WASHINGTON (June 30, 2010) As members of Congress prepare for their Independence Day recess week, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) noted that it has been a month since the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was allowed to expire on June 1.
“It’s hard to imagine a worse time for Congress to abandon its obligations to the American people by not reauthorizing the NFIP,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for NAMIC. “Not only has this been the first month of the 2010 hurricane season, but thousands of Americans who need flood insurance to buy or sell a home have been left waiting and hoping that Congress will do the right thing while the $8,000 first time homebuyers’ tax credit expires.”
Along with short term extensions for numerous other federal programs, the NFIP extension was passed by the House just prior to the Memorial Day recess. It was voted down by the Senate amid concerns that other, unrelated provisions in the bill would add to the federal budget deficit. Should the Senate approve an amended version, the legislation would have to go back to the House for another vote in that chamber. The House has also passed a stand alone extension through September 30, but efforts to do likewise in the senate have failed.
“We’ve had one named storm already,” Grande said. “If another storm hits our shores before Congress reauthorizes the program, thousands of homeowners who suffer flood damage may face confusion and uncertainty as they try to rebuild.”
The Atlantic storm season began June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted that 2010 will be among the most active seasons ever. The NOAA predicts that 2010 will see 14 to 23 named storms, with eight to 14 of those developing into hurricanes. Of those, the NOAA has said that three to seven may develop into Category 3 or above hurricanes with winds of over 110 miles per hour.
“That Congress would leave the NFIP and thousands of Americans in limbo is unconscionable,” Grande said. “It’s time for lawmakers to stop playing politics and reauthorize this vital program.”
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