Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez Unite to Reauthorize Flood Insurance Program
Congress has until Friday night to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) ... again. The program has been renewed 42 times since 1998, with seven short-term extensions coming in the past year alone. In fact, before the seven-day extension Donald Trump signed over the weekend, the program was set to expire on November 30th -- the last day of the Atlantic hurricane season. On Wednesday Senators Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation to reauthorize NFIP through September 30th, 2019. The legislation would ensure retroactive coverage in the event of a programmatic lapse. “While I am frustrated with the continued need for extensions, it has become clear that we need additional time to come to a consensus on bipartisan and bicameral reforms to the NFIP,” Rubio said. Flooding is the most common disaster in the U.S., one that affects Americans in communities both coastal and inland every year. “The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be comprehensively reformed to make the program more fair, affordable, efficient and solvent, which is what my SAFE NFIP would do,” said Menéndez. “But with the NFIP extension expiring it’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable. This extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.” The lawmakers were joined in the reauthorization bill by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). NFIP will always carry some debt as currently structured. It’s currently $20 billion in debt. More here.