WASHINGTON (5/17/12)--After debate last night on a bill (H.R. 5740) that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 30 days, the U.S. House delayed a vote on that bill until today or tomorrow.
Speaking on the House floor yesterday in favor of the temporary extension, lead sponsor Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) noted the bill would expand private sector participation in flood insurance and allow private insurance coverage to take the place of government insurance in mortgage applications.
Biggert said this temporary NFIP extension would give the U.S. Senate 'more than enough time' to pass meaningful flood insurance reform. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and other House members joined Biggert in urging the Senate to pass a five-year extension.
The NFIP is scheduled to lapse on May 31.
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. Biggert said there is no reason the House and Senate cannot reconcile differences between their respective version of NFIP five-year extension legislation (S. 1309 and H.R. 1309) in the coming days.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Tuesday attempted to pass S. 2344, which would extend the NFIP through the end of this year, by unanimous consent, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) did not agree. Coburn is reportedly working on legislation that would extend the NFIP for a longer time period, perhaps as much as five years, and reform elements of the program.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has urged members of the U.S. Congress to extend the NFIP or reform the program, as credit unions and other lenders cannot write certain mortgages without NFIP coverage. CUNA also recently joined a coalition of associations representing homebuilders, the insurance industry, other financial institutions, brokers, and others to ask Congress to act on NFIP issues.