While the short-term reauthorization of the NFIP is certainly helpful, the Big “I” continues to advocate for a long-term reauthorization of the program.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open through Nov. 17. In doing so, it reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bipartisan vote was 335-91, with 90 of the 91 “nay" votes coming from the Republican House majority.
The Senate took up the bill and passed it with an even stronger bipartisan show of force, 88-9, with all “nay" votes coming from the Republican side of the aisle. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law just before the midnight deadline, averting a government shutdown that many felt was imminent.
The CR extends federal government spending authority at the current fiscal year levels. In addition to a short-term extension of the NFIP program, the package provided $16 billion of aid for natural disasters.
Passage of the CR buys the House and Senate time to continue their work to pass the 12 appropriations bills needed to fully fund the federal government without having to pass another CR. To date, the House has passed four appropriations bills and the Senate has passed zero.
The two chambers are still very far from completing their requisite work to fully fund the federal government. At this point, it is likely that another CR will be needed come mid-November to avoid a shutdown.
While the short-term reauthorization of the NFIP is important, the Big “I" continues to advocate for a long-term reauthorization of the program.
The Big “I" will continue to monitor federal government funding in the weeks ahead and work with Congress to reauthorize the NFIP, whether that is through fully funding the federal government or another avenue to reauthorize the program.
A lapse in the NFIP would prohibit the program from issuing new policies that prospective homebuyers and lenders need to close sales. The National Association of Realtors estimates that 1,300 property sales per day could be impacted by a lapse of the NFIP.
Stay tuned to the News & Views e-newsletter for further updates.
Nathan Riedel is Big “I" senior vice president, federal government affairs.