WASHINGTON (6/21/12)—Legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until Sept. 30, 2017, could be debated by the U.S. Senate as soon as next week after Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on Wednesday.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) worked closely with Senate leadership to move the latest version of an NFIP extension forward, and Vitter in a Wednesday release said extending the program for a further five years "is great, much needed news for homeowners and the housing market." He said he would urge his fellow senators to support the bill.
Legislation that temporarily extended the NFIP until July 31 was approved in the U.S. House and Senate late last month, just before the insurance program expired on May 30. The program has been funded by a series of short-term extensions for some time, and House and Senate members alike have called for the NFIP to be extended and reformed.
The NFIP lapsed three brief times in 2010. Credit unions, as well as other lenders, cannot write certain mortgages without NFIP coverage, and the Credit Union National Association has noted that lapses in NFIP authorization have caused significant disruption in the mortgage underwriting process for thousands of prospective homeowners.
Late yesterday, acknowledging that floor action on the long-term NFIP extension was not possible this week, Reid said, "We have to work toward completing that as quickly as we can."