As previously reported, the National Flood Insurance Program was scheduled to expire on November 30, 2018 and Congress extended the Program to December 7, 2018. The US House of Representatives and US Senate have once again voted to temporarily extend the Program, this time until December 21, 2018. Perhaps Congress is hoping that someone will come down the chimney and deliver a long-term, sensible reform of the Program.

With the November 30, 2018 expiration date for the National Flood Insurance Program (Program) looming, industry trade groups sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging Congress to extend the Program.

As we reported previously, the Program was set to expire on July 31, 2018 and Congress voted on that date to extend the Program until November 30, 2018.  Basically Congress kicked the can down the road until after the midterm elections.

As noted by the trade groups in their letter “Congress has yet to pass a long-term extension of the NFIP, as debate continues regarding options for reforming the program. This has already resulted in a series of seven stop-gap extensions and two brief lapses in 2017 and 2018. The NFIP is currently the main source of flood insurance in the United States, and Americans deserve certainty and stability in the flood insurance marketplace to be able to protect their homes and loved ones.”

A long-term, sensible reform of the Program is long overdue.  The continued kicking of the can down the road by Congress through temporary extensions of the Program is not good policy for communities at risk or taxpayers.

On July 31, 2018, the day that the National Flood Insurance Program was set to expire, the United States Senate voted 86 to 12 to reauthorize the program through November 30, 2018.  The action follows an earlier reauthorization of the program through the same date by a 336 to 52 vote in the United States House of Representatives.  President Trump signed the reauthorization, which simply kicks the can down the road to just after the mid-term elections, and falls far short of the more permanent resolution to the flood insurance program sought by the mortgage industry.