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Global Public Policy

Congress averts NFIP lapse, passes two-week extension

May 31, 2019

On May 30 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through June 14, preventing the program from lapsing on May 31 at midnight. The bill was introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and passed by the Senate last week. This is the eleventh short-term reauthorization of the NFIP since September 2017. 

There was significant concern that the program would lapse when on three separate occasions since May 24, a single House Republican blocked the unanimous passage of a $19 billion disaster aid package that would have also extended the NFIP through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Congressmen Chip Roy (R-TX), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and John Rose (R-TN) each objected, calling for a recorded vote.

Once Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess, the House is expected to pass the disaster aid package, extending the NFIP through September 30.

Leadership of the House Financial Services Committee is committed to a long-term bipartisan flood insurance reauthorization bill; there is, however, widespread disagreement among members of the Senate Banking Committee and they have yet to take any formal action on the program. ICSC supports a long-term reauthorization and the need for reforms to the program, however, we are equally concerned that an NFIP lapse creates uncertainty in real estate markets and potentially jeopardizes major financial transactions.