January 07, 2013

President signs temporary hike for NFIP

The president on Sunday signed a temporary increase in the National Flood Insurance Program's borrowing authority to help Hurricane Sandy victims.

H.R. 41, introduced by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., was approved Friday by the House and Senate. The House passed the bill on a 354-67 vote through expedited procedures that required a two-thirds vote; the Senate approved the legislation several hours later by unanimous consent.

Garrett said the legislation would "ensure that the federal government fulfills its contractual obligation to all those who have purchased national flood insurance."

In opposing the bill, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told The Hill newspaper that the bill would create new debt. House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said his committee plans to mark up a bill this year that would transition the flood insurance market to the private sector.

The House, meeting next week, is expected to take action on additional Sandy relief.

The president signed a five-year extension of the NFIP last July. Included was a NAFCU-sought clarification regarding lenders' authority to force-place flood insurance when homeowners fail to renew their policies. The NFIP extension continues through Sept. 30, 2017.

NAFCU has long advocated for a long-term extension of the NFIP and has worked diligently to seek improvements in the program.