“Why Does Extending Flood Insurance Coverage Have to Become a Political Issue?”
Why does Congress always wait until the 99th hour to extend this coverage. Why does this coverage not just become permanent? This has never made any sense to me.
A few years ago, this coverage lapsed and some closings were delayed, which created a lot of hardship for a lot of people. Why was this necessary? What is the possible political gain?
If anyone can tell me what the possible reasons are, I would like to know.
FEMA Urges Congress to Extend Flood Coverage for Two Years
By: Brian Collins
The government's authority to issue new flood insurance policies expires at the end of May and the Federal Emergency Management Administration is urging Congress to pass a two-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.
The NFIP has limped along for several years on short-term extensions while Congress continues to work on a reform bill that extends flood coverage for five years.
However, "the short-term reauthorizations and temporary suspensions of the NFIP have eroded confidence in the program among citizens and stakeholders," said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate in a recent letter to House and Senate banking committee leaders.
"A two-year reauthorization will send a clear signal to citizens, communities, and private sector partners that the federal government will continue to support our nation's efforts to manage flood risk," Fugate notes.
The House of Representatives passed a five-year NFIP reform bill by a 406-22 vote in July 2011. The Senate Banking Committee approved a similar bi-partisan reform bill last September. But the full Senate has yet to act on the measure.
During a bitter budget battlement in 2010, Congress allowed the flood insurance program to lapse four times for a total of 53 days.
Such disruptions make it less likely communities will make investments to reduce flood risk and undermines NFIP's effectiveness over time, the FEMA letter says.
Since 2010, Congress has passed several short-term extensions, including the current five-month extension that expires May 31.
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