extension could be held in the Senate next week.
The Senate is expected to consider legislation that would extend the NFIP by five years, and, potentially, reform elements of the program, next week. However, an agreement on the number of amendments that could be attached to the NFIP bill must be reached before a vote on the five-year Senate extension could take place, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has reportedly said.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and other House members have urged the Senate to pass a five-year extension. Legislation that would extend the NFIP for five years has already been approved in the House and by the Senate Banking Committee, but the full Senate has not acted on the legislation.
The Credit Union National Association has urged members of Congress to extend the NFIP or reform the program.